Ready to unlock your contact centre team’s potential with conversation intelligence? We have gathered 18 best practices for using automation to enhance customer experiences and achieve high-value business targets.
Customers stick around and spread the word when they’re happy. That’s what every business needs to keep the gears in motion and success at hand. So why do a vast number of companies get customer service so wrong? According to studies, 80% of organisations rate their customer experiences as exceptional, while only 8% of customers share this notion.
Industry leaders are turning to AI technology and data analysis to address this disconnect, not only to fix what’s broken but to better understand evolving customer desires. And where better to concentrate these strategic efforts than the contact centre? This hub connects you to customers and abundant actionable data. Learn how to confidently implement conversation intelligence in your call centre with our practical guide.
What is conversation intelligence?
In short, it’s a practice that uses natural language processing (NLP), machine learning, and data mining to analyse conversations, understand words and phrases, identify patterns, find relationships, and derive nuggets of insight from text and speech conversations.
How conversation intelligence benefits the contact centre?
Meet Amy, a customer support manager at a growing financial services company. With thousands of customer calls coming in daily, Amy’s team struggled to balance high-quality service and fast response times. After using conversation intelligence software, Amy and her team noticed several improvements:
- Pinpointing recurring customer pain points – The team proactively addressed trending issues and created knowledge-based articles for quicker resolutions.
- Improved coaching – Amy used conversation analytics to identify coaching opportunities for her customer support agents and create personalised training plans.
- Enhanced customer experiences – Insights helped the team tailor their responses to be more empathetic and individualised. These tools also flagged at-risk customers using sentiment analysis and helped the team take steps to retain them.
- Better workflows and decision-making – Conversation intelligence software streamlined workflows by exposing bottlenecks in the support process. Amy made data-driven decisions to optimise the allocation of resources and reduce response times.
This is just the beginning. Here’s how you can incorporate AI tools to build a thriving business, starting with your call centre.
1. Set clear and relevant objectives and KPIs
Before diving into data analysis and embracing new tech, it’s crucial to ask: What specific outcomes do you want to achieve through your conversation intelligence efforts?
Begin with a strong foundation
- Specific goals will guide small or major customer-experience teams
- These KPIs would include reducing call resolution times, enhancing customer satisfaction, or optimising agent performance
Consider where your business stands
- An accurate assessment of your current position relative to these goals is vital
- This baseline data is instrumental in gauging your goal’s realism and finding the strategies to attain them
2. Involve stakeholders from the start
Getting buy-in and diverse opinions from all teams impacted by your strategy will start it off strong.
- When everyone is on board, implementation becomes more realistic, increasing the likelihood of achieving outcomes
- This collaborative effort translates into sharper insights and continuous improvement in customer interactions
3. Track keyword usage across calls
Use conversation intelligence software to sift through the data and detect words or phrases of interest no matter how high your call volumes. The machine learning mechanisms in AI tools can illuminate trends in your customer conversations if you aren’t sure where to look.
Use depth and breadth keyword analysis
- Zoom in for details or take a wide-angle view of trends
- In keyword tracking and analysis, balance is key for that ‘Aha!’ moment
- This approach helps the contact centre and guides your entire business
For example, spotting “user-friendly” mentions can shape your marketing strategy. While it’s vital to monitor and analyse 100% of customer interactions, you can also dive deeper into emerging trends by selecting a subset of calls with similar traits and conducting a thorough analysis of them.
4. Select relevant conversation segments
Instead of trying to analyse every customer interaction at once, select conversation segments that focus on specifics in line with your company’s goals. These could be sales calls or customer support interactions. You’ll gain more targeted and insightful analysis, enabling you to pinpoint patterns and improvement opportunities.
Focus on tailored objectives
- Customise conversation intelligence for precise needs
- Analyse sales calls to boost conversions and engagement for sales-driven objectives
This targeted approach saves time and resources, and also provides a clearer path to actionable insights, helping you make data-driven decisions to forge your operational success path.
5. Train agents using real conversations
Conversation intelligence tools also present excellent training opportunities. From managing dissatisfied customers to helping them with outstanding service, your team gains context-rich coaching and a host of real interaction benefits.
How to Enhance Agent Training with Customer Calls
- Collect diverse, role-relevant conversations.
- Utilise conversation intelligence software for insights, trends, and resolutions.
- Foster interactive learning and discussions.
- Provide specific, insightful feedback.
- Update training content based on evolving customer insights.
- Establish an ongoing feedback loop for continuous improvement.
6. Embrace continuous learning
How can an ongoing commitment to learning turbocharge your call centre? By empowering your team to stay adaptable, customer-focused, and efficient.
Update analytical models
- These are structured frameworks and algorithms used to process and analyse data from interactions
- Regularly update your analytical models to keep your conversation intelligence efforts effective
- It’s essential to refine your models to capture changes in customer behaviour accurately
7. Collaborate with experts to move the needle in your conversation intelligence strategy
Form partnerships with AI and data experts to gain deeper insights and discover new opportunities in your customer interactions through pattern and trend identification.
How AI and data professionals can help
- They can fine-tune algorithms, ensuring they accurately capture nuances in customer interactions
- They can help you obtain precise insights and recommendations for your contact centre to act on
8. Ensure data privacy compliance
In the UK alone, it’s reported that 31% of businesses are victims of cyber attacks at least once a week.2 Customer details are often exposed during these attacks, and it hurts businesses both in the pocket and consumer opinion. More than good practice—it’s a legal and ethical obligation that you invest in stringent data protection protocols.
Stay informed about data security laws such as the Data Protection Act, or other industry-specific standards. Compliance with these regulations is non-negotiable.
Data security with your conversation intelligence platform
- Regularly engage with your conversation intelligence solution providers to understand how data security regulations may affect the platform
- It’s important that the AI software you opt for prioritises data security just as highly as you do
9. Optimise insights with customer segmentation
Breaking down customer data into meaningful fragments can help you understand your customers and tailor your conversation intelligence strategies accordingly. Get started on segmentation using these best practices:
Smart categorisation for maximum value
- Divvy up the data based on demographics, purchase history, or behaviour patterns
- This deepens your grasp of diverse customer groups and their unique needs
Target enhancements through insights
- Tweak marketing efforts according to customer segment product and service preferences
- Direct your caller support teams to address specific concerns, thereby efficiently allocating resources while making a meaningful impact on your customers
10. Bridge gaps in customer expectations
Consider how many calls customer-facing teams work through every day. How do their managers and leaders ensure they’re equipped with the knowledge and training to best deal with every call? It’s easy to understand why AI monitoring and analysis software has become such a popular solution in closing the customer service gap.
Use conversation intelligence to detect service faults and tailor training
- Gather customer feedback and actively monitor satisfaction metrics
- Target improvements using conversation intelligence tools to analyse interactions and identify areas where expectations and delivery don’t align
- Using the call insights, employee training can be optimised so that future interactions are handled correctly with reduced effort and time
11. Leverage data-driven insights to drive sales
While all of these best practices impact your business’s bottom line, none do so more directly than using insights to promote sales in a smarter, not harder way. Here’s how you can leverage this tactic in your overall conversation intelligence strategy:
Craft personalised sales pitches
- Use customer insights to build a database of purchasing behaviours and preferences
- Create personalised sales suggestions based on this database
Whether you’re proposing complementary services, upgrades, or relevant add-ons, personalised suggestions enhance engagement and upend lacklustre sales dynamics
Boost upselling success
- Tailored suggestions aligning with customers’ needs and interactions can drive upsells
- This not only boosts the chances of selling higher-value offerings but also enhances the overall brand experience
12. Monitor compliance and quality
Contact centres are a hotbed for compliance and risk-related issues. The wrong turn of phrase, while innocent, can open your business to litigation and a litany of PR problems. Conversation intelligence software helps both the business and the customer by monitoring 100% of calls and flagging potential risks. Here’s how you can put it to practical use:
Initiate automated monitoring systems
- Using conversation intelligence tools, you can ensure strict adherence to regulatory and internal policies and check customer understanding
- These tools allow you to hone in on conversations and promptly flag risky keywords (or phrases) to guarantee compliance in every interaction
Maintain high-quality standards
- Regularly evaluate agent-customer interactions to assess communication skills, problem-resolution methods, and adherence to company policies
- This meticulous take isn’t just about identifying improvement areas—it’s also about acknowledging and rewarding excellence
13. Personalise customer interactions
Leveraging insights obtained through conversation intelligence, you can customise the entire customer journey, beyond product suggestions or emails. These are two vital elements to create a highly personalised customer experience:
Data-driven tailoring for a personal touch
- Collect data on preferences, past interactions, and needs to tailor your approach
- Address customers by their name, acknowledge past interactions, or suggest products/services based on their history
AI-driven sentiment analysis for customer insights
- Grasping your customers’ brand perception can help you deliver superior experiences
- AI algorithms drive sentiment analysis, pinpointing and categorising customer emotions in voice interactions
- This analysis gives contact centres the upper hand when customising experiences with agility
14. Predict and prevent escalations
While it’s impossible to predict tomorrow’s events, data-driven tactics can get businesses pretty close. Using AI algorithms, machine learning, and statistical models, predictive analytics expands on data to offer real-time insights into upcoming customer behaviour.
Employing these practices will help you deliver another clean sweep in the conversation intelligence strategy:
Don’t wait for concerns to blow up
- Use call listening and data analysis to listen keenly, grasp customer needs, and swiftly solve problems
- This prevents small issues from snowballing, saving time, and resources, and vastly improving the customer experience
Prevent escalations by seeing the patterns
- Dive into historical data to spot common triggers or signs hinting at potential issues
- Armed with this insight, you can implement strategies to defuse tension, provide agent training, or tweak processes to curb these patterns
15. Foster knowledge sharing
It’s unlikely that your contact-centre employees will see the full impact of conversation intelligence if they aren’t sharing what they learn in their day-to-day duties. For the purpose of your specific conversation intelligence strategy, you may want to designate a knowledge-sharing champion or two. This individual (or individuals) will be tasked with utilising AI tools to surface, gather, and broadcast learnings. Here’s how you can promote this practice in your business:
Encourage insights sharing
- Motivate and incentivise call centre agents to share their insights and experiences
- Initiate regular debriefings, team huddles, and accessible channels for experience-sharing.
Cultivate a culture of collective improvement
- Sharing skills and communicating findings promotes a shared purpose and breaks down silos
- This collaboration leads to potent problem-solving and strengthens team bonds
16. Promote customer-centric improvements
This best practice hinges on amplifying the customer’s voice in decision-making. It’s all about surfacing and using customer feedback to drive enhancements. Here are a few best practices to build customer centricity into your conversation intelligence plan of action:
Leverage feedback to polish your strategy
- Gather and attentively listen to customer feedback using conversation intelligence software to uncover the good, the pain points, and development areas
- Use easy post-interaction surveys to gather insights and enhance customer experience.
- Prioritise the customer to refine services, elevate the call centre experience, and boost conversions
Align with customer needs
- Leveraging conversation intelligence and its data processing features, you can tune into evolving customer expectations by uncovering market trends
- This allows your call centre to adapt strategies and offerings, and ensure they consistently meet and surpass customer needs
17. Track agent performance trends
Tracking agent performance is no longer time-consuming or fraught with vague information and micro-management. Conversation intelligence can be used to scale coaching through automated call scoring using an AI model fit for your business. These tools also cancel out the potential for bias with objective overviews that focus on important support metrics. Ensure it’s effectively implemented:
Monitor KPI progress continuously
- From call resolution times and customer satisfaction ratings to protocol adherence, this data-driven strategy unveils performance trends, highlighting strengths and growth opportunities
- It paves the way for timely interventions and proactive support
Assess coaching effectiveness
- It’s imperative to evaluate coaching programmes and align them with performance goals
- Analyse agent progress over time and correlate it with coaching activities to identify the most effective guidance methods
- With this insight, managers can refine coaching strategies and provide support attuned to each agent
18. Celebrate success stories with smart contact-centre tools
Finally, your conversation intelligence strategy should emphasise wins by shining a spotlight on agent successes using conversation intelligence. Use these triumphs to recognise and motivate your teams.
Team satisfaction drives your success
- AI empowers agents to focus on what really matters, which enhances job satisfaction and mitigates call centre burnout
- This approach also lowers employee turnover, ensuring a skilled and dedicated agent workforce that greatly benefits your overall operations
How Voyc AI can help your contact centre
How do you analyse and use data in your contact centre?
With our customer intelligence platform, we empower customer experience teams to provide consistency and care in every interaction. We can help you bridge the trust gap between your business and customers. Beyond leading technology, we offer swift, efficient support and quick configuration. Embrace the new wave in customer service tools for a significant improvement in interactions, operational efficiency, and compliance. Get started with Voyc today.
- Bain & Company (Nd.)
- The Independent (May 31, 2023).