We've all had the "fun" experience of waiting on hold to be connected with a call center rep and heard the message, " This call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance and training". Brendan Spaar isn't the only that wonders if anyone ever really does listen to those recorded calls.
The people at AT&T are currently experimenting with a new software system that transcribes customer calls. Using machine learning, AT&T's system offers immediate feedback, close to real time, to help company reps. The system can even detect customers' emotion, and offers an interactive database that employees can search for insights on the types of calls they're getting.
If AT&T starts getting a bunch of angry calls about service quality from customers in a certain area,the system can detect those complaints and chart them by location. This allows employees to check the problem and quickly brief customers on the situation. It can even anticipate the kinds of questions a customer might ask so reps can be ready with the answers. Maybe it will finally get us an answer or resolution to the issue we called about.
The system can also be used as a potential sales tool. It can analyze conversations and, based on what it finds, suggest new products and services that a customer might be interested in. AT&T also uses it to monitor online discussion about the company by searching comments on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.
This software wasn't built just for customer service. With its speech-recognition abilities, it be used in other areas of the business world. For meetings and teleconferences, the program could create searchable transcripts. It could also log and chart times when a certain subject has been discussed.
In New Jersey, at AT&T Labs, techs have even installed voice sensors in a few places where employees usually hang out. Does this remind you of Orwell's 1984, a scary future time when anything you say at work could be recorded by a transcription system?
What the public really wants is someone on the other end of the call to listen to their issue and resolve it as quickly as possible. If AT&T, or any other company, can develop a software to do that, there would be millions of happy people.