6 Coronavirus Insights Revealed by Speech Analytics

6 Speech Analytics Insights Revealed in a Time of Coronavirus [Updated 3/25/20]

The COVID-19 coronavirus is affecting everyone. As a provider of managed CallMiner Eureka speech analytics, Zenylitics has a unique insight into how the pandemic is affecting its customers. Zenylitics is using that insight to help customers manage better through this unprecedented crisis.

It is essential, now more than ever, to really listen to the voice of the customer. Call Miner’s speech analytics enables efficient listening of customer concerns. While investment in speech analytics is typically made to increase efficiency, compliance and sales effectiveness, Zenylitics’ customers find the ability to listen is at least as valuable. To this end, Zenylitics is currently helping its customers monitor the impact of coronavirus and ensure their organizations speak with one voice to their customers.

Once leaders make policy decisions, they must ensure their agents have the right coaching on how best to respond to a novel set of concerns. Here are six learnings Zenylitics has gleaned from a review of recent calls that mention COVID-19 or coronavirus.

Relative mentions of coronavirus-related terms through March 24, 2020

1. Translate the Message into Specifics

As revealed by the many email missives all of us are getting from supplier CEOs in recent days, it is clear businesses are giving attention to executive messaging about the pandemic. Businesses are sending out email communications stressing how safety is their number one concern and that they are ‘monitoring the situation.’ While executive messaging is important, consumers want details. Your goodwill message will lose its impact if your agents cannot speak to what your messaging really means. Our review of recent calls tells us that the messaging hasn’t always made it down to the front lines. In some cases, the messaging hasn’t anticipated the most pressing concerns. This is understandable given how recently and quickly things are changing.

The fix? Translate your policy decisions into specifics and get that information to your agents. Build a script or provide clear talking points so that agents can effectively speak with their best authentic voice. To ensure consistency, consider providing them an email with details or share a web URL that consumers can visit to find the specifics. This will give your firm the best chance of speaking with a consistent, single voice.

2. Articulate the Precautions

If your service involves employee direct contact with consumers, be sure to have a concise explanation of the precautions you are taking on their behalf. Even product offerings that don’t have a service component generate consumer inquiries about how company processes protect the recipient. Even a simple list of talking points can go a long way.

3. What are the Contingencies?

The coronavirus is motivating consumers to confirm that the routine services they expect are nonetheless being delivered. Your agents need clear messaging how to handle these concerns. If your operating hours, arrival time, or availability of services are subject to change due to the virus, inform the consumer about how they can self-serve that information on the web, via text message or agent outreach. Without clarity, agents give answers like, “this is the policy “until further notice” or simply “I don’t know.” They are prone to project low confidence which is frustrating to customers and doesn’t inspire good call sentiment. Define the playbook and follow it.

4. Will You Handle Special Requests?

The pandemic is causing havoc in everyday life. Almost every business is getting special requests because of coronavirus impact. That consumers are stressed is revealed by CallMiner agitation acoustic measures. Agitation measures the change in tempo, stress and volume by the call participants. Customers are requesting payment delays, accelerated deliveries, or special handling due to work from home scenarios. Therefore, clarify what your agents can and cannot do in these unusual times to accommodate special requests and empower them to do it. Your customers will remember that you did.

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5. Prepare Effective Cancellation Alternatives

Anxiety breeds a defensive mindset. If that mindset is prompting a consumer to request a cancellation, many times your agent’s goal should be to gently buy time until today’s incomplete coronavirus picture clarifies itself. For example, in a home services setting, consider attempting to reschedule rather than cancel. Perhaps offer a discount to retain THIS month’s delivery. If a cancellation is inevitable, attempt to schedule a future outreach as the impact of coronavirus begins to subside.

6. Expect a Short-term Bump in Handle Time

We see COVID-19 is affecting traffic volumes in different ways. Some companies are seeing volume increases, others experience a reduction. A common short-term trend, however, appears to be an increase in handle times. People work through their anxieties by talking them through. Our analysis detects participants discussing coronavirus where the call would otherwise have ended. It is important for people to process their anxiety. Doing so, within reason, can help build rapport with your customer.

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CallMiner Speech analytics has made it possible for Zenylitics to help its customers monitor the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. By efficiently analyzing fast-breaking events, our customers can ensure they are doing everything possible to manage their business effectively throughout this turbulent time.


Ken Pedersen
Ken Pedersen

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