Today, voice is a critical data set for the digital transformation of both private and public sector businesses. It holds much more value than any other means of communication because it conveys context, sentiment, intent, emotion and actions, providing real and actionable intelligence.
Recent research* shows that more than three quarters (76 per cent) of CIOs and tech specialists believe that a ‘Voice First’ strategy will be in place within less than five years, showing a clear shift towards recognising the value of the spoken word. Despite this, fewer than half (49 per cent) of organisation-wide conversations are being captured, suggesting limitations with current call recording solutions and set up. Furthermore, the majority of that data is inaccessible, with more than half (51 per cent) of captured data being locked away.
IT leaders within the enterprise are clearly missing a trick with regards to what they could be getting from their voice data. Businesses who collect voice data but do not tap into these insights are missing out on information that can provide real organisational intelligence and drive valuable business outcomes.
Additionally, only 8 per cent of CIOs and IT Decision Makers claim the voice data their organisations capture is easily accessible for use in AI engines and for analytics. This is another unfortunate oversight as transcription is now sophisticated enough to allow voice data to be accessed without having to listen to each captured conversation individually - a laborious task that for some has thankfully been assigned to the history books. An organisation’s ability to harness analytics is intrinsically linked to the data that fuels it and with 92 per cent of organisations capturing voice data and doing little to make use of it, data centres are holding silos of valuable information that may never be acted upon. This is a significant missed opportunity, as many businesses work to analyse organisational efficiencies, yet overlook this minefield of voice data that is sitting, untapped, in their data centres.
Properly utilising data
Why are so many businesses not fully analysing voice data? Oftentimes, that voice data is inaccessible because it is not collected in one place. It is tangled in a mix of on-premise and in-cloud systems which are often disconnected from the stakeholders that can properly utilise that data. Moreover, most organisations are not making a conscious effort to collect conversations from across the entire business; our research has shown that only half of those surveyed say their organisations are capturing all conversations.
How can enterprises ensure that all of the voice data they house is being properly utilised? First, they should consider investing in vendors with an open API approach that gives enterprises flexibility when accessing their data. That way, enterprises can feed voice data into the tools and applications of their choice without tying them to one provider. This could include a wide range of tools - including CRM, compliance, business intelligence, AI and analytics, or even custom-built applications.
The IT infrastructure of any organisation should be looked at critically to ensure it is working as efficiently as possible. For data-driven organisations, it is imperative they take a close look at how they are storing, using, and not using voice data. With such a large proportion of surveyed organisations failing to take full advantage of the voice data they capture, this is a task that nearly all enterprises should undertake.
Data is a valuable resource for any forward-thinking organisation, as anyone who’s read about big data in the last few years knows. Proper data management should include more than just storing it securely, but also accessing and analysing that data to gain deeper insights that can affect real business change. For example, wealth managers are required by law to write up a report of each interaction with a customer. If your system automatically provides an accurate transcript of the call, the productivity gains are vast. In addition, the content is richer than if you’d written the report yourself, providing greater insight and more accurate information. Fewer errors leads to great customer satisfaction.
Gaining competitive advantages
Additional analysis on these conversations can also pinpoint optimal lead conversion points, provide insights around objection handling and identify what offers or promotions are working best to help guide staff training and coaching.
As our data shows, this is a race to see who can make the most of their voice data and obtain true competitive advantage. For example, when it comes to customer service, voice data is critical. For those unaware of the potential benefit, or currently unwilling or unable to capture and analyse this data set, there is a significant opportunity being missed.
One particularly difficult data point to discern when analysing information is sentiment. As technology advances, sentiment analysis is now something that can be accurately analysed from voice data, without taking an unreasonable amount of time. Sarcasm, skepticism, and other emotions are difficult to obtain by simply reading transcriptions. However, if the recording of the conversation is available and not just a transcription, it is significantly easier to understand the subjective context of what is being said. This allows for a more accurate analysis, and benefits the bottom line of any organisation looking to improve processes.
Improving the quality and cost-efficiency of the customer service department should be a priority for any forward-thinking organisation. As technology advances to allow for more capabilities around analysing the data from the customer service department, organisations should make sure they are collecting and storing this data properly to take full advantage of the presented opportunity - with information that is already there, untapped.
As the recent survey exemplifies, organisations that make the most of their voice data for the departments that need it the most are poised to gain a significant competitive advantage. By understanding the AI tools customers want to leverage, the data required to feed them, and the platform to connect them together, we will unlock additional revenue streams, increase customer satisfaction, and fully maximise the untapped potential of voice.
*Survey conducted by Sapio Research for Red Box, asking 588 IT Directors or C-level executives responsible for IT across UK, US and Singapore
Richard Stevenson, CEO, Red Box