Even with the world being completely reshaped over the last year and a half, we still continue to live in uncertain times. For many businesses, this has meant a review of existing products, functions, and technologies and continuously looking for ways to enhance customer experience. While we have witnessed AI-based virtual assistants being used extensively across homes (like Amazon’s Alexa), such products can provide great opportunities for businesses as well. In fact, new findings by Juniper Research state that “Voice assistants will handle USD 19.4 billion in transactions by 2023 (a growth of 320% from the expected $4.6 billion).
This significant growth may be attributed to people’s preference of opting to ‘speak’ and ‘hear’ during lockdowns, along with a surge in the number of products with built-in voice assistants. Voicebots need to handle more than just text – they also need to account for words, accents, tone, intent, pauses, and fillers.
Why businesses should leverage Voicebots
A finely tuned Voicebot can significantly help businesses save time, effort, and money. These machines can function round-the-clock without downtime and quickly run error-free automated workflows handled by call center agents. They can also administer outbound call campaigns (customer offers, reminders, promotions, etc.) irrespective of scale and even reroute customer queries to relevant ‘human’ agents when and where required.
As a possible first point of customer contact, Voicebots can quickly analyze and determine queries and provide prompt solutions – either on their own or by directing them to appropriate call center executives. Voicebots can also leverage text and chat to multitask, e.g., data entry into a CRM, system integration to fetch records, or even raise ticket requests.
How Voicebots help Call Centers
For Voicebots to work seamlessly within call centers, they must be able to connect to an Electronic Private Branch Exchange (EPBX) system. This is basically the lifeline of a business’ phone network, which provides an array of options from call queues and conferencing to IVR (interactive voice recording), callback support, or even deciding the type of music played while a customer is on hold. By doing so, Voicebots can manage ‘on-the-call’ customer requirements and provide further steps and assistance through the EPBX. They can also follow up with previous customers by offering personalized services and communication to ensure quick response times. This can greatly enhance customer experience and help businesses save time, reduce errors during interactions, and limit the need for additional human resources, leading to cost savings.
The Future of Voicebots
If there’s one thing that the ongoing pandemic has taught us, it’s that the need to communicate with our voice and ears is only going to increase. Though swipes and messages will still be prevalent, the need to ‘hear and speak’ when faced with often isolated and contactless environments has never been greater.
In fact, a recent survey by Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work has highlighted “COVID-19 as an inflection point from “gradual” to “sudden” voice adoption.” Further, it is clear from the IT and marketing decision-makers surveyed (within Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions), 74% “view voice as important or extremely important for their business,” which can help businesses gain a “first-mover advantage.” Significantly, topline counts and voice technology seem to be a key part of this, with over “6% of revenue being driven by businesses through voice over the next five years [2020-2025]”.
Of course, there are also challenges with adopting such technology, and the ongoing difficulties of successful text-to-speech and mirroring a human voice, with all its quirks, moods, and accents, can be challenging. Further, difficulties integrating Voicebots into existing systems and processes, choosing where and when to do so, and issues surrounding privacy, are all challenges, which require careful consideration. It is important to select a product and partner that is on top of its technical and engineering game and can support your integration and customization needs.
Nevertheless, with home assistants playing such a huge role in reimagining human-technology interactions, businesses are also keen on making optimal use of voice technology. Voicebots, which are properly created, trained, and implemented, can play a huge part in customer loyalty, retention, cost and time savings, and most importantly, delivering memorable experiences. Talk to us today to explore how you can benefit from voicebots.