Imagine phoning a call centre and having your call raised to a supervisor simply because you raise your voice or use keywords such as “unacceptable” or “complain”. A US software company, Interactive Intelligence, which recently opened an office in Johannesburg, has developed software that does exactly that.
Like existing contact centre software, Interactive Intelligence’s products record and analyse calls, but they also flag predetermined keywords from both the caller and agent. So, if you start to shout, for example, the system can notify a supervisor immediately and allow them to join the call.
Conversely, if the system interprets your speech to understand that you’re a happy customer, it can be set to prompt the agent to talk to you about other products or services that may fit your needs. As it also tracks what agents say, it can be used by contact centre managers to identify problematic staff or simply how best to rework agent scripts and refine agent training.
Interactive Intelligence has already signed up local clients, including BMW SA and Motorola. Its main product is Customer Interaction Center (CIC), which unifies call management systems with core business systems, such as policy, billing and administration databases.
The latest release of CIC includes a new real-time speech analytics application. The application allows for real-time keyword- and phrase-spotting, recording, supervisory monitoring and threshold alerts.
“Most current voice recognition solutions only allow for analysis and interpretation after the fact,” says Interactive Intelligence’s recently appointed African territory manager, Fokion Natsis. “Only being able to analyse a call after the fact means it’s often too late to keep the customer.”
Natsis says the system also allows outsourcers or supervisors to login remotely. “Detailed logging about every segment of an interaction is crucial to contact centres, whether that interaction is a call, an SMS or an e-mail,” says Natsis. “We can track when an interaction was initiated and when it was resolved.”
But CIC isn’t only designed to alert management to disgruntled clients. It can also be used to upsell and cross-sell more effectively and to improve staff training and compliance with contact centre policies.
The CIC system allows for interactive process automation whereby a document can be tracked throughout an organisation. “In an insurance house, a claim arrives, then goes to assessors, then accounting people, and so on. If any of those links are missing, things get stalled,” says Natsis.
“Our application tracks the whole process and treats a document like a call, so it can be assigned to a group of people responsible for it.”
Natsis says BMW SA was one of the first SA companies to use CIC and has now become the global standard for BMW contact centres. Other large users of CIC include Motorola, Kimberly-Clarke and Coca-Cola. — Craig Wilson, TechCentral