By Sourabh Gupta, CEO and Co-founder of Vernacular.ai
Even the best-prepared disaster recovery plans were caught off-guard in the face of the unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses are still scrambling to tackle the aftermath of an economic and humanitarian crisis. While different industries have witnessed varying levels of impact, there have been few that have remained unscathed.
The prime concern for many businesses now, especially B2C businesses has been to ensure that their customers have remained engaged and their conversations with their customers continue, despite physical storefronts remaining inaccessible, much longer than anticipated. For many businesses, an airline for instance – it was critical to be able to communicate changes and cancellations to their customers and be able to address their grievances in the hordes. For others, like e-commerce companies facing limited impact, there was the need to stay engaged and keep services up to the mark, ensuring delays and disruptions in the supply chain were addressed and communicated to the end customer. Then there were others like ISPs who suddenly saw a spike in new connections and a tremendous demand for upgrades, owing to work from home becoming the new normal, or then banks witnessing all incoming queries restricted to the digital medium. Irrespective of the impact businesses were facing, one thing remained common across industries, to ensure business continuity, and that was the simple need to keep communicating.
Falling agent call capacity
Customer contact centers have always played an important role in the majority of customer communication in the past. In the early 2000s, they presented Indian companies with a mega opportunity, and we subsequently became the famed back office of the world. But with technology transforming the way we do business, including the introduction of that sweet ingredient AI, we are expected to see a new opportunity to take customer service through yet another pioneering phase of transformation.
While the need for a human-to-human interaction may not go away just yet, the future of human to machine interaction that is expected to ride the hype cycle – is going to be “Voice”.
According toPindrop Pulse Flash Report, one of the major impacts of Covid-related changes in infrastructure on contact center operations was the call volume capacity that agents could handle. Agent call capacity dropped by 20% and agent call capacity continues to hover around 7.6% lower than pre-COVID-19 levels.
Businesses are increasingly under pressure to do more with less, cut costs, drive up optimization and yet ensure growth and continuity. At the same time, customers have become more demanding, issues have become more complex, and a lot of situations have little precedent. With contact centers struggling to deliver optimal agent capacities with long drawn out work from home scenarios, these metrics are unlikely to change. This is one of those rare occasions, where a novel problem has met with a novel solution – Voice AI.
Multilingual Voice AI takes center stage
Enterprises have now been forced to sit up and take note of the fact that automating the contact center operations can allow the delivery of remarkably good service experiences for customers, while leaving the more complex and difficult conversations to the human agents. Voice AI is the much-needed shot in the arm for post-pandemic, stressed out contact center operations.
Deploying a multilingual voice AI platform that can serve as a virtual contact center agent in tandem with a human agent, can primarily help reduce call wait times, better and speedier resolutions, with seamless transfers between machine and agent for more complex issues. This in turn will lead to greater customer loyalty and significantly reduced customer acquisition costs.
How can multilingual Voice AI help
● Highly secure and scalable platform
● Engaging in smooth natural human-like conversations and understanding customers’ queries to facilitate resolution
● Understand customer queries to facilitate quick query resolution
● Identifying hidden patterns and analyze customer interactions to derive the intent of your customers and act accordingly
● Enabling unique personalized speaker profiles of customers and modifying for future customer interactions
● A consistent quality of service and 24X7 availability
● Improved agent performance
● Increased customer satisfaction
Answering the urgent call
As businesses compete for customers to sustain and grow their bottom lines, it is becoming more critical that they adopt technology solutions that not only complement current legacy systems, creating an impact that is immediate and turnkey, but also are also able to do this without taking on unbearable costs. Voice AI solutions fit the bill perfectly and are easily implemented, with banks being early adopters, proving its undeniable efficacy. This trend is now beyond hype and will create the next wave of transformation in a business’s interaction, and eventual long-term relationship with its customer.
According to Markets and Markets, the global conversational AI market size is expected to grow from USD 4.8 billion in 2020 to USD 13.9 billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 21.9% during the forecast period. In countries like India, where a single language is further spoken in multiple dialects, and where English continues to challenge much of the 1.3 billion people expected to come online, Voice AI as a core contact center automation technology will be a game changer for businesses who are keen to learn the language that their customers understand.