The golden age of voice communications
Published: May 13, 2019
The Impact of Voice Services on Customer Experience
It wasn’t that long ago when it felt like websites, chatbots, and mobile apps would completely replace voice-based channels as the preferred method for inbound customer engagement. Add in a growing population of millennials who prefer to text instead of talk, and it’s not too hard to see how we would soon be living in a “call center-free” future.
However, reports of the death of voice have been greatly exaggerated. Rather than decline, IP toll free traffic continues to hit record highs, with Verizon alone topping 35 billion minutes in 2018. In fact, contact center agent seats continue to grow along with voice channel usage and omnichannel voice services, impacting the customer experience. This results in an increased level of customer engagement that translates to more effective selling, revenue generation, and customer retention.
The reality is that we are living in a golden age of voice. While people certainly appreciate the convenience of chatbots and websites for simple tasks like changing passwords and looking up account balances, people still want to talk to other people when they have an important issue.
Smart home devices powered by services like Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri are training a new generation of consumers to get information or ask for help via voice instead of searching through a web browser. So voice is at the center of the customer interactions that truly define a customer experience. Rather than the death of voice, it turns out that voice has never been more relevant to consumers and businesses alike.
Furthermore, in order to meet customer expectations and demands in an ever-changing environment, sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) is being used by enterprises to drive powerful speech analytics that can yield an invaluable treasure trove of customer intelligence. Everything from emotional level to customer sentiment to competitive mentions to personal information is now being recorded, analyzed and mined for valuable insights.
Thanks to such technologies, enterprises now want customers to talk as much as possible, whether it's to an agent or a voice-powered digital assistant. That places a lot of responsibility on us to maintain voice quality as speech analytic algorithms are more sensitive than humans to poor voice quality. Any degradation in voice quality will greatly reduce the speech analytics yield and make the voice files worthless.
There’s no doubt that voice is here to stay. And, we are doing more work than ever before designing and implementing contact center voice networks for people and conversational AI speech algorithms to address advancing technology. Our voice engineering effort is focused on, but is not limited to, technical design and commercial issues that need to be addressed when deploying a next generation inbound voice infrastructure for high volume customer calling.
Through the rest of the year, we plan on exploring the exciting world of voice, looking at the various aspects identified above and the ways voice services impact customer experience so as to become your go to resource for information around voice. Our team of experts includes voice engineers, product developers, contact center operators and customer experience designers, not to mention the insights we get from our technology partners, customers, and analyst community. We’ll be sharing content on the following topics:
- Inbound Voice Security, Authentication, and Fraud detection.
- Speech Analytics & Conversational Marketing – how to maximize the benefit of this exciting new area fuel by NLU, AI and Machine Learning.
- Voice Architecture – practical design and practical commercial considerations.
Together, we’ll go beyond the glitzy talk of the potential of voice and get down into the weeds to share best practices for implementing and operating a voice network that can do much more than just facilitate conversation. Check back here soon for our first article!
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