Contact centres are an integral part of a company’s communication with its customers and the only means of doing so for many. Contact center agents are the voices that represent the company’s ethos about the products/services that it offers. Therefore companies need to put their best ‘voice’ forward.
Additionally, with everything the world as a collective has been through, customers have higher expectations from brands, the growing pressure of which is borne by their customer service personnel. According to new research from the Institute of Customer Service (ICS), 60% of customer service workers have experienced hostility in the past year. And nearly half of those who had faced abuse said customers were becoming more aggressive because of stock and staff shortages.
Lucky for us, we live in a day and age with the powerful combination of Real-Time and Offline Speech Analytics solutions that can step in and bear the load for the agents and support them in multiple ways on multiple fronts. So whether they are working from home or on-site from a contact center, agents can have access to Real-time and offline speech analytics that helps them handle distressed customers and tackle their grievances as much as possible.
With the revolutionary Real-Time Speech Analytics, agents are equipped with the tools to meet their standardised KPIs. They are advised how to handle and conduct themselves in that specific situation. Next to the direct in-call advice, the agents can use the time between calls or at the end of their shift to assess their performance and incorporate the recommendation to elevate the customer experience further. The agents also have access to detailed offline analytics that gives them a chance to review the call and indicate the areas they excelled in and those that need improvement.
AI-driven Speech Analytics indeed changes the game for quality managers at contact centers. Companies can apply the solution to 100% of the calls, unlike earlier, when managers could manually analyse only a few random calls. Quality Managers have data and analysis of all the calls now, which gives them a detailed overview of all the agents at their respective centers. The tool gives them valuable insights to tackle escalations, target training and development initiatives, prevent agent burnout and protect them in vulnerable situations.
Beyond Onboarding with Real-Time Analytics
With Contact Center Agents being the brand’s voice, it’s essential to invest in the training of the recruits during the onboarding process. Expansions and a high turnover rate in the industry further call for a creative, innovative, cost-effective tool that regulates the onboarding process without compromising quality.
The Agent Assist software tackles this issue efficiently. Agents get pointers on how to command the call and get through the KPIs. They learn how to handle different customers and situations. Agents also have access to the automated topic detection tool, which provides a speedy, organised system of looking up everything they need to assist customers.
Standardising through Real-Time Analytics
One of the more operational benefits of Real-Time Analytics is that it helps establish uniformity in conducting all the calls in the contact center. Agents can view the general flow of the conversation and the standard protocol that they can follow to make sure they cover all the points. These KPI displays will help them stay on track instead of stressfully keeping a mental note of things and trying not to digress.
Empowering Agents in Real-Time
The Real-Time Agent Assist software of Speech Analytics solution is groundbreaking for how contact center agents operate. It empowers them like never before and facilitates higher satisfaction for both the customers and agents. The software acts like a mentor who guides the agents for 100% of their calls, following them through all the different stages of the call, reviewing their performance, providing corrective measures when needed, and reassuring them of a job well done in real-time on the spot.
Once the call ends, agents have the opportunity to assess the data to conduct an introspective self-review of their performance and even compare it to their colleagues. As a result, they can objectively see where they stand against the anonymous average and best performance in their group which further motivates and encourages them to do their best.
Handle Vulnerable Customers
Sensitivity and empathy are a must for an agent as they might have to deal at times with ‘vulnerable customers’. According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA ) in the UK, “A vulnerable consumer is someone who, due to their personal circumstances, is especially susceptible to the detriment”. When a distressed customer calls in for assistance, agents need to connect with them at a human level and help them to the best of their abilities. Whether it’s a bereaved customer experiencing the loss of a loved one, someone battling an illness, stress, or anxiety from a change of circumstances, the agent needs to be calm and composed while dealing with them.
Because of Covid-19, there has been a rise in vulnerable customers across industries. The uncertainty of living in a Pandemic World is debilitating and challenges the agents. Therefore, it is essential to provide them with tools that can help ease this difficult task ahead of them and preempt the needs of vulnerable customers by genuinely listening to them.
Speech Analytics does just that by actively ‘listening’ and analysing the sentiment and emotions of the customer in real-time to prepare the agent. The solution categorises the customer based on the given information and aids the agent in providing the best possible customer service.
Agency to the agent
Beyond support, Speech Analytics tools give agents independence that can help them on their journey to self-improvement. They can access unlimited data, feedback, and analysis related to 100% of their calls and their performance during those calls. With auto-summarisation, agents get a complete wrap up of their call for further study and analysis.
Additionally, they get Real-Time Analytics, which gives them immediate feedback while they are on call, displays the flow of the call, and highlights points they might have missed for them to recover from and correct. The software truly equips them to keep growing on their own, whether they work on-site or off-site, so they don’t have to depend on their manager’s feedback or reports. Instead, they can refer to their day to day and overall performance. The power to improve is in their hands.
Excellence, driven by competition
Healthy competition among agents and different groups/departments could help create an environment where agents feel motivated to keep working on mastering their skills. Agents can compare their daily and overall performance against the center’s average and best performers to know where they stand. This comparison will help them identify areas of weakness/improvement that they need to improve and help agents realise their strengths to use them effectively. Altogether, such comparison and competition drive development and excellence and ensure that the agents and the center keep moving forward and don’t just plateau in their respective careers.
The job of an agent and their manager isn’t easy. There are multiple things that they need to be mindful of that cannot be compromised. With the software taking care of Data collection and analysis, quality managers at the contact center can focus on the more significant, more profound issues. They can reflect on the insights offered by the software to work on ways to streamline the workflow at the contact center and have a system in place for certain challenging situations.
For instance, how the agents should tackle a surge in calls during a crisis within a short duration. In such a situation, the center might need an automated message to control and calm the dissatisfied customers to avoid getting angry and escalating the matter. The software can help the managers identify the common link between the calls and give them the information they need to solve the problem and bring the crisis under control.
Protecting Vulnerable Agents
With the ongoing Pandemic, businesses across industries have had to adapt to several challenges, especially financial ones. Contact centers have had to change how they operate, and managers have had to care for vulnerable customers and agents.
Customers demand greater intelligence and empathy from the agents; they seek answers, solutions, and reassurances during these unpredictable, changing times. Being one of the only points of contact during such times puts a lot of pressure on the agents. Managers thus have to step up and relieve the stress to avoid burnout and anxiety among agents and reduce the agent turnover rate.
Jo Causon, chief executive of the Institute of Customer Service (ICS), surveyed 10,000 UK consumers on their experiences every six months, revealed, “Customer patience has worn thin, and as we move out of lockdown, discerning customers will become increasingly less lenient”. Their expectations are high. “Workers are saying that people are becoming more aggressive… It is across all industry sectors. In contact sectors, we’re seeing it in frontline staff.”, Causon explained to the BBC.
Through offline speech analytics, the Contact center managers can check how the agents handle the pressure and cope emotionally on the call. This data will give them an idea about which of the agents is suffering and needs help before reaching their tipping point. Thus, enabling managers to be intuitive, insightful, and sensitive towards their agents.
Companies need to have a system that facilitates agility for the uncertain future in the current market. AI-driven Speech Analytics tools are a means for their contact centers. Businesses need to empower their contact centers and agents with Data and Analytics, both real-time and offline, to help them stay at the top of the game or even ahead and maintain a deep connection with the customers. At the same time, companies need to create an environment where their agents feel secure and safe to grow. With effective Speech Analytics tools, managers can focus on the bigger picture and work towards implementing that healthy, thriving business environment.
So what are you waiting for? Boost the most critical link of your communication strategy and empower your agents and contact centers with Xdroid’s AI-driven Speech Analytics solutions.