proactive speech analyticsMany companies that utilize (or are considering) speech analytics do so for many reasons, including:

1. It provides insights into customer needs and wants.

2. It delivers quantifiable benefits. The information it provides cannot be done in any other way.

3. It can enhance the functionality and value of other technology solutions.

At a fundamental level, speech analytics can be used for Identifying the reasons people call, fully automating the quality assurance process, identifying training opportunities, improving the collections process, and increasing sales.

All of these are excellent applications for speech analytics after the water has gone over the dam.  But you should also consider the proactive application of speech analytics to identify and act on opportunities in real time.


Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase ‘canary in the coal mine’ before; it is an allusion to caged canaries that miners would carry down into the tunnels. If dangerous gases were present, they would effect the canary before harming the miners, thus providing a warning. Think about how that same approach and how it might be helpful to the contact center, using speech analytics as the ‘canary in the coal mine’ to detect previously unidentified issues that agents might not catch.

Agents are taught to stay on script and reign in conversations that start to go down a rabbit hole – saving companies time and money. But what if the ‘issue’ that the customer is calling about has never been reported before? (e.g., the first call to report a service outage or product failure). What is the likelihood that the agent will recognize that they are hearing about the first reported failure?

Consider this scenario: you’re watching television one evening and suddenly the picture goes blank. You grab the remote and cycle up and down channels and discover that all of them work except the one you want to watch. You reboot the set-top box but the problem persists. You decide to call the cable company for help. The agent is unable to identify the cause of the problem, and schedules a truck roll two days later to replace the box. Later that evening you switch on the late news on the TV in the bedroom that is not connected to the cable system, and the breaking story is that the station had been offline all evening! In other words, sending a truck with a new box to your house (a very expensive solution) would NOT have solved the problem!

In this example, speech analytics would have:

  1. Detected and quantified the caller’s issue across multiple calls (in this case, the fact that you were not the only person unable to receive the signal)
  2. Used that collective data to trigger action plans that would properly advise agents of the situation, and announce to subsequent customers that you are aware of the problem and working on a resolution — in real-time!

Getting out in front of the problem and taking appropriate action reduces customer — and agent — effort, and lowers the cost of service delivery.

For more information, see Revolutionizing Contact Center Quality Management With Speech Analytics. Thanks for reading!

Mark Stanley

Mark Stanley

Mark Stanley is the Genesys director of strategic business consulting. Mark helps companies align sales and service delivery to their brand promise and to works with them to define and achieve business goals by leveraging technology to refine the service...