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Using Speech Analytics to Improve Sales Effectiveness for Agents

Company

Scott Kendrick

April 03, 2014

Call center agent giving thumbs up

This is a guest post by Angela Stringfellow. Angela Stringfellow is a professional writer whose work has been featured at numerous publications including Intuit.com, Amex Open Forum, and many more.

In today’s digital era, customers are increasingly relying on newer communications channels such as social media, email, and live chat in order to interact with companies.  Aberdeen research shows, despite the rapid growth of communications channels and technology tools, the role and importance of voice conversations remains critical to delivering a positive customer experience.  In fact, Aberdeen’s October 2013 Multi-Channel Contact Center report reveals that voice interactions are an integral part of customer care programs within 94% of businesses.

For performance marketers, the contact center plays a crucial role because the information contained in customer conversations can be used to more effectively target and promote marketing programs (as well as identify new sales opportunities).  Here are a few ways speech analytics can be used to improve agent performance in sales-based call centers:

  • Deliver immediate feedback: Speech analytics software such as Eureka automates the call center agent performance process by providing immediate performance feedback to contact center managers, supervisors, and agents.  Such data allows managers to determine where their agents excel and where they need improvement, ultimately improving both their performance and the customer’s experience. Another benefit to delivering immediate feedback is that it can provide agents with a distinct advantage in cross and up-sell efforts.  As outlined in the Aberdeen research, agents can “leverage customer data captured during a call to identify a specific product or service they can offer to the same client during the call, which allows them to deliver the right product to the right customer at the right time.”
  • Use data insights for training purposes: Contact center analytics can do more than deliver feedback to agents; companies can also use the insights gathered through real-time call monitoring to roll out best practice training programs to their agents. One company, for example, used its speech analytics software and the subsequent training as a tool to help agents improve their metrics and skills, a tactic that increased pitch rate by 70–80% with steady growth since.   The training also helped motivate agents to succeed by hearing their voice in comparison to higher performing peers.
  • Improve sales effectiveness: In addition to identifying agent behaviors and implementing training programs to hone best practices, speech analytics solutions can also measure sales effectiveness, including but not limited to sales ownership, assumptive close language, upsell/cross-sell attempts, touting benefits, and objection handling.

Final Thoughts

Speech analytics can empower performance marketers to not only improve agent effectiveness in sales-based contact centers, but ultimately deliver a positive customer experience.  In this day and age, where customers will readily switch companies unless they get the experience they want, forward-thinking companies know they need to find a way to make themselves stand apart from the competition.

Image Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/ kzenon

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