Speech analytics and data insights are becoming crucial elements of customer experience management, but don’t ever let technology distract you from what matters most when delivering differentiated CX – your people

At the 2019 CallMiner LISTEN conference, I was lucky enough to take to the stage as both a keynote speaker and as an award winner. Sitel Group was recognized as CallMiner’s 2019 Partner of the Year for how we’ve leveraged its Eureka platform to continuously drive operational rigor, unlock insights and therefore client value, and of course, keep on improving our performance. 

When it comes to the potential power of speech analytics and customer insights, it’s no exaggeration to say we’re evangelists – we have a dedicated division within our organization that keeps doing amazing things for clients, across the entirety of their customer journey. We’ve never been closer to their customers or better able to hear and interpret the conversations they’re having around the brands with which we partner. 

A seminal CX moment

I’ve been working in this industry for over a decade and I can say without a doubt that this is the most exciting and revolutionary moment in the history of customer experience management and delivery. I feel privileged that I, my teams and our people, who are the voice and the conscience of our clients’ brands 3.5 million times a day, every day, are right at its epicenter. 

We find ourselves at ground zero because of expertise and impartiality. No matter how large an organization becomes, it has to keep the can-do entrepreneurial spirit that enables it to stay focused on delivering the best possible solutions for its customers. It is the only way to remain relevant. 

This mindset, when combined with 30 years’ experience and inside-out understanding of CX, gives us an unmatched ability to assess, analyze and integrate the latest tools and technologies that really are going to make a positive difference for our clients – whether it’s adding value, unlocking insights, creating greater efficiencies or improving personalization. 

But regardless of experience and mindset, when you partner with an organization for the benefit of your most valuable clients, there has to be a cultural as well as a technological fit – which is why we’re happy to celebrate our partnership with CallMiner. We share a vision for the future of customer experience that leverages the latest technologies in order to make the human connection even more valuable and critical to delivering a differential experience. 

Listen 2019 - Mike Small and Jeff Gallino

Delivering on expectations

As I’ve already said, these are exciting times and it’s because we’ve arrived at the point where customers have liquid expectations. Delivering a CX better than that of your closest competitor is no longer good enough. Today, we have to help our clients deliver a CX which is as good as or better than any of their customers have had with any company in any vertical. 

Our legacy in this industry and our ability to build partnerships and create the richest possible ecosystem of tools and possibilities is one major elements of the approach we take to helping our clients deliver in this regard. 

Another, which is just as critical to success, is data. Unless you have the ability to capture it – regardless of channel and regardless of format – you will never be able to make it work for the benefit of your organization or the relationship it hopes to hone with its customers. 

Turning data into actionable insights

Our partnership with CallMiner means we can capture and process every contact center interaction, from voice and email to live chat and agents’ notes. But then through our own expertise, which leverages intelligent automation we combine these findings with other unstructured data sources, such as the social media conversations happening around your brand, its services and its products, and merge it with the structured data flowing through your relational databases and populating your CRM. 

This ability to seize and weave together all of these data sources results in a huge data tapestry that provides the biggest, clearest possible picture of your business and your customers’ connection (or disconnect) with it. Looking at this image through a customer lens (one whose focus has been refined by 30 years’ CX experience) we deliver the insights that really matter – the information that will lead to greater customer loyalty, lower churn rates, more effective staff training, stronger interactions and engagements around touchpoints. 

An emotional investment

But before we get too excited about the possibilities that speech analytics and data can deliver, we have to remember there is another fundamental investment a company needs to make before it can really claim to have mastered the art of CX management – an investment in its people. 

This is why during my presentation at this year’s event, as well as talking about technological advances and new possibilities, I spent so much time talking about what Sitel Group is doing to redefine our employee experience. I will always be the No.1 evangelist for our people, no matter how fast or how far technology moves. 

With technology moving so fast, artificial intelligence and RPA are already automating so many of the elements of delivering a consistent, unified customer experience. Likewise, it’s beginning to redefine the skill-set needed to be on the front line of CX delivery. Our associates have never needed greater levels of technological proficiency. Yet, in turn, it is making the human element, that emotionally intelligent touch that turns a moment of truth into a moment of joy, rise even further in value as currency. So, if you want to deliver a standout customer experience, don’t start with looking at technology, start with a commitment to delivering a differential employee experience. 

This is how Sitel MAX was born. It’s a global initiative that goes much further than giving our 75,000 associates around the world a voice, it gives them a seat at the table. Through sponsorship, lifelong learning, digital communities and an always open-door policy, we are making absolutely sure our people have an active role in deciding on the future of our company and how we will continue delivering in line with each client’s brand promise. 


Mike Small

CEO Americas for Sitel Group