ICMI is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Do Speech Analytics Tools Change Agent Behavior?

As analytics and Big Data tools have become more advanced and ubiquitous, increasing numbers of contact centers are using them to increase both productivity and revenue. It’s true that speech and interaction analytics provide a way for a contact center to harness the latent power of all its unstructured data and find some surprised insights into business processes, but the question remains: how effective are these tools at changing agent behavior? The short answer: extremely effective. From helping agents perform more efficiently, giving them practical guides, and, ultimately, to providing real-time help, speech analytics have the potential to positively impact contact center agents across industries. Below are three key areas where contact center agents, and the center as a whole, can reap the benefits of speech and interaction analytics.

Create More Efficient Agents and Business Processes

Through the use of speech analytics, contact center agents have the potential to become far more efficient when working with customers. As data is amassed and analyzed, contact centers can begin to see what methods work best and which ones need to be altered. A center that has the ability to analyze the entire population of interactions will have a much more holistic understanding of the issues most likely to plague a contact center, such as repeat callers or dissatisfaction leading to customer churn. As a company learns of the pain points along a customer’s journey, it can begin to provide proactive coaching of its contact center agents to ensure that an issue is resolved, to the customer’s expectations, the first time that customer calls. While this approach to handling customer interactions might mean slightly longer call times, it also means far fewer repeat interactions and happier customers, making the entire operation much more efficient and effective over time. The effective use of speech analytics puts agents at the center of a much more efficient organizational ecosystem. As companies learn more about the issues that they need to deal with, agents are provided with the information they need in order to manage calls as efficiently and effectively as possible, resulting in increased agent performance and happier customers overall.

Design Useful and Accurate Agent Evaluations 

The use of “traditional” post-call evaluation (prior to speech and interaction analytics) as a training tool has a track record that is spotty at best. Pinpointing specific examples where an agent could improve was inexact and time consuming, and many bad habits simply went unnoticed. Five calls evaluated per agent per month is quite simply not enough analysis to get the job done.  Speech analytics provides a mechanism for contact centers to quickly review an agent’s entire call log, find the exact areas most needing improvement, and build a training plan based off of that information, off of a complete picture of the agent’s performance on all of their calls. Beyond even that, however, an integrated agent dashboard can allow an agent to see what areas they are doing well in, which behaviors they can improve, and how they compare to their colleagues. The result is a contact center that is peopled by agents that have the ability to monitor their own work and compare their own performance to their goals, taking control of the steps needed to progress and owning their own performance. Using these same analysis techniques, contact centers can also identify and quantify the best practices of the top performing agents and turn those actions into metrics for others to use.  With quantified goals in hand, the agents that need the most help can better pinpoint the areas where they need the most training and, as a result, put themselves in a much better position to succeed.  Through these business-driven metrics representing the complete performance of each agent, combined with accurate and timely agent evaluations, contact centers will find that they are creating more consistent and positive agent behavior across the board.

Monitor and React in Real-Time

Throughout the process of refining agents’ behavior through speech analytics, companies have the opportunity to learn a lot about what issues their agents face as they try to best serve each end customer. In some of these cases, before-the-fact training and after-the-fact coaching may not be sufficient to enable the agents to reach their full potential.  In these cases, what they also need is coaching and assistance while the call is in progress.  Speech analytics enable centers to identify these types of opportunities.  Once identified, contact centers can create processes and procedures that utilize real-time speech analytics and monitoring to provide the support the agents need while the calls are still in progress. 

Real-time analytics allows the agent to make better decisions on a range of issues while the calls is till in progress.  By taking advantage of the information gleaned from speech and interaction analytics, agents can be alerted when specific issues arise – and what to do about it.  This process can range from guiding an agent through a script for a predetermined sales process to using a newly refined troubleshooting method. From a compliance standpoint, real-time monitoring and analytics can alert the agent to potential breaches in compliance practices, giving them the opportunity to fix the issue before the call completes, potentially saving the company millions in fines.

The result is a contact center full of agents that are more responsive and in a better position to help the end customers. In addition, as they work through the suggested real-time alerts, they are learning how to better handle future calls of a similar nature.


Bottom line: The potential for speech and interaction analytics to affect positive and effective change in agent behavior is massive. When used correctly, speech analytics can provide not only a window into the areas of contact centers that need the most attention, but also help guide the way towards a radically more efficient and effective center. The good news is that the answers the contact centers are seeking are already there, hidden away in the already-recorded interaction data. The next step, then, is to unlock the potential of your agents through the power of speech and interaction analytics.