Speech Analytics - Challenges and Opportunities for Collection Agencies

As agencies develop a more strategic approach to incorporate flexibility and scalability into their collection efforts, speech technology has become an integral part of their growth strategy. To boost productivity without neglecting compliance, call center-based companies must look to advanced speech analytics (SA) platforms to provide a positive consumer experience while bolstering revenue.

The speech analytics market, which was once valued at US$ 1.6 billion in 2020 is now forecasted to reach US$ 9 billion by 2030 as per a study by Report Ocean - a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 20%. This growth can largely be attributed to the need for technologies that can automatically track trends and performance in contact centers.

Nowhere is this truer than the accounts receivable industry, where an increasing regulatory crunch is making it harder for agencies to run efficiently while upholding the latest Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Reg F rules.

While speech analytics can be an incredibly powerful tool to solve new-age call center issues, we commonly see agencies run into problems with a “set it and forget it” mindset. Many mistakenly believe that if they just plug speech analytics into their workflows, the platform will immediately deliver insights that can transform their call centers on the fly. Unfortunately, it’s usually not that easy.

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What Makes Speech Analytics Hard?

It is worth accepting that speech analytics is not a perfect science. As we continue living in the age of AI, we expect the transcripts to be perfect, the data to be 100% correct, and the recordings to be spotless once we implement a new SA tool into our collection business. If you have those expectations, you need a reality check around using a conventional speech analytics platform without best practices.

  • It is never easy to categorize calls without scanning every word within a conversation.
  • You don’t know if you're tracking your collectors effectively as agent scorecards remain forever unchangeable.
  • Customizing dashboards and reports is hard because speech to text isn’t always perfect. Last-minute data pulls are difficult, as you never have the visualized data ready with you.
  • Sentiment analysis isn’t always accurate because you are rarely able to understand the context and then categorize the portion of the call into meaningful data for your reports or dashboards.
  • Poor audio quality and the inability to integrate your SA to the call recorder holds you back from tapping the full potential of your contact center.
  • You don’t always have the budget to hire a speech domain expert who can handle all aspects of a speech solution.

From everything mentioned above, it is clear that just investing in a speech analytics solution isn’t enough to improve your collection yield and scale your business. It is not a solution that you can set and forget. It requires ongoing involvement and inputs by different stakeholders and needs to be navigated with a clear strategy and planning.

So, what do you do to avoid losing focus? Begin with clear initial goals and then dig deep into what we call the "Four Pillars of a Competitive, Foolproof Speech Program." We have compiled a guide that should help you achieve everything mentioned above and more in a step-by-step, stress-free manner, one goal at a time. Download the guide here.