Improved agent call open adherence
Improved accuracy in identification and verification
Improved call close adherence
Reduced call silence
“In any call center environment, speech analytics can be instrumental in providing the necessary insights to transform call center performance, increase customer satisfaction, and drive employee motivation and retention.”
Erin Vaughn – VP, Policyholder Services, Davies Life & Health
As customer expectations grow, the insurance industry is subject to scrutiny regarding escalations, complaints, and litigation. How can we as an organization better understand why customers are calling or why they are complaining? How can we improve processes, procedures, and the customer experience and increase satisfaction to prevent escalations, complaints, and litigation? How can we reduce call volume to ease the burden on our customer service representatives?
These questions are all too familiar for many call centers, including the Davies Life & Health team. They recognized that they were dealing with unreliable data in tracking and analyzing calls, and that there may be a better solution to understanding the quality of customer service than the system they were currently utilizing and reached out to Davies Consulting to collaborate.
In March 2022 Davies Consulting implemented a post-call speech analytics pilot program in the long-term care call center to better understand current successes and opportunities for growth within customer service. Speech analytics technology allows insight into each and every call handed at the call center. All calls are sent through a multi-step process where speech is then turned into text and analyzed, allowing the calls to be scored. The score combines the presence or absence of certain language and other key metrics that help to measure various performance indicators such as agent quality, customer satisfaction, empathy, and first contact resolution.
The pilot program was designed to measure seven precise areas of customer interaction:
After analyzing numerous months of calls, several opportunities were identified to improve compliance, operational efficiency, and agent performance. Through agent coaching, Davies Life & Health was able to increase agent call open adherence by 4%, increase accuracy in identification and verification by 6%, and increase call close adherence by more than 11% in just a three-month period. Increasing compliance in these areas has led to a decrease in escalations and complaints.
The pilot program indicated the call center was also able to decrease call silence time. This is an area that is difficult to measure and quantify when manually monitoring calls. Is the agent silent because they are having technical difficulty? Are they silent because they do not know how to efficiently navigate their system? Are they silent because they simply do not know how to answer the question? The speech analytics program provided an inside look into how much time was spent in silence on each call. This made it possible to track trends in persistent silence by individual agent, as well as call reason. By digging into each call with more silence time than desired, leadership was able to give guided feedback and retrain several agents, effectively reducing call silence by more than 4%. With the insights gained from quantifying persistent silence, the team also discovered a reduction in overall call handle time, as well as hold time. Not only does a reduction in call handle and hold time improve customer satisfaction, it also directly impacts the ability to exceed client service level agreements.
At the close of the three-month pilot, it was abundantly clear speech analytics can enhance call center performance. The decision was therefore made to implement the program into the existing quality assurance platform. Davies Life & Health is now actively enhancing the scope of the program to further integrate it into a more holistic approach to customer service.
The team is using speech analytics to garner more in-depth data into why customers are calling. Understanding this guides the team to find ways to better drive traffic to their policyholder portal, so that insureds can self-service. It will also help in the development of chatbots to provide answers to the most frequently asked questions, to aid in providing quicker customer service and reduce wait times and call volume.
Moving forward, the team plans to use speech analytics to help identify potential fraud identifying language that is often associated with suspect or fraudulent claims. While agents are trained to listen for specific words and phrases that may indicate fraud, using an automated tool enables the team to review all interactions for any missed phrases or words.
Lastly, and most importantly, Davies Life & Health is moving toward using speech analytics to help drive employee engagement and retention. Using individual agent results will help drive personalized training and development programs, keeping agents engaged in knowledge growth, and reducing their potential frustration by increasing learning. By improving knowledge, call handle times will be lowered even further, the number of repeat callers reduced, and fewer complaints. This will in turn reduce call volume and back-to-back phone calls, effectively alleviating agent stress and burnout.
In any call center environment, speech analytics can be instrumental in providing the necessary insights to transform call center performance, increase customer satisfaction, and drive employee motivation and retention. Implementing a speech analytics program greatly improved Davies Life & Health’s customer service outcomes and helped the team excel in providing excellent customer service to customers and clients.