Technology is ever-evolving, and every few days, there’s the next big thing that’s making waves. Contact centre technology, too, has discovered its game-changer––Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR).
With advancements in time and innovations such as machine learning, big data, and artificial intelligence, ASR has become the edge that businesses need. Most hosted phone systems can have the ability to integrate ASR. It enables agents to understand words with their intent and allows them to study the emotions and understand the nuances of what the customer is saying.
Embedded with the Interactive Voice Response functionality, ASR empowers agents to put their best foot forward and improves the support experience for customers.
This article will explore what automatic speech recognition is and how it can be the next step in contact centre solutions.
What is automatic speech recognition?
Speech recognition gives your hosted phone system the ability to recognize spoken words.
More often than not, speech recognition software is deployed in contact centres owned by large businesses. It creates a wave file of the words spoken by the customer which it then breaks down to phonemes––basic building blocks of language. The software then analyses phonemes to make sense of what is being said.
Automated speech recognition systems give businesses access to detailed speech analytics so you can get insights into what customers are calling about, their general sentiments and learn more about the language they use. You can use these insights to train your agents and improve your customer service operations.
The software has developed substantially in recent years. There was a time when it was a source of frustration for customers, as older systems didn’t do a very good job of recognising language. Now, it saves time for both customers and staff alike.
The technology can also help automate your workflows. Working across all your systems, voice recognition often replaces the need for typing with the usage of speech. Thus, tasks like adding notes to a customer’s account using natural language will take lesser time
Furthermore, you will be able to manage different elements of your workflow via speech, saving substantial time. This will help you provide quicker and better service to your clients.
How can automatic speech recognition develop your contact centre?
There are a number of ways in which ASR can take your hosted contact centre to the next level and help you improve customer experience at the same time.
1. Enhance your analytics
By using automatic speech recognition, you can enhance your analytics and detect trends in customer enquiries. For example, if you look at customers queries coming through the hosted phone system, you can identify patterns in the questions that your callers ask or the issues that they face with your products.
These insights are invaluable and can be used to make changes based on real customer insight without any extra costs or added efforts.
If you find that a certain question is often asked, you can add it to your frequently asked questions list and make it available to customers through the IVR so they don’t need to wait for the answer. These queries can also serve as feedback, allowing you to act accordingly and show customers that you really care about their experience.
The technology also helps contact centres to analyse and understand the sentiments and tones of customers, thus ensuring better response.
2. Call routing
Automatic speech recognition provides call routing service that let callers route to the correct department quickly. Often, when given the choice, callers will select the wrong department for their enquiry. But, automatic speech recognition takes that decision out of their hands and you decide where they are routed based on what they have said.
When programmed correctly, customers can tell the automatic speech recognition system exactly what their query is and can be directed to the most suitable agent. There is nothing more frustrating for customers than being passed from agent to agent and having to repeat their enquiry multiple times to get an answer.
By using the technology of speech recognition, you are able to solve more customer issues right away without customers being passed around and clogging up your phone lines unnecessarily.
3. Lower agent’s workloads
With automatic speech recognition, customers will be able to have more human-like conversations with the automated system. This means that often their queries will be answered and they’ll get access to important information even before they speak to an adviser.
This frees up agents to focus on bigger issues which may arise and allows them to provide exemplary customer service. For customers who are dissatisfied with your services, giving them extra support can only benefit your business.
Moreover, staff that handles sales-based enquiries will be able to focus more on nurturing leads and closing deals, leading to higher profits for your business. Ultimately, you’ll achieve great results for, both, customer retention and customer acquisition.
4. Automate more of your processes
Appointment bookings, identification verification, and many other crucial processes can be automated with the help of ASR. While these processes are integral to your business and ensure that you stay compliant with regulatory requirements, they can often be tedious and time-consuming.
Automating most of your operations with ASR will help you save on time and resources.
For instance, you can fully automate your appointment scheduling system with the help of ASR. So, when a client calls you to book an appointment, all they need to do is speak the name of the doctor, choose a time slot, and confirm. And all this can be done without any human intervention.
With advancements in the technology surrounding automatic speech recognition, there are so many opportunities for businesses to take advantage of. Automation helps both customers and businesses save time and money, and will certainly help your customer service team with their workload too.
5. Greater efficiency for your contact centre
Sometimes, agents may end up wasting valuable time searching for documents or completing tasks which could really be automated. Automatic Speech Recognition can be used to help divert calls to the correct place using your voice, or perform essential tasks.
Using speech in this manner will free up agents to focus on more important tasks, ultimately increasing their efficiency and productivity, and saving the firm’s money on hiring extra agents.
Not only do you become more efficient as a contact centre, but you also deliver better customer service as a result.
Whatever you use them for, automatic speech recognition systems make the communication of important information much easier for businesses.
Automatic speech recognition is already an integral part of contact centres operations all over the world. The time it saves your agents and customers, and the insights it can bring can be invaluable to contact centre managers. It can also help customers be more satisfied with their service and can present opportunities for further sales and increased profits!
Acefone provides a broad range of cloud communication services to businesses of all sizes, which includes Hosted Phone Systems, Free Phone Numbers, and Cloud Contact Center Solutions. Being the UK’s leading provider of VoIP service provider, we always strive to provide excellent customer service and high-quality custom solutions to our customers.