Article·AI & Engineering·May 21, 2023

How Contact-Center-as-a-Service Companies (CCaaS) Utilize ASR Solutions

Aimie Ye
By Aimie Ye
PublishedMay 21, 2023
UpdatedJun 13, 2024

Contact-center-as-a-service (CCaaS) platforms help businesses automate and ease the processing of customer inquiries. Critical to this functionality is automatic speech recognition, or ASR, which converts speech into written text so that a computer can understand what was said. In this blog post, we'll discuss how CCaaS companies use speech-to-text solutions and what benefits they provide, as well as how ASR tools fit in and the benefits they provide for CCaaS platforms. But before we get started-what exactly does "contact center as a service" mean?

What is a Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)?

Contact center as a service refers to a SaaS-based application that provides management and analytics to contact centers. These tools are typically multichannel, providing ways of managing text chat, phone calls with agents, and even conversational AI solutions for customers to solve their own problems. These solutions provide intelligent contact center automation, built on a backbone of speech-to-text solutions. Using CCaaS platforms offers many benefits for business, including flexible delivery of customer service, analytics and insights based on industry best practices, and access to advanced contact center features and technologies that a company might not be able to provide if they built their own contact center software.

One of the most important technologies for CCaaS platforms is ASR, or automatic speech recognition. This technology allows contact center agents to quickly and easily handle customer inquiries without the need for human intervention. ASR solutions are the foundation of services that do things like route calls, provide customer support, and transcribe call recordings, which are commonly included as part of a CCaaS offering. Let's take a look at some of the key benefits that CCaaS solutions offer before turning to an understanding of how ASR can support them.

Why are CCaaS Solutions so Beneficial?

As noted above, there are a lot of benefits that companies can get from using CCaaS platforms. Let's look in-depth at some of the major benefits of CCaaS solutions that are powered by ASR for contact centers.

Lower IT Costs

Lower IT costs are one of the main benefits of CCaaS providers. By effectively "outsourcing" contact center operations to a CCaaS software platform, businesses can avoid the high costs associated with setting up and maintaining their own contact center infrastructure. In addition, these platforms often offer state-of-the-art tools (like AI-powered ASR) that would be time-consuming and expensive for companies to build in-house.

Improved Customer Satisfaction

CCaaS platforms allow companies to provide their customers with a better service experience by providing the ability to route calls more efficiently and provide accurate transcriptions of call recordings. For example, Sharpen uses Deepgram's ASR solution to identify training and coaching opportunities for their agents, improving customer experience and satisfaction.

Call Tracking and Analytics

CCaaS companies can also provide businesses with advanced call tracking and analytics. Businesses can get detailed information about their callers beyond just caller location, call duration, and call frequency. For example, CallTrackingMetrics adds conversational analytics data to these basic facts, providing more insight into calls. This information can be used to improve contact center operations, identify upselling opportunities, and train agents.

Easier Call Routing

By utilizing ASR tools, CCaaS companies can provide their customers with an easier way to route calls with intelligent contact center automation. This is because ASR solutions, when paired with natural language understanding, can help automatically route calls to the correct agent. This can save businesses time and improve customer satisfaction by lowering wait times and improving interactions with phone systems.

End-to-End Deep Learning Automatic Speech Recognition for CCaaS

ASR is one of the critical technologies that CCaaS platforms need to succeed. By turning speech into text, CCaaS can take action with more data, and in more ways, than if relied only on other metrics like call length, number of calls taken per agent, etc. But not all speech-to-text solutions work equally well for contact centers. Because of things like industry-specific jargon and poor call quality, old-school speech recognition models often don't provide sufficient accuracy to be truly effective.

But speech recognition solutions built on end-to-end deep learning are able to take advantage of transfer learning, which allows one accurate model to quickly and easily be retrained on new data to create a new model for a different use case. This technology has allowed Deepgram to offer both a use-case model specifically for telephone calls, as well as the ability to tailor a model with your own data if you need even higher accuracy. Overall, the specific speech recognition features of the top AI-powered speech-to-text systems that support CCaaS businesses can be divided into two categories: speech recognition and speech understanding. Let's look at each in turn.

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