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Speech Analytics for Financial Services

Speech analytics is a logical continuation of NLP (Natural Language Processing) technology development. The origins of modern speech analytics solutions come from the 1970s, but technology took a lot of time to process and could distinguish only a few common words. At the time, almost nobody believed that this could bring actual value. The massive trend appeared after the terrorist attacks on the 11th of September 2001. Military usage of speech recognition to identify and catch the most dangerous terrorist groups in the world showed its effectiveness. 

Now it is hard to impress anyone with NLP and speech analytics. But still, there aren't many businesses that succeed in getting the added value and know how to use speech analytics cost-effectively. 

The limit does not exist as far as the return on investment satisfies the business. We can highlight a few highly beneficial ways of exploiting such technologies in the financial industry.

Customer service and support

Speech analytics is extremely popular in the Customer Experience field. We have already written an article on the most popular implementations of Artificial Intelligence solutions for creating better customer journeys:

There are many segments of applying speech analytics: chatbots, virtual assistance, quality assurance, self-assessment for agents and service representatives, case and call routing, etc. 

Speech analysis helps to define the context of the conversation, topics related, or the exact phrases and words that appear in the process of customer engagement.  It is also helpful in reducing complaints as it can spotlight the most repeated issues and give a clear picture of customers' points of disappointment.

We cannot avoid mentioning the time management advantage of speech analytics tools. While manual evaluation of communication between the client and the agent takes days for analysis and collecting a minimal amount of data, automatic speech recognition takes minutes to process 100% of the information.

In the financial industry, where products are very similar and tied up by local and global regulations, the only way to win in a fight for the customer is to provide a unique and over-expectational customer experience, especially when it comes to retention.

Speech analytics gives a competitive advantage because it identifies the communication issues, negative emotions, reasons for dissatisfaction, unprofessional behavior, and much more.

Promotion and sales

Selling products or services through a contact center is not an easy task. People get annoyed when someone tries to push anything by phone call or chat message. But still selling call centers are popular in banking, insurance, telecom, and other b2c businesses. In this case, speech analytics can help measure such conversation's effectiveness. How do people react to this or that? Do they become excited or opposite? Additional huge impact and revenue improvement can be achieved through agents self-coaching on the best examples. Speech analytics allows to define top-performers in the team, collect best performing conversations and even parts of conversations, i.e. call opening, sales pitch, objection handling, closing. These best examples will be available for a sales team to learn from by listening to those best parts.


Debt collection

Debt collection is a sensitive type of activity. It is stressful for anyone who makes and takes those calls, and the national laws strictly regulate it. But it is a part of every financial services company's processes.

Speech analysis can be used for the evaluation of different kinds of risks. It can highlight unpleasant emotions and key phrases that could lead to debt collection failure. 

Many countries have high standards for building the process and what the agent should tell or not. It is impossible to check 100% of conversations manually. So there is a risk that some conversation that breaks the compliance guidance can lead to an undesirable outcome. With speech analytics platforms, controlling all dialogues and preventing such troubles is easier.

Besides this, there is one more crucial benefit of speech analytics tools for callers from the debt collection department: average handle time decreases. The more calls an agent can make during the shift, the more clients will potentially pay the debt.

The most sophisticated systems allow adding to the scoring system and predict the probability of a payback.

Fraud prevention

Despite all digital and compliance mechanisms in the financial industry, there are still many losses caused by fraudsters. Call center agents sometimes don't know that they've been frauded until it's too late.

To prevent this from happening or reduce damage, companies use speech analytics. It helps to analyze such conversations, get keywords and "red" markers of fraud and build the security guides for the agents.

Staff training

Onboarding and assessment of the staff are done faster and more effectively. Analysis of conversations can become a valuable source of adjustments and improvements to current training scenarios. The best practices can become a strong base for scripts.

In regulated environments such as financial services, agents must grow their level of professionalism constantly. Old-school methods cannot give the required velocity, while automated speech processing and analysis can.

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