Call recording is just the tip of the enhanced customer service iceberg

Jeremy Payne, international VP of marketing at Enghouse Interactive, describes the various customer service benefits of recording calls

Historically, businesses have perceived call recording as a regulatory insurance policy – the typical process was that calls were recorded, archived and then accessed whenever a complaint was made. Other businesses have moved on a step and carry out batch sampling on call records; often, they might listen in to every hundredth phone call for compliance purposes. They might also focus on monitoring new employees to help embed best practice. Alternatively, they might use the batch recordings for training purposes, picking out examples of angry customers or high-performing agents dealing with customer queries.

Today, thanks to the latest AI and analytics, organisations can do much more with call recordings. Instead of simply being used reactively, for compliance or training, the potential for organisations to use technology working in real-time in conjunction with the customer service representative has raised the bar, making it possible to use these kinds of solutions to drive up customer satisfaction and increase sales.

In particular, this is giving businesses greater insight into their customer service operations. They can now listen in to every phone call and measure the sentiment of a customer interaction. Is the customer getting stressed? Is the agent becoming aggressive? Has the agent failed to make proactive use of the available helper bot to answer the customer’s query?

Answering these questions positively can be key to the success of a business, but it is also important to highlight that this process has evolved into much more than just recording a phone call. For example, when listening to call recordings, business managers also need to know what the agent was looking at on the screen at the time. Incorrect data on the company’s website could help to exonerate an agent who has made a mistake, and pinpoint a problem that needs to be addressed. This additional, contextual information can then feed into a continuous improvement loop.

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Barriers to roll-out

If you consider what is possible now, and the way many organisations are starting to embrace and use these types of technologies, the potential to also improve customer service and drive up sales also increases. So, given all the benefits they could achieve from this new approach, why isn’t every business moving over to it? One of the main barriers we are seeing today is cultural – many organisations follow the ‘if it ain’t broke, why fix it?’ philosophy. Additionally, whenever new technology is introduced into an organisation, it comes with an associated fear factor.

Businesses need to do more to listen to these concerns but also to educate agents about the potential benefits of the new technology in helping them perform their role. Indeed, smart organisations will work transparently and openly with agents to look at how the technology can be used to make their job better. Ultimately, it has to be about empowering the agent, rather than focusing on the mechanics of finding the information the customer is looking for.

Agents can gain from the enhanced training capability on offer; businesses can use this approach to capture the kinds of phrases or behaviours used by best-performing agents or sales staff and build this into the coaching and helping engines to benefit contact centre and customer service staff as a whole. This kind of ‘hand in glove’ harmony between man and machine is critical in this context.

When businesses get it right, it can enhance the agent’s working life as well as benefiting the business and the end customer. Get all that right and businesses stand to improve their compliance position, enhance employee engagement – and drive up customer satisfaction into the bargain.

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