According to Statista, by 2023, the number of digital voice assistants will reach around 8 billion—a number higher than the world’s population. These numbers suggest that people will be accessing information, making payments, and communicating with organizations through voice user interfaces in a variety of settings. The accelerated adoption of voice assistants and people’s growing comfort interacting with them are compelling reasons for brands and call centers to look to voice AI for delivering exceptional customer experiences.
A voice assistant in the call center alleviates the friction and frustration of everyday caller requests and helps brands avoid delayed response times during periods of high call volume. Whether we are again faced with a global crisis or simply the ebb and flow of economies and markets, our current situation has been a lesson for brands to stop riding the waves of prosperity without systems in place that can withstand the troughs of hardship.
Voice AI in the call center environment
Implementing a voice-first strategy in the call center environment is an opportunity for brands to provide faster, more accurate responses and greater levels of personalization. When escalation is the best response, a voice assistant can quickly route the call to an available agent without the long hold times that further exacerbate negative emotions.
In contrast to the difficulties of navigating an IVR , voice assistants can provide a frictionless flow from greeting to resolution. Voice AI can intelligently guide your customers through a seamless experience by providing the following:
- Accurate identification of caller intention
- Greater personalization
- An effective method to address routine Tier 1 support calls
- Immediate access to customer history
- An effective method to improve agent performance rates and results
- Elimination of user frustration from repeating information
- Multi-language recognition and responses
- Environmental filters to eliminate background noise and distractions
- Improved speech recognition that allows for stutters and other imprecise speech
When integrated into a cloud-based solution, call center operations have the added benefit of being able to upgrade, innovate, and iterate through the cloud, while managing the system at the local level.
Real-time decision making with Voice AI
When can a call be completed with just an automated response? When should a call go straight to an agent? When should a supervisor be called in? Advanced Speech-to-Meaning ® technology that integrates highly-developed speech recognition and natural language understanding technologies allows call center systems to make these decisions even as customers are speaking.
When an automated response will do, the voice assistant can deliver that information with empathy and personalization, while listening to requests for further information or another unrelated question. Either the voice assistant can answer follow-on questions with the same ease, or quickly transfer the call to the next available agent without creating a wait time queue.
Once the call has been transferred, the voice assistant remains on the line, providing the agent with all the previously collected information and caller data and prompting the agent with the next best action. When a supervisor needs to be notified, the voice assistant can deliver the notification and transfer the call in a seamless, frictionless environment.
In cases where compliance is a mandate, the voice assistant can prompt the agent to give the disclaimer, or provide the disclaimer information through the voice assistant.
Consistency in customer service
Not only is consistency across channels something customers expect, it’s now imperative that brands start thinking about their online presence, call centers, and sales channels as one pipeline through which customers travel. Their relationship with the company extends long beyond just that one call center transaction.
Adopting a voice assistant in the customer support center can be the first step to voice-first strategy that becomes the foundation of a consistent brand voice across platforms and channels. To get started, brands may need to overcome some hurdles, but not having a voice strategy today means failing your customers’ expectations in a changing social environment.
Karen Scates is a storyteller with a passion for helping others through content. Argentine tango, good books and great wine round out Karen’s interests.