Contact-center-as-a-service (CCaaS) platforms help businesses automate and ease the processing of customer inquiries. Critical to this functionality is automatic speech recognition, or ASR, which converts speech into written text so that a computer can understand what was said. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how CCaaS companies use speech-to-text solutions and what benefits they provide, as well as how ASR tools fit in and the benefits they provide for CCaaS platforms. But before we get started-what exactly does “contact center as a service” mean?
What is a Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)?
Contact center as a service refers to a SaaS-based application that provides management and analytics to contact centers. These tools are typically multichannel, providing ways of managing text chat, phone calls with agents, and even conversational AI solutions for customers to solve their own problems. These solutions provide intelligent contact center automation, built on a backbone of speech-to-text solutions. Using CCaaS platforms offers many benefits for business, including flexible delivery of customer service, analytics and insights based on industry best practices, and access to advanced contact center features and technologies that a company might not be able to provide if they built their own contact center software.
One of the most important technologies for CCaaS platforms is ASR, or automatic speech recognition. This technology allows contact center agents to quickly and easily handle customer inquiries without the need for human intervention. ASR solutions are the foundation of services that do things like route calls, provide customer support, and transcribe call recordings, which are commonly included as part of a CCaaS offering. Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits that CCaaS solutions offer before turning to an understanding of how ASR can support them.
Why are CCaaS Solutions so Beneficial?
As noted above, there are a lot of benefits that companies can get from using CCaaS platforms. Let’s look in-depth at some of the major benefits of CCaaS solutions that are powered by ASR for contact centers.
Lower IT Costs
Lower IT costs are one of the main benefits of CCaaS providers. By effectively “outsourcing” contact center operations to a CCaaS software platform, businesses can avoid the high costs associated with setting up and maintaining their own contact center infrastructure. In addition, these platforms often offer state-of-the-art tools (like AI-powered ASR) that would be time-consuming and expensive for companies to build in-house.
Improved Customer Satisfaction
CCaaS platforms allow companies to provide their customers with a better service experience by providing the ability to route calls more efficiently and provide accurate transcriptions of call recordings. For example, Sharpen uses Deepgram’s ASR solution to identify training and coaching opportunities for their agents, improving customer experience and satisfaction.
Call Tracking and Analytics
CCaaS companies can also provide businesses with advanced call tracking and analytics. Businesses can get detailed information about their callers beyond just caller location, call duration, and call frequency. For example, CallTrackingMetrics adds conversational analytics data to these basic facts, providing more insight into calls. This information can be used to improve contact center operations, identify upselling opportunities, and train agents.
Easier Call Routing
By utilizing ASR tools, CCaaS companies can provide their customers with an easier way to route calls with intelligent contact center automation. This is because ASR solutions, when paired with natural language understanding, can help automatically route calls to the correct agent. This can save businesses time and improve customer satisfaction by lowering wait times and improving interactions with phone systems.
End-to-End Deep Learning Automatic Speech Recognition for CCaaS
ASR is one of the critical technologies that CCaaS platforms need to succeed. By turning speech into text, CCaaS can take action with more data, and in more ways, than if relied only on other metrics like call length, number of calls taken per agent, etc. But not all speech-to-text solutions work equally well for contact centers. Because of things like industry-specific jargon and poor call quality, old-school speech recognition models often don’t provide sufficient accuracy to be truly effective.
But speech recognition solutions built on end-to-end deep learning are able to take advantage of transfer learning, which allows one accurate model to quickly and easily be retrained on new data to create a new model for a different use case. This technology has allowed Deepgram to offer both a use-case model specifically for telephone calls, as well as the ability to tailor a model with your own data if you need even higher accuracy. Overall, the specific speech recognition features of the top AI-powered speech-to-text systems that support CCaaS businesses can be divided into two categories: speech recognition and speech understanding. Let’s look at each in turn.
Speech recognition is the ability of the system to identify spoken words and convert them into text. This is a crucial capability for contact-center-as-a-service companies, as it can help to automate the process of handling customer inquiries, as well as the other benefits discussed above.
Transcription is the ability of the system to generate a written transcript of a call recording. This can be extremely useful for businesses, as it can help them understand what was said during a call, and turn into training, improving services, gauging sentiment, and more.
One of the benefits of using a speech recognition API like Deepgram is that it supports multiple languages. This can be extremely helpful for businesses that operate in multiple countries, or plan to in the future.
Another big benefit of using an end-to-end deep learning speech-to-text solution like Deepgram is that it offers tailored models via transfer learning. This means that businesses can create custom models that are specifically designed for their needs, based on their own data. This can be extremely helpful for businesses that have specific requirements or complicated audio data. For example, NASA was able to use this ability to transcribe space-to-ground communications more accurately than any other tool they tried.
Speech understanding is the ability of a system to interpret the meaning of spoken words. This is an important capability for CCaaS companies, as it can help businesses improve their contact center operations. Some of the most impactful features of speech understanding for CCaaS centers are discussed below.
Diarization is the ability of the system to identify different speakers in a contact recording. This can be extremely helpful for businesses, as it can help them understand who said what during a call.
Sentiment Analysis & Emotion Recognition
Sentiment analysis and emotion recognition refers to the ability of the system to identify how callers are feeling (positive or negative) as well as more specific emotions. This can be helpful for businesses as well as agents who might be dealing with difficult customers.
Punctuation is the ability of the system to add punctuation to a contact recording, making transcripts more readable and thus easier to process for humans.
Capitalization is the ability of the system to capitalize words in a contact recording. As with punctuation, this makes transcripts more readable to humans.
Topic detection is the ability of the system to identify the topic of a contact recording. This tool lets CCaaS platforms identify what customers are asking about so they can be routed to the correct department.
Summarization is the ability of the system to generate a summary of a call recording. This can be helpful for follow-ups, agent evaluation, and to determine the main reasons that customers are reaching out.
Profanity detection is the ability of the system to identify-and potentially remove-profanity in a call recording.
Speaker ID is the ability of the system to identify different speakers in a contact recording. This can help track down who said what, who was on a call, and even provide an extra layer of security for callers.
What are the Benefits of Using Top ASR Tools with CCaaS Platforms?
There are many benefits of using ASR tools in your contact center. CCaaS platforms that use state-of-the-art end-to-end deep learning solutions like Deepgram can help in a variety of ways.
Faster Issue Resolution
Transcripts provided by speech-to-text solutions allow more knowledge collection and knowledge transfer between the teams. Overall, CCaaS companies that use ASR tools can improve their customer service and save time.
Better Built-in Reporting
One of the best things about using ASR tools is that they provide transcripts that can easily be used to generate insightful reports, supported by some of the features discussed above like summarization and topic detection. This means that businesses can track the performance of their contact center at a glance and make necessary changes to improve operations. In addition, businesses can also use reports to track customer satisfaction levels.
Better Data Collection (and Customer Experience)
Another big benefit that contact-center-as-a-service companies get from using ASR tools is the ability to collect customer information and experience data. This is because when you have a system that can transcribe call recordings, you can easily go back and listen to what was said, or even search transcripts for specific information. This way, you can understand how your customers feel about your product or service, and can make changes accordingly.
Better Customer Service
In general, CCaaS companies that use ASR tools tend to provide better customer service. This is because they are able to quickly and easily handle customer inquiries. In addition, they can also offer accurate transcriptions of call recordings. This can help businesses improve their contact center operations and make the necessary changes to improve customer satisfaction.
Opportunities for Coaching
Another great benefit of using a CCaaS with ASR is that these platforms provide opportunities for agent coaching and training. This is because businesses can use call recordings to train new agents, as well as monitor them during their employment, identifying high performers and low performers.
CCaaS platforms using ASR solutions can also help businesses improve compliance. This is because ASR tools can help businesses record calls and track contact data-transcripts can be mined for data, and topic detection, summarization, and diarization can all help to understand who is saying what and that all policies and procedures are being followed.
Easier Onboarding and Training
Onboarding and training can also be supported by speech recognition by providing a record of previous calls so that trainers can understand what typical calls look like, what problems agents typically face, and more. By using transcripts of previous calls, CCaaS companies can quickly and easily provide their agents with the information they need to handle customer inquiries in an efficient manner.
CCaaS tools with built in ASR technology can also help their customers reduce churn. This is because ASR tools can transcribe what’s happening on calls, as well as customer sentiment and emotion. This information can be used to identify customer service issues, recommend best courses of action to try and save accounts, and ensure agents are doing everything they can to keep customers.
Finally, CCaaS that leverage state-of-the-art ASR tools can also help businesses increase revenues. This is because top ASR tools can help find buying signals in what customers are saying. This information can be used to identify upselling and cross-selling opportunities, as well as help sales-team members suggest text steps.
Overall, contact-center-as-a-service companies that use advanced speech recognition APIs like Deepgram benefit their customers in many ways. These tools can help businesses automate the process of handling customer inquiries, improving contact center operations, and providing accurate transcriptions of contact recordings, all with the ultimate goal of delighting customers, reducing churn, and increasing revenues.
If you’d like to learn how Deepgram can help you transcribe your calls, reach out and we’ll be happy to help you get you started. Or, you can sign up for Console for free and get $150 in credits to give us a try.
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