This post is from Steve Satchell of Teleperformance USA.
Analyzing customer speech in real time is something that has become an important tool for contact center managers in just the past few years. Originally, this technology was introduced as an automatic monitor of the customer experience. The system could automatically detect key words and phrases and gauge whether the customer was happy or not. However, as the technology has matured there are now many more applications for it—in particular, security and fraud prevention.
This is particularly important in banking and financial services. When customers call their bank, they need to identify themselves securely as a customer. This usually involves personal questions such as birth location, mother’s maiden name, or favorite pet. Once the customer answers a small number of questions correctly, they will usually have complete control over the account.
As people share more and more personal information online, it is becoming easier for fraudsters to piece together personal information on individuals. Each time a data breach occurs at a major company, there is the chance that names, addresses, and bank details are being released into the criminal community. Just a few additional facts, such as date of birth, may be all that a fraudster requires to access the banking details of a customer with compromised data.
So how can banks make it harder for fraudsters to access account details without creating a severe inconvenience for the real customers?
Speech analysis is now proving to be a useful tool. As this article in Data Science Central suggests, by using mathematical models, the speech pattern of the customer can be analyzed and a potential impostor can be flagged before they gain access to an account. In addition, the system can connect together several individual behaviors that may, as a whole, be leading to a fraud, but individually the customer service agent may not notice what the “customer” is doing.
Right now, speech analytics is a fast-moving market growing at around 22% each year, and I predict that companies wanting to offer greater security to their customers will start exploring this option. It is a non-obtrusive security that does not affect genuine customers and offers strong protection against unusual behavior.
In addition to security, there are several other benefits to the use of a speech analytics system, such as:
- Intelligence: gathering of information automatically from customer conversations about which products they like, dislike, and which rival brands they mention
- Satisfaction: as mentioned earlier, a real-time analysis of current customer satisfaction can be created without needing to ask the customer how they feel, as it is created automatically from the way they speak
- Compliance: automatically ensures that both customers and agents stay within the rules of your organization and industry, which is particularly important in regulated industries such as financial services
Speech analytics has been around for a few years in contact centers, but the consumer use of speech systems like Siri and Alexa is accelerating the research and development of these systems. I predict that speech analytics will be an essential tool in the fight against fraud and non-compliance for all financial service companies inside the next year.