By Sourabh Gupta, Co-founder and CEO, Skit.ai
The global voice and speech recognition market is expected to reach US $53.66 billion, by 2030.
Whenever customers have queries, they respond better with voice. Voice interaction is a more reassuring way of having concerns addressed. Conventionally, callers must first navigate the lengthy Interactive Voice Response (IVR) menus, laboriously key in the numbers and details, and wait indefinitely till they reach a call center agent.
To counter the unpleasant experience of waiting in the IVR loop or call transfers, businesses and brands across industries can unlock the capabilities of Conversational Voice AI technology for contact center automation and modernization. The versatile AI-powered, cutting-edge solution called Augmented Voice Intelligence (AVI) extends an enterprise’s contact center capabilities by combining the power of human agents and machines.
Understanding the Technology behind Augmented Voice Intelligence (AVI)
Augmented Voice Intelligence (AVI) is a purpose-built, voice-first platform that can be integrated with a brand or business’s customer-service departments and customer communication touch points. At the heart of Augmented Voice Intelligence (AVI) is a confluence of voice automation technologies such as Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), Spoken Language Understanding (SLU), Text-to-Speech (TTS), and more. This underlying Voice AI technology stack powers Digital Voice Agents that can provide intelligent, multi-turn responses to customer queries.
The purpose of Augmented Voice Intelligence (AVI) is to boost contact center productivity through voice automation of customer interactions and allowing an ‘intelligent machine and human workforce partnership’. By automating and augmenting contact centers to leverage voice interactions with customers at scale, Augmented Voice Intelligence (AVI) impacts the overall customer experience, enhancing both inbound and outbound communication.
Here’s a brief snapshot of the way this technology functions:
1. An individual contacts customer support.
2. An AI-powered voice bot (or ‘Digital Voice Agent’) responds to queries like a real person.
3. The Digital Voice Agent holds human-feeling conversations with the caller and performs actions such as requesting appropriate details, caller authentication and call transfer to the right agent if the query is complex and requires human agent intervention.
For digitally native brands, Augmented Voice Intelligence (AVI) offers practical features to enhance their value proposition while achieving cost savings and profitability. Augmented Voice Intelligence (AVI) can deliver demonstrable benefits for critical use-cases across sectors including BFSI, fintech, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), e-commerce, and tourism and hospitality.
How Augmented Voice Intelligence Supports Multi-turn Conversations
AI-powered Voice-first solutions are created to tackle the nuances of voice. They are based on Spoken Language Understanding (SLU) which makes them ready and capable of intelligent voice conversations. For example, when a customer says they “want to book a table for 4… 5 people,” it does not mean “45 people.” Only voice AI solutions, that are powered by SLU, and are purpose-built from the ground for voice will be able to understand the nuances of spoken conversation.
An Augmented Voice Intelligence platform is different from the popular voice assistants available in the market. Google and Amazon Voice assistants are created to handle a single turn of a conversation. They are designed to answer generic, anything-under-the-sun questions, and not for context-aware conversation. The embedded voice assistants in our smartphones and other IoT devices respond to a single, short voice command at a time. In stark contrast, Voice AI Agents or Digital Voice Agents are trained for specific use-cases, and hence are capable of multi-turn conversations.
Augmented Voice Intelligence (AVI) can address queries that involve over 7-8 turns of conversation because it is aware of how human conversations function, and is trained for all possible issues the consumer has called for. Digital Voice Agents are, in contrast to popular voice assistants, capable of handling paralinguistic cues, can filter background noise, and can understand a variety of dialects and accents, conversational pauses, and barge-ins. They are also capable of switching between languages in tandem with the human on the other side of the call.
This is also the reason why an Augmented Voice Intelligence (AVI)platform is much more complex to build. Every response and action by the Digital Voice Agent has to be processed in real-time within milliseconds. To ensure it functions efficiently, millions of hours of training data are incorporated into this technology to optimize it for replicating human-like responses. After all, it is the core value of Augmented Voice Intelligence (AVI)—to technologically emulate the characteristics of human conversations and transform CX.
It must also be noted that Digital Voice Agents are not meant to replace human agents, but to assist them by dealing with low-value tasks and simple FAQs, while human agents tackle the complex and challenging calls.
The benefit of Automating Customer Support
Augmented Voice Intelligence (AVI) is built for contact center modernization and empowers contact center teams throughout their journey with self-service options by automating mundane, repetitive queries so that the agents can focus on handling complex queries and improving their productivity. Digital Voice Agents can provide proactive, compassionate, and personalized round-the-clock help at scale, thereby reducing customer friction points, and increasing customer lifetime value and retention rate at lower costs. Further, they can independently oversee zero-value tasks and tier-1 customer queries without needing human agent intervention.
Along with intelligent call routing and automated scheduling and reservations, businesses can leverage Augmented Voice Intelligence (AVI) to automate high-volume reminders and updates to keep their consumers informed in near real-time about transaction status, accounts, and services-related information.
What does the future hold for Voice AI?
Voice AI helps businesses enhance and create new milestones in customer experience by unlocking insights and capturing intent based on customers’ tone of voice, speed of conversation and sentiments.
The opportunities with Voice AI are plenty and the market is slowly warming up to the possibilities. Whether it is for addressing a complex use case in the hospitality and banking industry or something as simple as booking a table in a restaurant, brands can drive unique customer service experiences that are fast, convenient, efficient, and hands-free. By 2030, the Conversational AI space (the category in which Voice AI belongs) is predicted to touch US $32.62 billion, attributed to its growing relevance in reshaping contact centers. By augmenting customer support services using Augmented Voice Intelligence (AVI), companies can cut down their call center expenses by 50% and also provide efficient 24/7 seamless customer support.
Thus, Augmented Voice Intelligence (AVI) is the voice of the future. By collaborating with businesses it has the potential to usher in a new technology revolution.