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How Are New Voice Technologies Impacting the Contact Centre?


A picture of a woman shouting down a megaphone

Mike Palmer of Spearline discusses the latest innovations in voice technology within the contact centre space.

Voice user interfaces, voice search, voice-based user experience, and more are transforming the world around us.

Voice interaction is a major focal area for technology and process development, and it’s all about making life easier. With voice interaction, the user or customer bypasses any need to read, type, or think, which are all requirements of typical screen and keyboard-style interfaces. The user is put into a simple conversational mode to get their objectives met.

UX designers are scrambling to deliver solutions that will transform the way consumers interact with businesses and the way people interact with machines, systems, and services. While the concept of “conversation” seems very straightforward, the technology building blocks underpinning it are complex. Breaking free of the screen-and-keyboard-style UI opens up avenues of inclusivity and accessibility.

AI-empowered voicebots can interact with humans in a human-like and comfortable way. With a mature artificial intelligence foundation, the user interaction can be quick and relaxed, as natural conversation easily leads to an outcome, and because it’s intuitive, there is no notable learning curve for the users.

Interactions can leverage voice analytics technologies, monitoring emotions to see if the user is happy, confused, disappointed, neutral or other. Voice analytics can also watch for keywords to inform and direct the interaction, and can assess the style and quality of the user responses and tune a voicebot’s delivery to the situation. The potential insights that voice tone and pitch can provide simply are not possible at screen-and-keyboard interfaces.

Voice biometric technology can enable a more secure experience. Internet security, privacy, and identity protection are growing concerns, and the acoustic characteristics and behavioural features that are unique to each individual are being leveraged more and more for authentication and access services.

The use of voice search and voice assistants is growing exponentially and becoming popular with all age groups, especially younger consumers. Services have grown well beyond basic navigation, playlists, and phone calls, to voice-supported email and calendar management, shopping and more.

In 2020, it is estimated that 30 percent of web browsing will be screenless, and with the rapid rise of voice assistants and smart speakers, many expect figures to exceed this. Voice assistant tech is leading the way to much more dynamic and elaborate human-machine interaction which will be part of our everyday lives.

For businesses, the potential is quite exciting. Providing a Voice User Interface (VUI) solution that is easy to use, helpful, and conveys brand personality can ensure that customers receive instantaneous responses while reducing operating costs. Success in the arena, however, is not guaranteed.

The interface must provide an accessible and simplified user experience that is appropriate for the products and services being supported.

Critically, many interactions will happen via phone, and network management teams will be tasked with ensuring the network environment supports the voice interaction.

In human-human interaction, via phone, we often encounter latency/delay, echo, background noise, audio clipping, or a host of other phenomena that our human mind is conditioned to cope with, or where we have conscious or unconscious strategies to make sense of the flawed communication. Voice interface technologies today, while impressive, are no match for the brilliance of the human brain.

Mike Palmer

Mike Palmer

Network teams are able to influence a business’s own network arrangements; however, customers access services from other networks. Enterprise network monitoring solutions don’t provide the assurances that an active voice connection is supportive of productive voice interaction.

Proactive approaches to voice services management will ensure those call paths that carry actual user traffic are monitored end-to-end.

For further information about Spearline, visit: www.spearline.com

Published On: 22nd Jan 2020 - Last modified: 28th Jan 2020
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