As companies seek new ways to improve customer experience, it looks like speech recognition and customer service work great in tandem. While many voice technology solutions are still being explored, some of them have already made their way into call centers all over the world.
Speech Recognition: the What & the How
On the whole, speech recognition is the technology that allows a program to identify and “decipher” human speech.
The key difference from simply recording audio is that by processing your voice the computer “understands” what you’re saying. This is usually referred to as natural language processing (NLP). Complex algorithms process the audio, breaking it apart into words and phrases. They assess the context of every response and even the speaker’s emotions.
The data retrieved by processing speech can be used for many purposes.
Most commonly, speech is transcribed. Speech-to-text conversion allows for manual transcription. This is how you get voice typing (dictation), YouTube’s automatically generated subtitles, and audio translation.
Using voice commands to control software is the next logical step.
This is where customer service comes in.
Voicebots and You
Speech recognition in customer service as of 2022 works through “voicebots”.
Widely used by call centers, a voicebot is a piece of software that allows the customer to communicate with an interactive voice response (IVR) system.
You can still find older IVRs that don’t use voice recognition. Instead you are prompted to press 1, 2, or 3 to pick an option from the menu. On the other hand, the new conversational IVRs don’t require you to touch the phone at all.
A conversational IVR processes natural language and uses it as input. Based on whether the caller’s audio contains certain cues, the IVR can respond by providing information, asking questions, or performing actions.
- Contacting ISP to report internet connection issues. Before you get through to the human operator, IVR is going to ask you what happened. Then it’s going to suggest you first try to switch your router on and off or check the integrity of the cable.
- Automating sales calls, phone surveys. As a business owner, you can utilize a voicebot to have it call a list of numbers and offer the product to those interested, addressing their questions and helping them complete the purchase.
As you can see, a voicebot can help your call center operators deal with the deluge of calls by filtering out simple requests that can be handled automatically. This enhances the customer experience by miles: the caller doesn’t have to form the queue waiting for an available operator to finally pick up the phone.
All in all, voicebots offer many perks, especially if you’re working to optimize and improve your customer service.
- instant communication; voice recognition makes it easier for customer and business to connect right away, no time and effort wasted
- reduced costs; with a good voicebot, call centers can hire fewer operators－or scale up
- out-of-the-box, easily integrated solutions
- automated troubleshooting; changing user info, providing information, and so on can be done without engaging company employees
As voice technology continues to improve and evolve, we can expect voicebots to grow more sophisticated. If things keep progressing at the current rate, soon voicebots are going to become indistinguishable from human custom service workers.
If you want to know more about voice technology, visit our homepage at senstone.io.