The Growing Value of Speech Recognition in The Workplace

speech recognition in AI

Siri, Alexa, and Cortana have entered the lexicon due to the way they have ingrained themselves into modern society. And while these virtual assistants are the most prominent examples of improvements in the field of speech recognition, they’re not the only ones.

We’re all aware of the value of virtual assistants in our everyday lives, but what value can speech recognition provide to the workplace? And how can it be used effectively?  

What is speech recognition?

Imaged sourced from kardome.com

Speech recognition is a highly complex field, requiring the utilization of speech recognition algorithms, yet what it attempts to do is very simple. Basically, the software converts human speech into digital signals, which are then analyzed to understand exactly what was said. After achieving this, the software will provide the appropriate response or output. 

Given the variety of accents, languages, and cultural contexts, it should be no surprise that the amount of data required by speech recognition systems is enormous. This can lead to high cloud storage costs, so you’ll need to take appropriate steps toward managing the cost of cloud technology

These and other related expenses are worth it, though, as speech recognition technology can have a huge impact when used correctly, saving you both time and money.

What value does speech recognition have in the workplace?

The global speech recognition market is increasing rapidly as businesses recognize the potential rewards of the tech. By 2026, the global market is expected to be worth $28.3 billion, having been a mere $6.9 billion in 2018. It is clear this is an industry undergoing incredible growth. This is largely because the potential uses of speech recognition in the workplace are almost endless, and their value is enormous. 

More often than not, speech recognition software automates repetitive tasks to provide businesses with greater efficiency and cost savings. By identifying processes for automation, companies can release their employees from menial tasks and allow them to focus their time on more valuable aspects of their roles. 

The medical sector is one industry that has taken advantage of speech recognition to revolutionize the way medical professionals interact with Electronic Health Records (EHR).

The march to perfection isn’t always smooth, though, and this new technology brought its own problems, in particular a cumbersome UI. However, the advent of speech recognition in healthcare technology has simplified the process of working with EHRs, meaning physicians can save themselves hours per day, as well as $30,0000-$50,000 per year.    

As such, it seems clear that organizations that integrate speech recognition into their services provide better opportunities to grow and develop, as their employees have more time to focus on the things that matter. 

Potential uses for speech recognition in the workplace

Image sourced from devopedia.org

Speech recognition technology has been adopted in various ways in the workplace. However, a few areas stand out: Customer service, transcription, and data gathering and entry. Let’s take a look at some particular applications. 

Customer service 

There are tons of benefits to incorporating speech recognition technology in the area of customer service. One key area is phone communications. Many businesses use an auto attendant phone system to guide customers through menus to exactly the service they need. Speech recognition takes this to the next level—customers no longer have to listen to the options and press the right key. Instead, they can simply state what they’re after.

This combination of auto attendants and speech recognition doesn’t just provide a better service to customers but also improves operational efficiencies and savings. In fact, you’re likely to see financial savings of anywhere between 20-30% and an increase in customer satisfaction by 10%

Speech technology can also be used to analyze the content of phone calls both on-call and post-call. This provides an incredible amount of data for businesses to analyze. Such data can help them build enhanced profiles of their customers, improve processes, identify outstanding employees for your employee recognition program, and more. That’s because they’re able to turn every utterance their customers say into quantifiable pieces of data. 

Businesses can improve their knowledge of their client’s experience, expectations, and preferences by analyzing the data they collect from phone calls- such as the amount of overtalk between a customer and the agent. 

Savvy businesses will also use the data to understand how some agents can up-sell and cross-sell successfully, whether through analysis of tone, the repetition of specific words and phrases, or offers they make. 

Using these findings, companies can then enhance their training systems to improve the skills of agents whose up-sell and cross-sell metrics require development. Or even make necessary adjustments to their systems via software quality assurance and testing. 

Imaged sourced from mckinsey.com

Speech recognition can also be used to track the level of service provided to a customer. By analyzing tone, stress, periods of silence, and cross-referencing speech-to-call scripts, employers can analyze the effectiveness and quality of the service provided. 

In this way, businesses can use speech recognition to ensure they continually improve the service they provide and make their bottom line healthier all the while. 

Transcription 

Almost every organization requires its meetings to be transcribed or minuted. This requires the full attention of at least one employee who would be better served doing almost anything else. As such, the easier transcription of minutes is an obvious example of the benefits that speech recognition technology can bring to the workplace. 

Whereas in the past transcription services would have required review to determine who should be attributed to each point made, advanced transcription systems are now able to delineate between who is speaking, providing a fully automated system. 

Knowing this service exists can also allow participants in the meeting to be fully engaged in the discussions being had, without worrying that they will miss something, thus making the meetings they attend more valuable. 

Many jobs require time in front of a keyboard and screen, but despite today’s workforce of digital natives, average typing speeds are merely 30 words per minute (wpm) compared to 150 wpm when using speech recognition software. As such, by incorporating transcription software into their IT systems (the best small business phone systems offer transcription features built-in), businesses can improve the efficiency of their workforce by 3-4 times. 

Other examples include medical professionals who can transcribe their meetings with their patients in real-time or a proposal consultant who could speed up the production of proposals by up to five times through the use of speech recognition. 

Efficiency gains such as these are incredibly valuable, no matter the industry, and can more than justify the costs of adopting speech recognition technology.

Data gathering

Gathering and understanding data is another area where speech recognition tech can offer valuable benefits. Any business that stores large amounts of voice or media data, such as media companies, can use speech recognition to enhance its ability to organize, manage, and use this valuable information. 

By utilizing Digital and Media Asset Management services that use speech recognition technology, businesses can ensure they make full use of the terabytes of data they have in their storage systems. 

When using speech technology within asset management services, businesses can index their data more effectively by extracting metadata and searching for keywords, therefore allowing them to curate and make use of their data more effectively. 

While speech recognition can help turn speech into data, it can also simplify data input. Data input is time-consuming and requires the user to engage their hands during the process. 

Dentistry is one real-world example of how using speech recognition to run functions or macros would create a more efficient system. Rather than relying on an assistant while their hands are occupied by tools, a dentist could add their findings to the patient’s records without a human conduit, providing immediate efficiency gains.

Speech recognition deserves more recognition in the workplace 

Speech recognition technology is going from strength to strength. But maximizing its value isn’t as simple as selecting a system and expecting immediate returns. Its vital businesses plan the integration of speech recognition carefully. 

So, whether your business chooses a small business VoIP phone service with built-in speech recognition or invests in a specialist system, make sure that clear plans are in place to get total value from its incorporation. 

The value of speech recognition to the twenty-first-century business is undeniable, but only if the data it produces is interpreted effectively and incorporated intelligently into business processes.  

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Grace Lau

Grace Lau

Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad call center, an AI-powered cloud communication platform for better and easier team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Here is her LinkedIn.