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The Impact of Call Quality on Customer Sentiment

Does customer sentiment change due to differences in call quality?

Drill-down into correlated Operata and Amazon Connect Contact Lens data unearths valuable CX insights

Call quality and customer sentiment represented by an image of a happy call center agent and a happy customer with several technology icons between them representing factors that can affect call audio quality.

Since the Operata Platform 'Grandioso' release, we’ve had the opportunity to work with customers on correlated insights spanning technical, operations, and experience data from Operata, Amazon Connect, and Contact Lens. We’re seeing exciting early signs of the value these insights can provide to contact centers looking to improve Agent Experience (AX) and Customer Experience (CX).

Bringing together Contact Lens and CX Observability data

Contact Lens uses AI-powered conversational analytics to power many advanced features for Amazon Connect contact centers, like sentiment analysis for both agents and customers. For each call, Contact Lens reports on overall agent and customer sentiment for the entirety of the call, as well as each quarter of the call’s duration. This enables assessment of changes in sentiment during the call.

Operata provides an integration with Amazon Connect and Contact Lens that can be deployed in under 30 minutes, with pre-built conversational analytics templates for key CX Observability use cases like “I can’t hear you”. Additionally, interactive dashboards called Operata Playbooks enable Operations and IT users to drill down into harmonized technical, operations, and experience data to unearth new insights into contact center performance.

Uncovering unique insights for Operata and Contact Lens customers

We’re working with a few Operata customers that are also using Contact Lens, and recently reviewed some of the findings from the correlated data related to poor call quality and customer sentiment. Since these customers have used Operata for quite a while, they didn’t have many calls that experienced poor call quality. However, for the few calls that did, we found a couple of great insights. And, the data was consistent across both customers. So, while this may not be statistically significant data, it still demonstrates that valuable insights can be surfaced even from small data sets.

How low call quality is related to negative customer sentiment

If you’re reading this article, chances are you have a guess about how low call quality is related to negative customer sentiment. However, it’s likely just that – a guess. Drawing correlations between a technical CX factor like call quality and an experience CX factor like customer sentiment is arguably something that was previously unachievable at scale without Operata.

With Operata, we found that low call quality drove a 2x increase in negative customer sentiment on those calls vs. calls that didn’t experience low quality audio. Imagine the damage to customer experience and your brand that low call quality could cause, if it happens even for a small percentage of calls! For example, we previously found that 4% of all calls suffer from low call quality.

How low call quality is related to positive customer sentiment

You might also have an intuition about this relationship, especially after reading the above section. As you probably expected, we found that low call quality cut positive customer sentiment by 50% vs. calls that didn’t experience low quality audio.

At this point, we can conclude that the quality of a call can greatly influence how customers perceive their overall experience. When call quality is poor, customers may feel frustrated, dissatisfied, or even disconnected from the brand. These negative emotions can have a lasting impact on their relationship with a company.

Therefore, improving call quality is not only essential for providing a satisfactory customer experience, but it also has the potential to positively impact the overall reputation of a business.

Bonus insight: How low call quality is related to positive agent sentiment

While reviewing the data, we were also able to observe changes in agent sentiment for low-quality calls. As one would expect, agents that are trained to be friendly and helpful generally have far less frequent calls with negative agent sentiment, but it occasionally happens. And, when the call’s audio quality is poor, agents are 3x more likely to have negative sentiment (granted, in much smaller absolute numbers of calls).

As we continue to work with our customers that also use Amazon Connect Contact Lens or similar tools for sentiment analysis, we’ll be able to gather more data and draw more insights into the relationships between call quality, customer sentiment, and agent sentiment.

The impact of low call quality on AI-powered conversational analytics

There’s another problem to consider with low quality calls: what if the audio is so bad it affects the AI-generated transcription that powers conversational analytics features? We’re starting to see that this can be a significant problem, undermining contact centers’ investments in AI-powered tooling intended to enhance AX and CX.

We’ll save an in-depth analysis of this issue for another blog post, however, consider the potential impact it could have on downstream analysis tools, such as agent performance and evaluation software. Agents may be unfairly penalized for negative customer sentiment scores that were beyond the agents’ control, or at least the agents were not provided sufficient tooling to self-identify and resolve issues affecting call quality.

Operata can help with this – we provide real-time guidance to agents, alerting them to issues, suggesting remediation actions, and providing testing tools to quickly get them productive again.

Drive positive customer sentiment with improved call quality

By reducing the frequency of low quality calls, you can increase the frequency of positive customer sentiment scores. With higher customer sentiment, greater wallet share and revenue growth are likely to follow. By coupling Operata and Amazon Connect Contact Lens, you can find and resolve issues impacting customer sentiment, and measure the positive improvements in call quality, customer sentiment, and more. After all – as Peter Drucker (or possibly Robin Sharma but probably Peter Drucker) famously said, “what gets measured, gets improved.

If you’re ready to see Operata and Amazon Connect Contact Lens in action, we can get you started with a deployment in under 30 minutes. Simply schedule a 1:1 demo or sign up for a free trial and you’ll be on your way.

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