Customer-centric organizations understand that their mission is to give their customers good service. The businesses that succeed, have figured out how to do so while making a profit. If you listen to companies like Zappos, the secret sauce, then, is to listen to the customer.
Saying that you listen to your customers is one thing, but how do you listen to them strategically? Speech recognition APIs are one powerful tool that businesses use to listen, transcribe, and analyze their customer calls programmatically. To make this happen, data teams use speech recognition APIs to dive into call data, surfacing actionable insights that allow call center managers to lower costs and increase customer satisfaction.
One thing business have learned from analyzing at their call data is that customers appreciate good service, but are not looking to be delighted. In "Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers” published in the Harvard Business Review, customer service researchers observed companies spending a lot of resources trying to "delight" their customers, while often failing to deliver on the core product promises. They note that if customers are calling, it's probably to solve problems they've already tried to fix with self-service, a prior phone call, or chat. Their expectation is that you will be able to help them fix said problem quickly, nothing more.
How do companies learn what their customers want?
One method to learn what it is that your customers are thinking is to gather 50 of your best call representatives and ask them what their customers, on average, want. While that has its benefits, at the end of the day you still aren’t listening directly to the customers. Also, this requires long meetings, a lot of Post-It notes and an unhealthy amount of coffee, donuts and pizza. Why not just listen to what callers are saying—directly?
When you have thousands, if not millions of customers, speech recognition APIs are tools you can use to listen directly to your customers. Companies with large call centers have large amounts of call data. In these calls, customers have identified themselves and told operators how they feel about your service, your customer support, and your products.
If you dissect your call data, you can learn about
- What topics excite them
- What natural groups you customers cluster into
- What features matter most to customers
- Which of their problems are left unsolved
- How to make the customer journey effortless.
Customer-centered companies then take what they have learned about their customers and use these insights to improve the customer experience. Perhaps by looking at your call data you have identified that one issue with your product is related to another one, but customers often discover them at different times and have to call customer support twice. Now, you can prepare your call operators and service representatives to solve problems before they are problems. This proactive approach leads to shorter call times, better equipped customer care teams, and more satisfied customers.
When your company can look at all the conversations that customers have with you, you find trends that no one team or representative could have detected on their own. Rather than aiming above and beyond, listen to your calls to understand what the customers expectations are. Speech recognition APIs are an integral part of scaleable, customer-centered model designed to listen to and hear what your customers are saying. Once you know what your customers really want, you can design a customer journey that makes sense, costs less, and builds loyalty.