Privacy Preserving Conversation Intelligence

At bliro, we believe that companies should work closer with and on their customers. Conversation Intelligence products are ideal for this. However, not the way they work today.

What is Conversation Intelligence?

Employees in companies across all industries spend countless hours in online meetings and on the phone. Both internally in team meetings, short update conversations or company-wide conferences, as well as externally with customers and partners. Generally, it is always up to the participants in the respective conversations to document and post-process all relevant information.

Especially in external meetings, the documentation of information is essential. How much does the customer order? Which competitors has he worked with before? What problems does he have? However, in addition to this very clear information, there are much deeper insights slumbering in customer conversations, which the participants do not even notice at first, but which can be generated in a data-driven manner. What are the participants' conversational shares? And how suitable are they for calculating the probability of signing a contract? What metrics indicate whether a customer will renew a contract or not?

Conversation Intelligence is designed to answer the above questions. By recording and analyzing telephone conversations and online meetings.

Why is Conversation Intelligence so valuable?

1. Objective data basis

If a company wants to be successful, it must understand its customers. But in reality, customer understanding decreases rapidly the further away an employee works from the customer. Sales and support staff have an extraordinary amount of customer contact and are responsible for bringing customer needs into the company. However, documenting customer information in different systems leads to an enormous manual effort for them (read more in our previous blog articles [1] and [2]). With the help of Conversation Intelligence solutions, an objective data basis of customer information can be created without much manual effort, to which various stakeholders have access.

2. Process Improvements and Trainings

Structuring and monitoring any customer-related process is essential for a good customer experience. In the sales process, from initial contact to contract closure, as well as in the onboarding or customer support process, data from customer conversations can provide the insights to differentiate decisively from the competition, to win the deal, or to use customer quotes to drive product development to develop a new feature that keeps the customer from quitting.

Not only that, recording and analyzing customer conversations can also help improve quality in the sales and support team. What topics should be discussed with the customer? Which phrases have a statistically increasing influence on winning a deal?

What are the disadvantages?

The biggest disadvantage is at the very beginning of the value chain: the analysis and preparation of conversations is based on recording the conversation from start to finish. Now, even professional conversations do not consist 100% of business-relevant topics. And even if they did - no user likes to be monitored, especially in Europe. Existing conversation intelligence solutions record any customer conversations completely - often the user doesn't even have the option to turn the tool off. Sales managers can thus benchmark individual employees against each other: Who expresses themselves in what way? How closely are predefined discussion guidelines followed? And the customers are also recorded: including their names, videos and private conversation content.

Now what impression would it have on you as a customer if you knew that everything you said was being recorded word for word? According to some of our test users, a rather disconcerting one: Despite the undeniable advantages of Conversation Intelligence products, their introduction (especially in German and European companies) fails again and again because both customers and users resist. According to the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as a user of a Conversation Intelligence solution, you would have to ask all participants in the conversation for active consent to record and analyze the conversation before each individual conversation, unless otherwise contractually regulated. Active consent, not notification in the fine print! A no-go for many users and companies. Even if customers agree to consent, just knowing that a call is being recorded has an impact on how openly the customer shares information.

What is bliro's approach?

Well, the benefits of Conversation Intelligence products are clear: less manual documentation effort in customer-facing teams and potentially better customer understanding through an objective data foundation across the whole company. But how do you reconcile these benefits with unresolved privacy issues?

Bliro is working on a solution: We want to expand the conversation intelligence market by adding a new category: Privacy Preserving Conversation Intelligence. Unlike our competitors, we do not analyze the entire conversation. We anonymize and filter conversations locally and automatically on our users' computers. Ultimately, only business-relevant information from the conversations reaches our customers. In addition, the producer of the data, i.e. our user, always remains in possession of his or her data. He or she decides what should be shared and what should not.

Our technology enables similar use cases as "classic" Conversation Intelligence, only without having to monitor individual users. So privacy preservation AND more transparency into customer conversations. No monitoring AND less manual documentation effort. Users retain control over their data AND customer understanding is increased throughout the company.

And of course, all data is hosted and processed exclusively in Germany and Europe with European providers and thus always remains under the protection of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Next Steps

We are currently developing the first version of our product together with professional test users from customer-oriented teams and plan to make the first version freely available in January as part of a beta program. If you are a sales or customer success employee and are interested in supporting us as a test user in the current product development in the context of interviews or user tests, please contact us at hello@bliro.io.

If you yourself are a sales manager, product manager or market analyst and would benefit from better documentation and analysis of customer conversations, then please also feel free to contact us at hello@bliro.io.

We are happy to get in touch!

Related articles

[1] How to free up time in B2B Sales? - bliro

[2] Customer Success Managers - The eyes and ears of B2B companies - bliro