The Hows and Whys of Voice Analytics

Written by Jomari Mercado
on December 27, 2018


The value of outsourcing your work to a service provider has become more important in today’s ever increasing demand for service “right here, right now”.  Outsourcing allows the client (the company outsourcing its services) to focus on its core business while entrusting the provision of customer care and technical support to companies that specialize in this field.

Outsourcing the business is one thing; maximizing the value of that business is another.  How do you get the most value from a client’s outsourced customer service team? Here are some tips.

#1 Listen to agent feedback

The first rule is the most basic, but sadly, often ignored: Listen to your agents.  The agents are the front-liners in all customer transactions and are the best source of information on how customer service can be improved.  Here are a few examples:

  • The opening spiel – this is the first touch with the customer and it is important to remember that in a majority of cases, the call is done because the customer has a concern or an issue. As such, an extended opening spiel is the last thing they want to hear.  In a lot of cases, clients use the opening spiel to “sell” their products and new offerings.  
  • Verify, verify, verify – another irritant to a customer is when your agent keeps repeating what the customer says in order to verify what was said. This may be important (or in some cases, statutory) but there is a limit and a point where the customer ends up even more dissatisfied even before he is able to express his concern!  Ask your agents how the calls went, and validate where “parroting” is important and where it can be dispensed with. 
  • Closing – there are scripts developed for closing; however, clients should be aware that the type of close should be appropriate to how the call developed. For example, if the issue was not resolved, the last thing a customer wants to hear is an upsell or an offer to buy.  Sadly, many clients make these spiels a requirement, only adding to customer dissatisfaction.

Agents are normally measured by their metrics.  This is important, but it is equally important that their voice be heard so that customer transactions can be improved – which may not necessarily be reflected in metrics!

#2 Track channel performance

Second, keep in mind that today’s customers want service to be provided “any place, any time, anywhere, anyhow”.  Your customer service team should be able to provide you with inputs on which channels, ie voice, web, chat, work best for a particular type of transaction.  Maximize the value of customer interactions by driving the right type of transaction to the least cost channel, thereby providing more time for the more valuable types of transactions.

#3 Keep front liners updated

Finally, ensure that the information provided to your customer service team is up to date and accurate.  Too often, new marketing campaigns are launched and the agents are the last to know.  The same is true for other channels like the web.  Consistency in information is important to maintain the trust in a particular channel; otherwise, the customer will resort to going back a traditional channel like voice.

#4 Leverage on Technology

Doing the first three items above can be challenging if you're only checking in on your agents every now and then, or manually gathering data on how your touchpoints are performing. Fortunately, technology such as voice analytics, business intelligence and artificial intelligence solutions are available today to help analyze customer service conversations and call script effectiveness, measure the performance of your channels and even to gauge customer emotions and reactions. Leverage on these to constantly improve customer interactions, and to help ensure that every call your agents take will result in a happy customer.

Work closely with your outsourced providers and listen to their inputs on how you can improve customer touches. With a collaborative relationship and technology to support you, you can get the most value from your provider and give better service to your customers.


About the Author

Jose Mari Mercado is an independent consultant with over 30 years of experience in sales, marketing and consulting in the IT and Business Process Outsourcing industries in the Philippines and ASEAN region. He was Chief Executive Officer and President of Business Processing Association of the Philippines from 2013 to 2016. He also held several leadership positions at Convergys Philippines, leading the company to grow to 32,000 employees in nine years.

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