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By Jeremy Payne, International VP Marketing at Enghouse Interactive

Jeremy Payne
Jeremy Payne

Banks and other financial services organisations are increasingly turning to speech analytics technology, but so far the most popular use has been for voice recognition. Barclays has just announced it is using the technology for telephone banking customers. First Direct has been signing up customers to a voice recognition system since the spring, while HSBC has been rolling out voice and touch ID this summer.

The benefits of speech recognition are becoming increasingly difficult to ignore for banks and other financial services organisations as they offer a highly secure means of delivering a service, which is also fast, efficient and easy to use for customers, thereby helping to drive up levels of satisfaction and loyalty.

Such capabilities can be hugely advantageous for any financial institution, of course. Yet, it’s worth remembering that speech recognition is an enabler for more complex speech analytics solutions – and that the latest real time speech analytics (RTSA) technology, in particular, can enable organisations across the financial sector to do so much more than just identify someone and secure their ID.  RTSA is today becoming increasingly widely used by banks and other financial services firms. Here we provide some quick top tips, highlighting some of the main applications this exciting new technology can be used for and underlining how organisations across the sector can get the most out of it.

  • Closely monitor scripted calls to stay compliant– Few sectors are as heavily regulated as financial services and it’s a burden that has only been growing more onerous over the past decade or so, with the PPI scandal exposing the risks of financial mis-selling and the banking crash of 2008 underlining the need for greater transparency. RTSA indicates, live during a call, if important or mandatory information has been missed or incorrectly said. This ensures legal certainty with script adherence, makes sure contract terms are explained correctly, and, in some cases, enables supervisors to intervene directly to ensure calls comply.
  • Use RTSA to measure emotion – Across financial services, the emotional content of any customer interaction is often underrated as a determinant of success but it’s often just as critical, if not more so, than the net promoter score or the latest post-call customer survey. RTSA can be key in monitoring the emotional content of interactions. The best such systems can evaluate calls to identify if there is cross-talking or changes in tone, while gauging the speech ratio balance, call volumes and stress levels. This data can be examined to see what behaviours deliver optimum results, enabling agents to adjust their approach accordingly.
  • Use self-coaching to drive up quality – The latest RTSA systems offer a checklist for every call and key indicators, providing live warnings to agents while they are on call so they can keep compliant and reduce stress, for example. By delivering live feedback to agents, RTSA is able to dynamically improve performance but also increase training efficiency by enabling agents to self-coach.
  • Combine RTSA with business analytics – Use business analytics to identify your star performers – those people who are always top of the league in terms of selling most loans or converting most mortgages, for example. Then link your business analytics to RTSA to identify how these people position services for customers, and what they do or do not do that puts them one step ahead of the pack. These learning points can then be incorporated into training programmes and poorer performers brought quickly up to speed.

Today, the future looks increasingly bright for RTSA technology. A decade ago, the computing horsepower needed to deliver RTSA on a commercial scale was something of a pipe dream for many businesses. Today as available processing power continues to escalate, the technology has gone mainstream. And the benefits are such that we expect to see more and more financial services organisations moving over to it to deliver a potent mix of high-quality interactions, compliance, agent training and coaching and emotional intelligence. The age of RTSA has arrived.