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Respected analyst firm Ventana Research is conducting a survey on The State of Customer Analytics. Help Ventana collect data on this topic. Access the survey here:


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Using Analytics to Optimize Customer-Related Activities and Processes


Today’s intense competition requires companies to know as much as they can about their customers in order to anticipate their needs and serve them better. Implementing initiatives such as customer experience, price and profitability optimization, contact center optimization and risk mitigation requires analytics and technology. This benchmark research is designed to examine the state of the art in customer analytics to determine how organizations can improve through a range of best practices and technology-driven improvements.
Are You Qualified? The survey for this benchmark research is designed for customer-, call center- and contact center-related business and IT managers connected with managing or operating any customer-related activities, offering outsourced contact center services or involved with the purchasing of technology for this area. Solution providers, software vendors, consultants, media and systems integrators may participate in the survey, but they are not eligible for incentives and their input will be used only if they meet the qualifications. Incentives are provided to qualified participants in the research and also are conditional on provision of accurate and verifiable contact information including company name and company email address that can be used for fulfillment of incentives.
What’s In It For You? Upon completion of the research, all qualified participants will receive a report on the findings of this benchmark research to support their organization’s efforts, along with a $25 gift certificate. In addition, all qualified participants will be entered into a drawing to win one of 25 benchmark research reports and a 30-minute consultation, a package valued at US$1,495 or €1,232. Thank you for your participation!

Product User Forums

One of the biggest challenge businesses face in providing better customer service is truly understanding their customers. Figuring out why customers are reaching out and what drives their decisions, behavior, and opinions of your brand are crucial to long-term success. To create a positive customer experience, not just before and during the sale, but after the sale as well, you need to listen to your customer during every conversation.


Speech Analytics lets you harness the power of voice of the customer insights by enabling you to automate the monitoring, categorization, tagging and scoring of all interactions with customers – whether they happen on the phone, email, chat or social. Doing so can give you a deeper understanding of why customers reach out, what frustrations they are experiencing and what they need from you.


These articles outlines how speech analytics provides voice of the customer insights to improve customer service.


360-Degree View of Customers

Many companies only analyze a small portion of customer service interactions – typically less than 3%. Unless you analyze every interaction it is not possible to get a full view into the voice of the customer. By capturing and analyzing all interactions, you are better able to identify the root cause of issues, thereby improving first call resolution and customer satisfaction.  Analyzing customer service interactions across channels provides a complete picture of the entire customer journey, not just the latest episode.


Resolve Issues on the First Call

Multiple calls to resolve an issue negatively impacts the customer experience and the perception of your brand. That’s why, for many companies, the ultimate customer service goal is to resolve issues on the first interaction. When that doesn’t happen, it’s essential to understand why customers keep calling back. Whether your customers are experiencing problems with a product or billing, the faster you can understand their issue the quicker you can address it.


Speech analytics can easily aggregate information from all customer interactions with all your agents to identify positive and negative trends. For example, if many customers contact you because they are having similar issues with assembling a product, perhaps the instructions aren’t clear. Or, if several customers are confused about a new wireless offer, the promotional messaging may need to be revised. Discovering these trends and issues quicker, means they can be fixed faster.


Sometimes it isn’t a product or a service that is causing the biggest grief for your customer.  It might actually be a process that is hindering your ability to resolve the actual issue they called about in the first place.  By using the rich metadata (agent, group, line of business, customer identifier, IVR path, etc.), Speech Analytics can identify that the way a call is being routed is creating customer dissatisfaction, allowing you to fix the problem quickly and easily.


Improve Customer Satisfaction

Great customer service can set your business apart from the competition. That’s why it is so important to evaluate customer satisfaction on every interaction. Speech analytics looks for particular words or phrases that signify a very unhappy or angry customer. It can also be used pinpoint clients you’re at risk of losing, allowing you to probe further regarding their concern so that you can provide a solution to retain them.


Understand Non-Speech and Leverage Sentiment Analysis  

A famous study conducted by Professor Mehrabrain of UCLA back in 1971 concluded that only 7% of communication is verbal. The findings also revealed that 38% of communication is more about the way people speak as opposed to the actual words spoken.  Speech Analytics can actually measure the relative emotion of a customer with automated sentiment analysis by combining both the acoustic characteristics of the voice (stress, level of agitation, volume, rate of speech) and the context of a conversation.  This enables companies to identify words, phrases and sentiment to gain insights on customer attitudes on products, services, campaigns, etc.,


As noted in a Call Centre Helper article, call centers can “leverage automated sentiment analysis to identify and measure broad areas of concern,” the article states. “With this bigger picture, sentiment analysis helps the organization to uncover repeated patterns that may be indicative of broken systemic processes, or that may be related to the performance of a specific department or representative.”


Provide Better Coaching for Better Outcomes

Bringing all of these insights together shows you how the customer feels during their conversations and assigns a customer satisfaction score. If you see a relatively high number of low satisfaction scores, you know you need to work with your staff to deliver better service.


Speech analytics identifies what and where the gaps are – whether they are with a single agent, group of agents or a specific location. In addition, it identifies your top performers – those who resolve issues quickly leading to high customer satisfaction scores. Through analysis you can uncover the specific language that is used and then use these real-life scenarios to train and coach the rest of your staff.


Proper Fielding

When you offer more than one channels of communication, you’ll find that similar types of customers use certain ones. Comparing which type of customers use the phone versus live chat versus email, helps you assign the best representatives to take care of each. Analyzing performance on all calls also helps you understand which agents handle which issues best. When you can pair the best representative with the right type of customer with the type right issues they are best at resolving, customer satisfaction rates increase because customers get the answers they need when they want them.



Taking the time to understand your customers is easier today than ever before. By tracking voice of the customer insights using speech analytics, you’ll know what they expect from your brand, how they perceive you, and what issues they have that need to be resolved. Armed with these insights you can dramatically improve the service you provide to your customers. 


What issues are you able to resolve with voice of the customer insights?



Silence: The Truest Expression of Scorn

There is a common misconception that the rise of the Internet, social media, live chat software, and text messaging mean the phone call is slowly dying. The truth is phone calls account for 68% of all customer communications which means properly training representatives is still a critical aspect of your business success.


Some businesses struggle to keep up with the rising number of electronic requests and customers suffer from longer wait times. That is why phone calls continue to be a front-runner in how customers contact businesses. Customers want answers now, and social media, live chat, and text messaging communication don’t always allow for that. Phone calls give customers the chance to talk to a live person and get their concerns resolved immediately.


Dead Air is Deadly

What happens when a customer contacts your business expecting answers and the only thing they hear is silence. Long moments of silence or dead air can be deadly to your customer relationships and credibility. Thirty seconds doesn’t sound like a lot, but to your customer, it’s too long. In that time, the customer’s confidence in your business quickly fizzles leaving them unsatisfied.


Many times, call representatives don’t even realize there is silence because they are engrossed in their screen trying to find a solution. The difference between the representative and customer is that one knows what is happening and the other doesn’t.


Speech Analytics Software

Often, business owners and managers don’t realize they have a problem with silence on customer service calls. The best way to pinpoint if this is a problem and where it is happening and why, is with speech analytics software.


Speech analytics software captures call information and data from 100% of your phone calls. It transcribes all of the details into a searchable database. Businesses set categories and tags so that they can easily search for certain words, the tone of voice, and silent pauses. Once you are actively using a speech analytics solution, you will be able to identify if silence is a problem you need to fix.


Once you have a speech analytics solution in place, supervisors can review transcripts and recordings at the exact points in the conversation where there is silence. This will uncover the root cause of the silence so that it can be addressed. Speech analytics also analyzes trends across all calls from an agent and all calls from all agents.

Is there a common reason? Is there a certain representative struggling or multiple? How do the customers react to the silence? Use this information to help your representatives provide better service moving forward.


Ways to Fix Silence

Here are five common techniques to consider when trying to reduce or eliminate silence on your customer service phone calls.


1. Prompt the customer.

Letting the customer know that there will be a brief moment of silence or hold time keeps them from thinking the representative disappeared. In most cases, customers just want to know you hear them and are working to fix their issue.


2. Use a call-holding feature.

If the call representative needs to complete a task that takes longer than twenty seconds, consider placing the caller on hold. This works especially well if your phone system plays music or pre-recorded messages for those on hold. Hearing something eliminates the awkwardness that comes with complete silence.


3. Provide scripts to representatives.

Create scripts that call center representatives can use to encourage communicating during down times. A list of appropriate small talk questions can help representatives break the ice and build a rapport with customers.


4. Explain what is happening.

Empower representatives to explain what they are doing while the customer is on hold. If they are researching or pulling up a new screen, let them share that. This way the customers know the representative is actively taking steps to solve their problem.


5. Educate call representatives.

The last thing to look at is if your call representatives need more education on products, services, or how to solve customer problems. Provide weekly or monthly training for representatives struggling with certain topics. Giving them the tools they need in the beginning goes a long way in turning upset customers into satisfied customers.


“Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn” according to George Bernard Shaw. There is no truer statement when it comes to customer experience. If customers call wanting answers and hear nothing from the representative, they will take it as a sign of disrespect for their time and their business. When that happens, you lose customers and revenue.  Minimizing silence is possible when you know what is causing it. Take a look at your speech analytics data to review, prioritize, and make a plan to get rid of unnecessary silence.



More than 90% of unhappy customers will never choose to do repeat business with you. But, 95% will if you fix their complaint instantly according to Lee Resource, Inc. As a smart business owner or manager, your priority needs to be creating satisfied customers.


In today’s customer-focused business world, that means you need to view customers as the boss.  At the very least, focus on their concerns and satisfaction. Highly satisfied customers become another sales arm for your business. How? Happy customers are more willing to refer others, leave reviews, and generate a buzz about their experience with your business. Unhappy customers can be deadly to your business spreading negativity and refusing to return.

Take a look at your current goals. Are they focused on creating happy customers? Are they focused on driving growth? If it’s the latter, to see success, you will need to build a customer-centric plan to achieve growth. The first step in the process is to track customer satisfaction.


What is Customer Satisfaction?

Customer satisfaction is often used to gauge how well a business delivers on customer expectations. While most businesses want to know how satisfied their customers are, the majority don’t track their success. A customer satisfaction score gives businesses insight into what customers expect, where the business is failing, and how to make it right.


What metrics really matter in customer satisfaction scores?

There is a never-ending list of metrics you can track.  But do they all actually tell you if a customer is satisfied? Some only touch the surface of customer’s view and thoughts, leaving you to think they are happy when they’re not. It’s important to establish a set of criteria that digs deep and lets you see the underlying measures of customer satisfaction.

Here are our top five metrics that give you the answers you need to build a better customer experience, improve satisfaction rates, and grow your business.


1. Customer feedback.

Your customers hold the information you need, and it makes sense to ask them to share this information. Make it part of every customer conversation to ask if the customer is satisfied with the outcome of the call, live chat, e-mail, or text conversation. Your service representatives can ask for this information, and you can create automatic surveys for the customer to receive when the conversation comes to an end.

Don’t limit measuring customer satisfaction based on customer-initiated communication. Create a process where a sales representative reaches out to customers 30 days after purchase. Being proactive increases the authenticity of your customer satisfaction score so it’s not skewed by high call-in rates.


2. What is the response time to inquiries?

When customers reach out to your business, they expect a response that answers their questions. In some cases, they expect a near-instant reply. Measuring call wait times along with response times to emails, live chat, etc. shows you exactly what the customers experience is when they contact you.  Long response or call waiting times typically mean the customer will be less satisfied with the outcome.


3. Call trends.

Every customer has unique needs. When they contact your business, it’s not to make small talk. Tracking why customers contact you gives you as part of your process gives you access to information to identify customer trends. Train your representatives to tag conversations with the reason. Consistently review these tags to determine common trends.  If customers only reach for negative reasons, your customer satisfaction scores will suffer. It’s important to take proactive steps to fix negative trends and keep your customers onboard.


4. Net promoter score.

A net promoter score (NPS) measures how willing the customer is to recommend you to others. Those willing to recommend you to others are typically satisfied with your products or services.

It’s an easy question to include when you ask if they are satisfied with the outcome. It lets customers rate you on a scale of 0-10 and then determines which are promoters and which are not. Calculating your net promoter score gives you the opportunity to find out what non-promoters need to become promoters.


5. First call resolution rates.

First call resolution rates is one of the most important metric to track in your business. How many customer calls are resolved on the first contact? How many require a call back to the customer? How many result in multiple follow-up calls from the customer until they get the answer they want. Customers that don’t get their questions or complaint resolved on the first call are less likely to be satisfied with your business.


Speech and customer engagement analytics can help you track all five metrics of customer satisfaction. Analyzing 100% of conversations, whether they happen over the phone, email, webchat or social provides actionable data on first call resolution, net promoter scores, response times and trends and other metrics that are important to your business. 



Understanding every layer of the customer’s thought process is the key to tracking and improving customer satisfaction. Highly satisfied customers are less likely to take their business elsewhere which means you generate more revenue with increased sales and fewer marketing expenses. Use these five metrics to make sure you have an accurate picture of your customer satisfaction score.


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