Lawson Concepts

Speech Analytics: Out of the swamp and into the board room

“I don’t understand how my organization can use speech analytics.”

This a statement I hear often from those who don't have speech analytics… In fact, I even hear it from some who do. Speech analytics has the potential to transform an organization and its relationships with customers, but organizations seldom harness its power to make that happen. The reason is the journey to speech often begins without adequate planning, preparation and understanding of how to use the technology.

Typically, speech neophytes start off by using it to grab low-hanging-fruit issues in an attempt to show ROI. After this fruit is picked, they run out of quick-hit ideas and get bogged down in what to tackle next.

Here's what I hear:

  • “We got speech analytics with our upgrade, but have never used it.”
  • “We have speech, but the person responsible for it left the company and we don’t use it anymore.”
  • “The executive sponsor who implemented speech didn’t share the vision with anyone and has since left, so nobody knows what to do with it.”
  • “My boss told me to start using speech analytics and make it work, but I have no idea where to begin, even after reading the user guide.”

Speech analytics isn’t "just" software. Rather, think about it as an innovative methodology that can alter the way we think about solving problems. At least, it has that potential, but newbies get caught up in their limited definition of what constitutes a "problem". Invariably, when I've asked organizations, “What’s your definition of a problem?” the answer I receive is, “A problem with customers.”

While speech analytics can solve some customer problems, restricting ourselves only to customer problems devalues its potential. Until we see "problems" as more than just customer issues, we won't leverage the power of speech analytics to solve many other types of enterprise problems. Once this concept sinks in, it will open up a whole new world to you, and speech analytics will become the first tool to reach for – whether it’s a large scale project or quality monitoring.

If you’re new to speech analytics and are beginning to assemble a vision, but aren’t sure how speech fits into your organization, then don’t miss my session, “Talk It Up: Speech Analytic Quality for Neophytes” at the 2015 ICUC conference in Salt Lake City. I hope to see you there, and we’ll have some fun learning about what speech can do for your organization.

About the author: Chris Lawson is Managing Partner at Lawson Concepts and will be presenting at ICUC 2015.