How managers can use conversation intelligence to drive business results

Madeline Jacobson

October 11, 2023

Customer experience is a team sport, and every manager has the opportunity to impact their company’s CX, regardless of their department. Sales and marketing managers shape the buyer experience and brand perceptions. Research and development managers create products to solve customers’ problems or fill a need. Customer service managers are responsible for the direct interactions that a customer has with the business, often across multiple channels.

To make customer-centric decisions, managers need access to actionable customer insights. But many of the typical approaches to finding customer insights, including surveys, focus groups, and manual QA reviews, are time-consuming, expensive, or limited in their scope (or all of the above). As a result, managers are increasingly turning to a category of technology called conversation intelligence

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What is conversation intelligence?

Conversation intelligence is an AI-assisted approach to listening to customer conversations at scale. It gives managers a holistic view of customer interactions and frontline agent performance, allowing them to track customer needs and pain points, identify coaching opportunities, and prioritize initiatives or process changes to improve the customer experience.

Conversation intelligence software includes the following components: 

  • Speech-to-text transcription. The software automatically transcribes spoken words into text (conversation data) that can be analyzed.
  • Natural language processing (NLP). Conversation intelligence software employs machine learning algorithms to understand and analyze written text (from call or chat transcripts, emails, product reviews, or any other conversation data source).
  • Conversation analytics. NLP enables the software to organize and derive meaning from unstructured data. From there, the software can deliver reports and insights into big-picture trends and individual customer conversations. Managers can filter data and create reports to extract insights related to their goals, such as reducing repeat calls or improving agent performance.

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How different types of managers use conversation intelligence

Conversation intelligence doesn’t just benefit a single department–it can deliver insights to help managers across the business make data-driven decisions and meet their goals. Here are a few examples of functions that benefit from conversation intelligence:

Customer service

Customer service or contact center managers use conversation intelligence to uncover the factors that are positively or negatively impacting customer interactions. By isolating the factors the contact center can control, these managers can prioritize areas of improvement. They can also track individual agent and team performance and tailor their coaching to help agents better serve customers. 

Quality assurance

QA managers and their teams are typically tasked with reviewing a certain number of customer service calls per week or month and completing agent evaluations to help agents improve their performance. Because manual QA is time-consuming, the majority of contact centers only review 1-2% of their calls. However, conversation intelligence software allows QA teams to automate the review and evaluation process. This dramatically reduces the time required for manual QA, enabling managers to deliver coaching insights based on 100% of each agent’s interactions and giving them more time back to focus on deeper analyses that move the needle for the business.


For contact centers with inbound or outbound sales agents, conversation intelligence can uncover insights into common objections, the most successful rebuttals or sales offers, and agent behaviors that impact conversion rates. Sales managers can use these insights to coach their team members, improve processes and scripts, and inform cross-sell and upsell offers–ultimately increasing conversions and growing revenue.

Customer experience

CX managers use conversation intelligence software to help them identify friction points in the customer journey, better understand customer sentiment, and determine how different factors in the business’ control are impacting customer satisfaction. Armed with these insights, they can prioritize projects to improve the customer experience.


Rather than relying on limited survey data or focus groups, product managers can use conversation intelligence software to collect customer feedback and uncover product issues. Conversation intelligence data enables product managers to address feedback and product issues promptly–reducing the risk of customer churn and damage to their brand’s reputation. 

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6 benefits of conversation intelligence for managers

1. Reduce time spent on repetitive tasks

Manually reviewing call recordings or transcripts is a slow process–the average contact center is only able to review eight calls per agent each month. Conversation intelligence software not only reviews 100% of customer conversations, but it also analyzes the data and surfaces actionable insights that would have been difficult and time-consuming to uncover otherwise.

By reducing the time required to review and analyze customer conversations, conversation intelligence frees up time for managers to spend on more complex, high-impact activities, such as coaching agents or driving forward projects to improve the customer experience.  

2. Identify cost-saving opportunities

Conversation intelligence enables managers to uncover previously unknown cost drivers and save the business money. For example, CX managers might use conversation intelligence software to uncover the top drivers of unnecessary calls and develop new self-service resources to direct more customers to less expensive channels. Customer service managers might identify the issues that most frequently lead to repeat calls and coach agents to forward-solve those issues on the first call.

Regardless of their department, reducing operational costs allows managers to reallocate budget to resources or activities that will help them meet their goals.  

3. Improve team member performance with coaching insights

People managers benefit from the insights into team member performance they can get with a conversation intelligence solution. Conversation intelligence lets managers see the specific language and behaviors frontline agents are using that impact important metrics like churn, conversion rate, and customer satisfaction. They can use this information to shape one-on-one coaching sessions, team-wide training sessions, and department goal-setting. 

Equipping agents with actionable feedback helps them improve their performance, leading to a better customer and agent experience.

4. Reduce compliance risk

Compliance violations in customer interactions put businesses at risk for fines, legal action, and reputational damage. By using conversation intelligence to monitor every interaction for compliance criteria, managers can ensure their team members are following the appropriate policies and regulations–and quickly address the issue if they aren’t. 

5. Prioritize initiatives and resource allocation

Conversation intelligence helps managers better understand customer pain points, preferences, and needs. By identifying trends and patterns in customer interactions, managers can allocate resources more efficiently, concentrating efforts on areas most likely to yield the biggest wins. Whether in customer service, sales, product development, or CX management, conversation intelligence ensures that strategies are firmly rooted in the voice of the customer.

6. Measure and report on ROI

Managers must measure and demonstrate the impact of their team’s work and investments. Conversation intelligence enables team leaders to track the impact of coaching, process changes, and other initiatives on the metrics that matter to their business. A good conversation intelligence platform will generate easy-to-read reports and dashboards that managers can share with their department or company leaders to demonstrate the ROI of their efforts. 

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Final takeaways

While the contact center is usually the first area of the business to adopt a conversation intelligence solution, the benefits extend beyond the contact center’s walls. Customer experience is every department’s business, and managers across the organization can benefit from insights surfaced from customer conversations. 

Conversation intelligence ensures managers are hearing the voice of the customer, enabling them to make decisions that contribute to a positive customer experience.

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