Voice AI call centers
Nov 01, 2021
7 MIN READ

How Custom Voice Assistants in Call Centers are Raising Customer Satisfaction Ratings

For many companies, the first touch with a customer and the opportunity to either create brand loyalty or customer churn lies in the contact center. During the process of problem resolution, information gathering, task completion, or even while on hold, customers and prospects form first—and often lasting—impressions. Even before the problem resolution stage, interactions with the customer service center are directly linked to sales opportunities. According to Zendesk, 84% of consumers consider customer service to be a key factor when deciding whether or not to purchase—and likely whether or not to purchase again.

On the other hand, poor customer service experiences, including long wait times, complex and lengthy menus, and agents who don’t have enough information to resolve issues quickly, have a direct effect on the bottom line. A study by Microsoft revealed that 58% of consumers will switch companies because of poor customer service. Staying competitive by attracting and retaining customers can hinge on the contact center experience.

Many industries, including banking and e-commerce, rely on their contact centers to process a high volume of calls in a personalized, quick, and efficient manner. Legacy IVR systems, though, can create even more of a burden by providing menus that are too long or too complicated, resulting in the customer becoming frustrated and wanting to speak only to a human agent. However, with voice AI integrated into call centers, many obstacles can be overcome with ease. 

Voice AI overcomes call center challenges

Call centers have their own unique set of challenges, many of which voice assistants can solve by simply creating a more seamless, efficient, and enjoyable process. Brands hoping to provide consistent and exceptional caller experiences will want to consider the ability of voice AI technology to create brand loyalty and increase revenue. 

Here are some of the challenges call centers face that voice AI can help alleviate: 

  • Frustrations and limitations of IVR systems
  • Limitations of human call center agents
  • Common queries and routine transactions
  • Training and record-keeping

Legacy IVR systems can create a web of negative customer experiences through long and complex menus, endless loops, repeated information, and misunderstood responses. A few minutes of dealing with an IVR system can leave a caller frustrated and miserable, begging for a human agent. Voice assistants, though, can create positive experiences by throwing out the antiquated system and, instead, asking the user how they can help. A request, such as “I’d like to make a payment,” can be easily understood and processed. 

Legacy IVR systems can create a web of negative customer experiences through long and complex menus, endless loops, repeated information, and misunderstood responses. 

Voice AI in call centers can also address common queries and routine transactions, reducing the burden on human agents. Information about locations, payments, balances, and password resets, can be quickly handled directly by voice assistants. Callers in need of urgent support, though, such as those involved in a car accident or credit card fraud, can be prioritized by the voice assistant and sent to the proper human agent to assist them. 

Voice AI is continuously evolving, and machine learning capabilities can help recognize patterns in calls and requests. Voice technology can improve the training process by actively transcribing calls to be reviewed by supervisors at a later time. It can also support agents during calls by keeping records for them, so they don’t have to multi-task and can focus on the caller, thereby creating both improved customer and employee experiences. 

Superior customer service in voice AI call centers

Customer service is the top priority for call centers hoping to create exceptional experiences, consistency, and brand loyalty. According to an Opus Research Survey, nearly half (48%) of telecom companies are deploying voice assistants to improve the customer experience in their contact centers. While telecom remains the largest single industry voice-enabling their call centers, businesses in a variety of markets are following suit as customer demand for better service drives more companies to adopt voice-first strategies across channels.

Nearly half (48%) of telecom companies are deploying voice assistants to improve the customer experience in their contact centers.

Opus Research

Voice assistants improve customer service in call centers by providing:

  • Increased personalization
  • Conversational interactions
  • Enhanced security
  • Reduced operational costs

Voice assistants reduce frustrations for callers by skipping complex and lengthy menus and immediately getting to the reason for the call. Voice AI in call centers can also make interactions more personal and secure by recognizing identifying information, such as the user’s phone number or if they have logged into the brand’s app, and incorporating the caller’s name into the conversation. 

Multi-factor authentication methods such as these increase security and reduce the potential for fraud. A Cyber-Telecom Crime Report 2019 reported that $32.7 billion is lost in telecom fraud annually. By using voice AI technology to make call centers more secure, callers will feel safer and more comfortable with the service, and brands will see an increase in revenue. 

By answering routine questions, voice AI in call centers can reduce wait times and free human agents to focus on users that require their expertise. A report from Capgemini stated that 66% of businesses reported a greater than 20% reduction in the number of calls to customer service due to the implementation of voice assistants. With voice AI, call centers can rethink how they handle calls and increase customer satisfaction through faster service.

66% of businesses reported a greater than 20% reduction in the number of calls to customer service due to the implementation of voice assistants.

Capgemini

Voice assistants alleviate increased call volumes

Whether there’s a crisis, an event, or insufficient staff, contact centers can be easily overwhelmed with sudden increases in call volumes. During times of stress or emergencies, long wait times cause caller frustration and even panic while putting extra stress and overwhelming workloads on human agents. Voice assistants ease the burden of increased call volumes by answering routine questions, avoiding the need to repeat identifying information, and directing calls to the appropriate agents only when needed. 

Voice assistants can ease the burden of increased call volumes by answering routine questions, avoiding the need to repeat identifying information, and directing calls to the appropriate agents only when needed. 

Greater efficiencies can be gained by voice assistants that can make real-time decisions, answer follow-up questions with ease, and quickly transfer calls to the appropriate agent when the human touch is required. Once the call has been transferred, the voice assistant can provide the agent with all necessary information about who the caller is and what they need help with to avoid repeated questions that add to caller grievances. Consistency in customer service is essential for call centers, and voice assistants can do the heavy lifting to reduce wait times and provide faster, more accurate service.

Meanwhile, call center agents experience greater job satisfaction as they are relieved of the need to answer the same routine questions over and over and can focus on delivering the kind of creative solutions and empathy that only humans can provide.

By overcoming call center challenges, providing superior customer service, and alleviating increased call volumes, voice assistants are paving the way for a superior caller experience and more seamless workflow. Companies hoping to stay ahead of the competition will want to consider investing in voice AI technology for their call centers before their current system creates caller frustration and dissatisfaction, which could ultimately lead to abandoning the brand.

At SoundHound Inc., we have all the tools and expertise needed to create custom voice assistants and a consistent brand voice. Explore our independent voice AI platform at Houndify.com and register for a free account. Want to learn more? Talk to us about how we can help bring your voice strategy to life.

Kristen is a content writer with a passion for storytelling and marketing. When she’s not writing, she’s hiking, reading, and spending time with her nieces and nephew.

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