Speech recognition software is becoming a key technology in our everyday lives, with 25% of Google searches made on the Android app being made via voice searches. Despite this, there are some reservations. Gary Williams, Director of Sales and Consultancy at Spitch, investigates.
As well as changing the face of the consumer market, voice recognition can also have huge benefits for businesses. Large, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) call centres, some of which handle contact centre services for our best-known companies here in the UK, can especially benefit from implementing speech recognition technologies.
Innovations such as automated compliance monitoring, emotion detection and biometric security functions are able to help call centres by making existing processes more efficient. Automated speech technology can bring benefits such as:
When automated speech technology is integrated into a call centre the time that specialist compliance teams spend monitoring calls is minimised. Innovations such as improved call routing and automated confidentiality software also free up staff. This means that handlers are able to take more calls during the day and therefore the cost per call for the centre is reduced.
The biometric functions of automatic speech recognition technology can recognise unique features within a person’s voice. This means that call centres that rely on strong security features such as banks can use this technology to reduce fraud and protect their customers.
The quality of recorded calls in the digital era has improved dramatically, which means that solutions have adapted recognition engine models to audio patterns that are able to recognise the content of audio easier than human ears could. This makes them not only faster than their human counterparts, but also more accurate as well. Greater accuracy when working with automated speech recognition technology gives call centres an edge over their competitors. Automated, accurate call screening also helps agents improve their performance as they can be mentored more effectively by managers.
Overcoming adoption misconceptions
Yet, despite these benefits, call centre managers and decision makers often have reservations about implementing automated speech recognition technology into their business. The reason for this is that the use of voice recognition software in call centres is often seen as a complex process. This, however, centres around two main misconceptions about how the technology interacts with a business’s existing processes.
The first misconception is that the adoption of speech recognition software is a complex technological integration process that will impact your business efficiency during the onboarding phase. However, when certain suppliers are used this is often simply not the case. For cloud-based applications it can often be as simple as diverting certain calls to systems that in the case of many providers can be made available from the start on their own cloud hosting.
The second misconception is that implementing speech recognition technology will change a company’s organisational processes. Again, this doesn’t have to be the case. Choosing a provider who can bring flexibility to their offering can enable contact centres to integrate speech recognition technology that supports their existing business processes, maintaining and then maximising efficiency.
There are four attributes that speech recognition technology providers should possess.
The company that you choose needs to know your enterprise requirements. For example, a call centre that works closely with banks will need a solution that is able to provide a high level of security. That will mean using providers that specialise in innovations such as biometric technology, that can recognise individual voices and allow the call centre to use automation in a secure way alongside its existing processes.
How quickly can this solution enable you to obtain measurable business benefits for your company? Automation technology should be able to attach itself to your current call centre processes and start to help agents in their role without a huge lag while it gets up to speed. Both the efficiency of the call centre and the customer experience should be improved as soon as the technology is implemented.
By comparing the functionality of different systems in relation to your business you will be able to see the most effective solution. Looking back at the security example from the first step, it is important that the technology that a call centre manager chooses is able to perform the necessary security functions that their call centre needs. On the other hand, the solution might also bring other innovations to the table thereby creating an all-round benefit from a range of automation technologies. An example might be the ability to also use the same speech recognition platform to monitor call compliance.
Finally, the solution that you implement should be able to grow with your business. It is imperative that any speech recognition technology is able to keep up with any plans for growth in the future. Automated compliance technology, for example, should be able to increase the rate of transcription as your business grows.
By using this four-step assessment of the technologies available, your contact centre will be able to implement speech recognition technology that benefits the business effectively and immediately without causing disruption to your current processes.
About the Author
Gary Williams is Director of Sales and Consultancy at Spitch. Spitch deliver precise Natural Language Processing as a part of Artificial Intelligence to improve customer experience.