Contact center is 10B+ industry with very few legacy vendors. These players had huge responsibility to provide the customer experience for business across the world over decades and I must admit, they failed to come even close. When was the last time you loved interacting with an IVR or speaking to an agent? I don’t think it was lack of resources as all these vendors had deep pockets but what they struggled with was creativity and WILL to transform the world
Then walks in Amazon with ‘Connect’. It was not another contact center provider. No, I am not talking about the brand value of Amazon. That definitely helped but I meant the product itself. They fundamentally changed the way contact center solutions were designed.
Lets take a closer look. A typical customer experience has four stages:
Engage – It allows customers access to various channels like voice and chat.
Intent – Its where you try to understand customer’s purpose of reach out. This is where Amazon Lex (Engine behind Alexa) is proving to be a killer service. Talk to any company which has implemented Natural language solutions and they will tell you how they spent millions of dollars to get that done. Building a Bot never looked easy.
Serve – Once you understand the intent more accurately, Amazon lets you build the flows to “serve’ those customers better.
Connect – I understand, not every call or interaction can be self-served, that’s where you can seamlessly ‘connect’ those interactions to an agent with full context.
Every contact center vendor claims to do this but what’s different this time is, Amazon isn’t giving a ‘solution’ but a set of services like Lex, Transcribe, Comprehend, Kinesis Stream, Kinesis Firehose, Kinesis Analytics, Redshift, S3, ElasticSearch, Kibana, Athena, QuickSight etc that can be used to build a ‘solution’. That’s where creativity is getting commoditized. Its no longer a privilege of a few. Services companies like SuccessKPIs are taking these services and building world class customer experiences helping companies to differentiate and win.
Lets the best customer experience win! Amen.
Speech Analytics has been around for long time within contact center but less than 5% of contact centers out there leverage this technology. Based on latest survey conducted by SuccessKPIs, more than 80% contact center find speech analytics useful. That’s a huge gap between and a ‘business need’ and actual ‘market penetration’. There are various reasons.
Accuracy – Traditionally vendors have relied on technologies like Nuance for speech to text conversion and then build linguistic models on top of it. This is where Amazon not only made it less expensive for vendor to offer this service but also with better accuracy through AI driven services. And its only getting better every passing day.
Time & Cost – It was always considered an elite product meant for rich businesses. Most of the cost was partly driven by the cost of underlying components but most importantly due to lack of a solid business model. Server-less architecture, multi-tenancy and leveraging amazon services have brought the cost significantly down. Can old players adopt these themes? If yes then how fast? That is yet to be seen.
Business Intelligence Integration – Every customer we have talked to want to blend speech analytics data with that of IVR and Contact center. Most of the vendors talk about supporting BI Tools but yet again fail to offer this integration out of box. When it does come, it comes with big price tag and long time to deploy.
Call to Action – What you do as a business when a specific topic or phrase is found? Well, most of the platforms would probably tell you the calls on which a specific phrase or topic is found but we need to take it to next level where customers could take automated actions based on some rules. If a customer is likely to churn, a task should be created in Salesforce and automatically assigned to the respective Account Rep.
Focus on business outcome – Most of the current vendors have focused on technology and business outcomes are mostly left to marketing. Whats really needed is to bake the business outcome into the product. If a customer is looking to drive down the Churn or improve Agent Performance, product should allow them a quick way to get there few clicks and not months of deployment and tuning.
So if you are looking to leverage speech analytics for your business and hit the ground running, there is no better time to do that. Speech Analytics is indeed becoming mainstream, thanks to vendors like SuccessKPIs and Amazon.
Speech and Text Analytics, if done right, can help you improve many business outcomes and Reducing Churn is no exception. Before we look at how speech platforms can help businesses improve customer retention, let’s understand what churn is and how its valuable to businesses.
In very simple terms, churn is the rate at which you are losing your customers. So, if you have 100 customers in total and you lose 5 of them every year, your churn is 5%. Each customer retained is customer gained for 2 reasons – Life time value (LTV) a customer brings and Cost to acquire a customer at first place (Acquisition Cost, AC).
How do we find the LTV for a customer? Well, first look at average revenue they bring every year. For a cellphone company, that would be $600 assuming average customer is paying $50/month ($50×12=$600). Next thing we need to find out is how long an average customer stays with the business? The answer lies in the churn rate. Assuming average churn rate is 5%, Life expectancy of a customer is 1/Churn = 1/5% = 20 years. So, average customer stays for 20 years with the business providing yearly revenue of $600. Putting it together, LTV (Life Time Value) of a customer in this case would be $600 x 20 yrs = $12,000. You can go crazy with math from here and start bringing down the value of $600 over 20 years to today’s value by taking into the inflation but we don’t have to do all that. I am assuming you will more than compensate for inflation by improving the margin for your business or cross-selling them other products/services. Another thing to consider is the cost to acquire those customers. A lot of that is driven by marketing and sales strategies adopted by businesses but it’s only fair/conservative to assume that its around 25% of yearly revenue, $120. In this case, this number is not that meaningful but can be huge for business with higher churn or acquisition cost.
Now imaging millions of calls coming to your contact center where customers are showing signs of churn like showing dissatisfaction or threatening for cancellation or talking about competitive offers being better. Most of the agents don’t capture those critical pieces of information and it’s not humanly possible to listen to all the call recordings looking for these insights. That’s where Speech Analytics comes to rescue. It analyzes all the calls, looks for phrases which indicate possible churn and then alert/update the system so that businesses could take pre-emptive measures like calling them to understand their issues better or offering them better services etc. Imagine improving churn by 0.5% for a business with 1 Million customers in this case. Yearly gain would be 1M x 0.5% x $600 = $300M. That’s the contribution to your topline every year.
Question is how much you are willing to pay for it? I would leave that question for you to answer J But we must understand one thing, we must pick a vendor whose solution is focused on driving these business results. SuccessKPIs has build platform which offers library of playbooks which are driven by these business outcomes. Importing these playbooks automatically creates and stack up all the underlying artifacts to help customers detect topics, score them and then take actions. Add to that the out-of-box BI integration with seamless blending of IVR and ACD data, customers can get 360degree view of the contact center.
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