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Call Centres Could Use Voice-Analytics To Understand Customers’ Moods

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

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Hold please. Telephone merchants of PPI claims and solar panels could utilise real-time voice-analytics to improve rapport

Call centres in the future could utilise real-time voice-analytics software to help customer-service people build better rapport with their customers.

This is because MIT spinout Cogito believes it can use behavioural analytics to make the overall call centres experiences less painful.

Better Understanding?

Cogito has apparently conducted years of human behaviour research and has developed voice-analytics software for call centers. The idea is that in real-time, it monitors voice patterns of customers and agents, and offers feedback to make the conversations more productive.

At the moment the company is mostly focused on healthcare, and it also uses its technology to monitor mental health, after it recently partnered with the US Department of Veterans Affairs to detect signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in returning soldiers.

That example makes use of a mobile app to passively monitor smartphone sensors to detect behavioural information from voice recordings and texting, while prompting participants to fill out surveys about their mental health.

Voice recognition © brem stocker Shutterstock 2012This data is then analysed and can reveal behavioural patterns, such as withdrawal or lethargy, that assessed indicated a user’s mental health.

But for the call centre, the voice analytics software is called Cogito Dialog. This software monitors speech subtleties, such as long pauses, interruptions, conversation flow, vocal strain, or speedy chatter. By analysing this voice data, the software can apparently detect if the caller is sounding annoyed, disinterested, or confused.

The software will also issue prompts for call centre staff, and it claims to predict outcomes, as the insights it gains from each interaction, can make predictions about each customer and representative is likely to do next.

If symptoms are detected, “we will develop feedback mechanisms so that organisations, that care for [these] populations, and individuals and care teams that care for [these] populations can get ahead of risks,” said co-founder and CEO Joshua Feast.

“Through our voice analysis, we can help bridge the communication gap between customers and agents,” he said.

Technology in the past has been associated with improving medical issues. Algorithms have also been used extensively to help identify what adverts to feed online web surfers for example.

But the Cogito development is noteworthy, as it promises to improve customer interactions, in real-time, between call centre staff and the customer.

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