Voice Analytics Technology takes customer experience to a new level

Like most companies, HomeServe constantly strives to exceed the ever evolving expectations of our customers. After several years and millions of customer interactions, we have learned that the way to deliver the best customer experience is to Ask, Listen and Act! In December 2015, HomeServe implemented voice analytics software called CallMiner. This software analyzes speech and creates transcripts of calls, behaviors and customer responses. In addition, CallMiner measures silence, tone and volume, and categorizes findings based on verbiage in calls. Screening criteria is programmed to search for key words, phrases, and parameters to determine “category hits”, revolutionizing the QA process.

HomeServe has been able to make many measurable improvements in the way our call center operates as a result of implementing this tool.

  1. We created a customer experience scorecard to automatically determine the quality of service delivered. Quality is measured based on length, silence, QA standards and attributes including empathy, tone, professionalism and attention to customer needs.
  2. Silence in calls was reduced by pinpointing agents who need additional support or training to enhance the service they deliver. At an individual agent level silence in calls was reduced from 17% to 9%, and the 9% represents silence required during the payment processing.
  3. Supervisor productivity was improved by instantly providing calls for coaching opportunities based on pre-determined, agreed-upon criteria. The recorded calls provide valuable information that enables supervisors to quickly address opportunities with specific examples of behaviors. Coaching preparation time has been reduced, allowing for more one-on-one time coaching with the agents, which supports exceptional customer interactions.
  4. Categories were built to identify areas of compliance such as billing verbatim to ensure the proper language is read during the course of a sales call. If an opportunity is identified, we can quickly address it to ensure the utmost service and experience for our customers. This past year 90,000 hours of calls were mined completely revolutionizing the call monitoring process. The number of calls analyzed by Quality Assurance has increased from 12,000 manual reviews to 655,000 call miner reviews. The cost of manually reviewing this many calls would exceed $3 million, however by using the new technology, this result was achieved at a fraction of the cost.

To complement the insight provided by our call analytics, HomeServe implemented an automated Customer Survey application called Rant and Rave in early 2016, replacing our previous outsourced telemarketing survey solution. This change reduced the cost per survey by 96%, while increasing the number of actionable customer insights across the entire customer lifecycle by 648% from 4,000 to over 30,000.

The feedback identified from the sales, service and claims journeys is compiled in an interactive web-based solution enabling stakeholders to drill down to agent, technician, team and departmental level, providing true root cause and actionable insight into all areas of the business. The output of this is available real time and reviewed by stakeholders across the business to keep a finger on the pulse of our customer feedback.

The level of dissatisfaction reported is tied into every member of the Management team’s bonus and formally reviewed by the Voice of Customer committee on a monthly basis, identifying trends and opportunities, continuously enhancing our customer experience. As a result of the feedback provided by customers and changes made by the committee, the already low levels of dissatisfaction have dropped a further 24% in the last 12 months supported by considerable improvements in customer and employee satisfaction as feedback is streamed directly to agent desktops. Putting the customer at the heart of everything we do is critical to HomeServe’s culture and the addition of these innovations has enabled us to scale this to previously unimaginable levels and continue to deliver a truly best in class experience.

As a best practice, we found that a dedicated internal resource/champion was critical to the success of our speech analytics activities.  Christine Gonzalez joined HomeServe as a Quality Assurance representative in 2013 having previously studied Computer and Science programming at the College of New Jersey. During her first 2 years in the business Christine made it her passion to learn and master quality assurance across all areas of the business. It was this drive and passion combined with her background in programming that made her the perfect choice to lead the implementation and subsequently the management of our speech analytics. Once assigned as the Call Miner lead, Christine took it upon herself to learn and master the coding and implementation requirements of this software. She remained self-managed and driven in integrating CallMiner into the contact center, while remaining responsible for configuration, modification, user training, problem solving, analyzing and outputting everything related to the project. Since Christine implemented Call Miner the amount of calls analyzed has increased from 12,167 standard QA scores to 654,924 calls across our Inbound areas. In addition to implementing the tool, Christine has worked closely with operational stakeholders around the business to refine search criteria ensuring every area of the operation benefits from this technology. Contact Center supervisors have been able to enhance the quality of their coaching interactions using outputs from customer search criteria, which instantly identifies trends and opportunities at an agent, team and departmental level to improve the customer experience in every interaction.

Where the temptation with speech analytics is to add more analysts and grow the overhead to get the insight, Christine has remained committed to add value from understanding the solution and empowering others to gain what they need directly from the source which is a fantastic achievement. One particular efficiency saving was to implement simplified scripting to allow agents the ability to easily enroll customers who had read through mailings in detail, thus “order take” their request to sign up for a policy. Christine used CallMiner to build analytics to see which agents were correctly offering this option when available. The insight provided by Christine enabled the team to improve agent usage and subsequently allowed HomeServe to see savings in average handle time on these calls of 172 seconds, vastly reducing cost and most importantly improving the customer enrollment experience!

Christine has self-educated by watching several webinars around the software and participating in the nationwide “Engagement Optimization” forums. She also produced a webinar which involved multi-state interaction on how HomeServe has used speech analytics to improve customer experience and made suggestions and improvements to the system to maximize performance by all users.

Christine has been recognized by HomeServe and CallMiner for her impressive achievements; internally as a HomeServe President’s award winner and externally by the solution provider at the Listen 2016 Conference in Clearwater, FL for new user innovation award with CallMiner. We are incredibly proud of her achievements as well as our success with integrating speech analytics into our world-class call center operation.

A partnership with HomeServe can bring home repair programs backed by world class service to your customers. Learn more about how a partnership can benefit utilities and municipalities at www.HomeServeUtility.com.