Do your customers sound happy?

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Andy Moorhouse 18th July 2019 5 minute read

Do your customers sound happy?

By the time a survey reveals you have dissatisfied customers, it’s too late. The damage is done. But voice analytics will pick up the emotional content of a customer’s voice while they’re still on the call. You can spot the downward drift in their happiness while you can still do something about it, and that’s a major advantage says Blue Sky’s Director of Insight, Andy Moorhouse.

Traditionally, one of the most common ways to gauge customer satisfaction has been to conduct surveys, but they are flawed tools.

When companies carry out surveys, certain customers are invariably excluded, meaning the sample is not truly random. If someone has put in complaint, or they’ve needed to contact you a number of times, you don’t text them asking if they want to take part in a survey. It’s nothing nefarious. It’s because if you know they are already unhappy and having a poor experience, the last thing you want to do is annoy them with even more texts.

It’s well meant, but consequently the survey starts to become less random and perhaps more flattering than it should be.

Then you have the issue that a company could be receiving 8 million calls a year and surveying just two or three thousand people a month. That’s hardly representative.

Finally, we often see that when organisations get the results back, they do very little proper analytics with them – age, demographic, where the customer lives, the agent who handled the call, the original query, etc. They stop at ‘80% of our customers say they are satisfied’, and that’s not particularly revealing.

Don’t let the easy tasks mislead you

For example, think about how some of those customers arrived at that score. A number will have been in touch with a very simple query, say setting up a direct debit. It’s easy, done in moments, no real call handling skills involved, so that’s a certain ten out of ten.

Others will have started angry and frustrated, but importantly the agent will have done something fantastic to turn them round. Isn’t that what you want to know about rather then the direct debit result? Who are the agents who can pull off that amazing transformation and how are they doing it?

You need to dig much deeper into the data to discover that, and this is where voice analytics can be so effective. It will tell you how a call unfolded, and pick up the subtleties of good agent versus poor agent that a survey won’t reveal. It can measure the tone, the intonation, the pace of the conversation, the way customers are speaking, the volumes… all these subtle voice patterns can be detected and interpreted so you can see which agents are successfully turning angry customers into happy customers, and which agents are not.

Using the insight to act early

And the difference may be greater than you think. We’ve had examples with Xdroid, which is our speech analytics partner, where you discover that some agents are nailing it every time and delivering transformative experiences. Yet there’ll be another proportion that will be demonstrating some form of intransigence –  the classic ‘computer says no’ – in almost one in every four calls, and that’s horrendous.

Where that takes us is that if you can feed the voice analytics enough examples it will be able to predict, with incredible accuracy, which customers are going to be dissatisfied before they take a survey.

Why is that important? Because it means you can then do something about it. It allows for intervention such as proactive call backs and helps you develop a monitoring strategy that actually makes a difference. You can step in and turn an unhappy customer into a happy customer before they become an angry customer, and that’s worth investing in.

Blue Sky is a division of Capita. Find out more about the company here.

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