Transforming Customer Experience with Optichannel Support and Augmented Voice Intelligence

We have all been in dire straits and dealt with frozen bank accounts and medical or travel emergencies. We can vividly recall the palpitation and frustration felt during those moments, waiting for customer support, navigating IVRs, or a chatbot.

Companies have long wanted to change it, but challenges such as high attrition rates, unscalable teams, inconsistent CX, and cost pressures have curtailed their capability to serve customers.

Consequently, customer frustration is on the rise. A 2019 report said that customers are annoyed by the irrelevant options presented by the IVR. In fact, two out of three Americans (66 percent) say they would choose AI-powered voice-over chat if it were effective at answering their questions.

Riding the wave of recent advancements in NLP and AI, we are graduating from machines automating crude, low-value tasks to a new era where AI-enabled voice customer support would help companies create enormous value, conversing in their preferred language with semantic understanding to resolve their problems.

Explore How to Improve Customer Experience With Voice AI

For Exceptional CX – Technology and Channel Strategy Matters

A Harvard Business Review survey revealed that 73% of business leaders view reliable customer experience as critical to the overall business performance of their company.

While companies now realize that multi-channel or omnichannel strategy has failed to live up to the expectations of improving CX, primarily because different customer segments prefer specific channels to connect. Thus, an optichannel or optimal channel strategy is more prudent as it focuses on the capability to support a customer journey via a channel/modality optimal for that problem.

Even today, after years of decline in customers’ preference for voice support to troubleshoot, voice is still over 50% in contact volume. Though companies may pursue an omnichannel strategy, if they are not good at voice support, they must be cognizant of its impact on CX. Optichannel is thus a more prudent strategy as being good at different modalities such as emails and chat will not compensate for the damage done by poor voice support. Companies have to choose wisely, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Text and Voice: Don’t Mix and Serve

Acing CX means that the company must be good at serving customers with their preferred channels. Voice is complex, subtle, and requires semantic understanding. Nuances of a voice conversation such as a change in the rate of speech, voice modulations, and more that convey a customer’s feelings are lost if your solution is not built from scratch for voice. Bundling a chatbot with a readily available Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) to add voice capability just kills the beauty of spoken conversations because it can transcribe but not converse.

Shortcuts like these fulfill notionally the goal of being present in every channel but defeat the goal of being good at the relevant channel. 

Moving Beyond the Complexity of Digital Transformation with Voice AI

In the last few decades, the world moved from voice to text to chatbots. But as customers still prefer voice over other communication channels, even brands are taking notice. WhatsApp, a chat messaging platform, is building voice-led solutions for businesses. A Deloitte study reveals that by 2030 there will be a proliferation of voice-led technology across the globe and that 30% of sales will be via voice by then.

As companies hustle to achieve digital transformation, the low success rates, and disturbingly lower rates of sustainable DX success are proof of the precarious journey. 

Fortunately, there is one way to not only automate contact centers with the most cutting-edge technology but also ensure that it succeeds without a big resource commitment from the organization. Yes, Voice AI is one such solution with stand-alone deployment and stunning success rates. 

Companies must consider deploying Augmented Voice Intelligence for contact center automation as a good starting point toward digital transformation. But before that, brands must ponder over the most significant question – What does the shift towards voice entail as we cross the voice automation rubicon? What is its impact on the market and competitive landscape? 

Look before you leap!

Only if you feel that your human agents are doing zero-value repetitive tasks, and there could be enhancement of their productivity. Your company is continuously facing resource, cost, and compliance challenges. Perhaps it’s time to contemplate and change.

For more information and free consultation, let’s connect over a quick call; Book Now!

Also, for more information: How We Can Transform Customer Experience

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The Wait is Over! Transform Customer Experience with Augmented Voice Intelligence

Just over a decade ago, with our first tryst with Siri, little did we imagine its significance and how Voice AI will change customer support forever. Several generations, from baby boomers to millennials to gen Z, are using voice searches on popular platforms such as Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, and others is a testimony of its potential. Today, we stand at the cusp of Voice-tech revolutionizing customer service.

Since speech is an integral part of being human, we covet meaningful conversation to connect and express. But today, even the thought of being stuck with Interactive Voice Response (IVRs) and chatbots in an emergency/urgent situation gives us the heebie-jeebies, right? And the long wait for a customer service agent to pick up, if at all, forges a lasting negative emotion towards the brand.

Companies have been trying hard to deliver a delightful customer experience; but with existing legacy systems, it is just not possible. The emerging answer to CX woes is Augmented Voice Intelligence that not only understands and responds but is semantically capable of comprehending the context of customer queries or problems.

For brands, customer experience can make or break their reputation. A Harvard Business Review survey revealed that 73% of business leaders view reliable customer experience as being critical to their company’s overall business performance.

The Conversational AI space has been experiencing explosive growth, and within it Augmented Voice Intelligence sits at the frontier, with the incredible potential of disrupting the way companies interact with their customers.

Why Voice-first Solutions Will Take it All!

Written language differs significantly from spoken one. Spoken content has more information, hidden in the form of pauses and pitch modulations, Chatbots bundled with ASR can transcribe, but not converse. As organizations pour millions into automated voice support, they would want their virtual agents to understand the semantics, such as sarcasm, and not take “oh, you did a good job’ at face value. Those subtle nuances of human conversations get annihilated when we strap a readily available Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) over a chatbot.

Though chat has distinct use cases it excels at, a simple conversion of text to voice and vice-versa does not meet even the table stakes of a voice conversation.

Watch Skit’s Intelligent Voice Agent in Action

Augmented Voice Intelligence for Contact Centers | Skit.ai

Nearly 9 in 10 people preferred speaking to someone over the phone rather than navigating a pre-set menu, showed research from Clutch. That is why the future belongs to Augmented Voice Intelligence!

Companies cannot simply use generic voice engines, as they are built for contextless conversations. Simply because a customer interacts with a company with a very specific context, and expects it to troubleshoot as skilled human support would do.

Voice-tech solutions that are built for voice, from the ground up, will be the ones delivering successful conversations. This boils down to conversing with customers within a specific context enables automated voice support to solve their problems, even complex ones, in a frictionless manner. It requires training in domain-specific knowledge at the speech recognition layer and creating different design guidelines for every vertical and for specific use cases within those verticals.

It is an uphill task, but what’s the prize for all the effort? The biggest prize indeed: Conversations that your customers will love!

The Conversational AI space has been experiencing explosive growth, and within it Augmented Voice Intelligence sits at the frontier, with the incredible potential of disrupting the way companies interact with their customers.

Augmented Voice Intelligence focuses on empowering an enterprise’s workforce by combining the power of human voice and AI. A Digital Voice Agent can easily resolve tier 1 customer service issues and automate cognitively routine work while human agents can focus on more complex customer problems. 

Human/machine collaboration is the future of intelligent work. The intent is not to replace the human workforce, but to enhance their productivity by taking away the mundane workload. 

The opportunities for the Voice AI ecosystem are only getting started. Data from research platform Allied Market Research showed that the conversational AI space has the potential to touch $32.62 billion by 2030, registering 20% YoY growth between 2021-30.

For brands, customer experience can make or break their reputation. A Harvard Business Review survey revealed that 73% of business leaders view reliable customer experience as being critical to their company’s overall business performance.

End-to-End Customer Support 

The main applications of Voice AI or AI-enabled Intelligent Voice Agents can be subsumed into four categories:

  • Resolving Tier-1 Issues: All calls can be routed through the Voice AI agent, and it will be able to answer a large chunk of calls completely, without any human assistance.
  • Pre-Call Assistance: As the call gets forwarded to the human agent, Voice AI can fetch all the relevant information for the agent to engage in the most meaningful way.
  • On-Call Assistance: The Digital Voice Agent listens to the conversation and provides instant data and help to the human agent, augmenting the agent’s capability to serve manifolds.
  • Post-Call Assistance: Call summary is essential for feedback, and the agent needs to fill it out. An AI-enabled Digital Voice Agent can perform such post-call activities with semantic understanding; the agent simply has to look and approve.

Read More: Voice AI – The Biggest Automation Trend of 2022

Voice AI is the Voice of the Future

Think of a contact center with a seamlessly scalable team available 24*7, with agents who have customer data at their fingertips, where the quality of calls never drops and no one gets frustrated. Where personalization, relevant up-, and cross-selling are table stakes and call data analytics and feedback are available on the fly. 

Sounds like utopia, right?! But this is well within the grasp of businesses, with the right voice technology solution. Now imagine the competitive edge your company can derive from the successful adoption of augmented voice intelligence.

This is the defining moment for custom-centric companies, as their voice strategy will have ripples far into their future.

For more information and free consultation, let’s connect over a quick call; Book Now!

Also, for more information: How We Can Transform Customer Experience

Voice AI: The Biggest Contact Center Automation Trend of 2022

Voice has forever been the preferred means of communication, and today the global shift towards voice is becoming more conspicuous. It has become increasingly popular across generations and geographies. There are 135.6 million people in the US using voice search features, and as of 2021, nearly one in three (32 percent) US consumers own smart speakers, according to Statista. Consumers are using them for shopping, searches, and much more. Studies have found that today, even voice ads are an engaging multitude of users. Over half of all online US shoppers and 40% of the US population use voice assistants to explore products (Narvar, 2018).

The rise is visible across the globe. In India, for instance, the number of people using voice queries daily on Google is nearly twice the global average. With higher consumer adoption of voice-led searches, its incorporation in CX strategy is now a business imperative.

By 2030, there will be a proliferation of voice-led technology across the globe, and 30% of sales will be via voice, a Deloitte study revealed. These are disruptive times, and as MIT research seconds, the risk of not investing in technological capabilities during downturns is nothing less than existential. 

In the new normal, competition has intensified over the capability of companies to deliver CX. Until now, IVRs and chatbots did help in improving CX in a limited way, but an enormous value gap and the chasm of unaddressed challenges remain. The traditional bottlenecks are still constraining the ability of organizations to serve customers. Scalability of the support team and cost pressure are the top two debilitating challenges. Given the plateaued capabilities of present legacy systems, companies have begun to pin their hopes on new technologies such as augmented voice intelligence that can help them break the status quo.

Mounting Challenges of Customer Support

In the new normal, disruption has resulted in the rise of customer support expectations. Here are a few focal pain points:

  • High Attrition Rates: Even the best contact centers struggle to retain.
  • Unscalable Teams: It is near impossible to match the ebbs and flows of call volumes with support team size. 
  • Faltering CX: IVR only resolves rudimentary tasks, rerouting customers to nightmarish waiting lines for human agents to solve their problems.
  • Cost Pressure: Infra, training, retraining, and retention efforts cost a fortune.

Consequently, customer frustration is on the rise. Nearly 9 in 10 people preferred speaking to someone over the phone rather than navigating a pre-set menu (IVR), showed research from Clutch.

Assessing the Tech Solutions Available Today

Technology has always had the answer to most business challenges. Here are the tech solutions available today:

  • IVRs: They had been game-changers when they came. But most IVR implementations are created with the objective of reducing call volumes or preventing callers from getting to an agent. They do not differentiate between customers or their intent, leading to time-consuming and frustrating systems. Also, confusing navigation and terminology with poor integration capability with other channels is a big miss at value creation. IVRs still create value, though in a limited way, and maybe apt for companies where customer experience is not a priority.
  • Chatbots: For companies looking for a cost-efficient solution whose products or services have a Non-linear User Journey a chatbot can be an effective means. They have been here for a while and owe their popularity to-
    • Increasing demand for self-service
    • Are easier to train
    • Ability to give 24/7 customer assistance at low costs
    • Can engage audio-visual media

But they too have their shortcomings – they miss out on two core pillars of customer experience, i.e., emotions and ease of use. It is impossible to convey emotions over text for ordinary folks. Also, it is taxing to type repeatedly, especially if the customers are not tech-savvy, too young or old, or in atypical situations.

  • Voicebots: A meaningful conversation can light up the darkest day! And in customer support, it is even more critical as consumers call their providers with the hope of speedy resolution.

Today, tech advancements have made Voice AI Agents capable of executing biometric authentication and looking up all the relevant information when a user calls from their registered mobile. With data handy, the intelligent voice agent then uses it to quickly solve customer problems with only a few sentences exchanged with the customer. It is the holy grail of customer support, and now with augmented voice intelligence, it is possible.

Changing itineraries, travel plans, canceling or booking tickets, registering complaints, or changing mutual fund portfolio allocation are tasks that can be accomplished with no waiting lines or tedious conversations. There is nothing more satisfying than voice conversations because it’s natural, intuitive, and gratifying.

Learn About The Difference Between Voicebot and Robocallers

Augmented Voice Intelligence Vs. Google Assistant, Siri, and Alex

Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant are the gold standards of voice automation, but they are built for generic conversations, answering any type of query from almost any language. Revolutionary that they may be, they are not suitable for customer support because the expeditious resolution of customer problems requires a solid foundation of context. 

An Intelligent Voice Agent, powered by AI, is trained for thousands of hours on specific customer problems. They understand the vocabulary, the decision process, and what solution to propose. Most importantly, unlike the most popular search engines designed to provide one answer, intelligent voice agents are capable of multiple rounds of questions and answers. For customer-centric companies, Voice AI is a suitable solution.

Listen to Voice AI Agent In Action

Voice-first Solutions Will Transform Contact Center Automation

Written language is significantly different from the spoken one. Chatbots bundled with Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) can transcribe but not converse. When it comes to voice, only pure voice solutions, built from ground up for voice, will be able to deliver tangible business outcomes.

As organizations pour millions into automated voice support, they would want their virtual agents to understand the semantics, such as sarcasm, and not take “oh, you did a good job’ at face value. Those subtle nuances of human conversations get annihilated when we strap a readily available ASR over a chatbot. A simple conversion of text to voice and vice-versa does not meet even the table stakes of a voice conversation.

The attrition among call center employees is the highest. Seamless collaboration of human and machine intelligence is the future of work. Voice AI is perfectly poised to augment human agents and multiply their capabilities.

How? As intelligent beings, we prefer to do meaningful tasks that create value. By taking away a chunk of repetitive and low-value tasks an intelligent voice agent helps human agents focus on significant and complex tasks. Also, it provides information in response to the contents of the conversation, assisting them to perform remarkably better and feel engaged with their work.

Take Your First Step

Brands have to ask themselves – What does the shift towards augmented voice intelligence entail for their market? How can they use voice as a growth engine? Here are a few outcomes organizations have achieved by deploying Augmented Voice Intelligence:

  • Up to 70% automation of customer support efforts
  • 50% reduction in operational costs
  • Over 4.5 customer satisfaction scores
  • Up to 40% reduction in average handle time
  • Enabled analytics-driven informed decisions

If the answer to the questions below is a “Yes”, you should seriously consider incorporating augmented voice intelligence:

  • Are your human agents involved in zero-value repetitive tasks?
  • Are you facing resource, cost, and compliance challenges continually?
  • Do your talented agents feel they could perform manifolds more with proper tech support?
  • Is customer experience at the core of your business?

Never before has investment in Voice AI made more sense. The advancements in NLP and AI have enabled companies to move from crude automation of non-value tasks to the epoch of Augmented Voice Intelligence, assisting companies to create value by automating customer support and enhancing CX with multi-language support with semantic understanding.

The voice strategy of customer-centric companies will have ripples far into their future. After all, vox dolor, vox Dei, i.e., the voice of the consumer, is the voice of God.

For more information and free consultation, let’s connect over a quick call; Book Now!

Also, for more information: Transform Customer Experience with Voice AI

Why CFOs Must Consider ‘Voice AI’ for Better ROI and Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

CFOs see numbers such as ROI and behold the beauty hidden within them. Today, Voice AI is churning out such convincing stats that every CFO must consider investments in Voice AI in an amicable light.

Business-customer interaction is a two-way street. Interestingly Voice AI solutions are ideal for both Outbound and Inbound calls. Companies are spending millions to reach out to potential customers. Engaging human agents has proved expensive and a significant managerial challenge. Deploying Voice AI helps companies achieve their most coveted goal – cost-efficient scale.

Voice remains the most-preferred channel for customer service. However, around 70% of all customer service requests are non-critical and repetitive, making it challenging for human agents to remain engaged, motivated, and empowered to solve everyday challenges. By taking away the bulk of the calls, Voice AI helps agents create value by solving complex customer problems and enjoying their job. Also, every company covets 24/7 intelligent customer support that is not entirely human agent dependent, and Voice AI is the perfect solution.

Core Challenges Contact Center Face

Contact centers for any organization, small or big, are complex institutions and face some key challenges:

  • Human Dependent Processes 
  • Cost Reduction
  • Optimizing Resource Utilization
  • Agent-time Utilization
  • Updating Legacy Systems
  • Delivering Consistent Customer Experience

Sadly, with IVRs, most contact centers have reached a point of saturation, where they have automated, measured, and monitored the operations with no further scope of improvement. Augmented voice intelligence is a technology that opens up new opportunities for creating value and growth.

Automate Non-revenue Generating Transactions with Voice AI

Shockingly, agents spend over 30% of their time on zero-value, non-revenue generating tasks that Voice AI could easily automate. Here are a few examples:

  • Providing account balances
  • User/Caller verification
  • Removing wrong numbers
  • Updating phone numbers and addresses 
  • Do not call handling
  • Bankruptcy data capture
  • Frequently asked questions

These functions are essential to proper functioning but do not create revenue for the company. They prove costly as they consume expensive agent time and loss of opportunity cost as the same effort could have gone into revenue-generating transactions.

These are just the lowest hanging fruits of Voice AI, and the technology is capable of creating enormous value.

IVRs have reached their zenith and are now causing customer dissatisfaction. Advanced solutions are the need of the hour. Chatbots are advanced and capable, but they suffer from one serious drawback—‘voice’ is the most preferred mode of customer support, not text. Voice AI can be a disruptor, accelerating digital transformation and creating a world of difference in the customer experience.

But before we deep dive into the transformation of a contact center, if you are curious about use cases of Voice AI in debt collection space you can explore: Meeting Debt Collection Compliance With AI-Powered Digital Voice Agents. Also, here everything you want to know more about Digital Voice Agents.

Transforming Contact Centers: Outbound Efforts

How do Voicebots help achieve operational excellence and reduce customer acquisition costs (CAC)?

Banks and financial institutions looking for growth and expansion reach out to hundreds of thousands of potential customers. An Intelligent Voice Agent can help a company reduce its customer acquisition cost by executing, with perfection, the various steps of the process such as:

  • Lead Qualification
  • Lead Generation 
  • Onboarding, and Documentation
  • Debt Collection
  • Subscription Reminders 
  • Feedback Collection

Instead of a human agent calling, following up, and coordinating, which is time-consuming and costly, a voice agent can finish the tasks at a fraction of the cost and expedite the sales cycle. It reduces the customer acquisition cost as a result. 

Perfect execution of such efforts at a large scale can make a radical difference for companies. Not only does CAC go down, but the results are also better. A win-win for companies.

Voice AI will always come as a powerful tool when a company wants to run various campaigns at scale. According to the Deloitte report, the global conversational AI market that includes both chatbots and intelligent voice assistants can grow at a 22% CAGR growth from 2020–to-25, reaching a US$14 billion market size. By partnering with the right augmented voice intelligence platform, businesses can optimize contact center OPEX.

Transforming Contact Centers: Inbound Call Handling

How does automation of voice conversations help organizations enhance cost efficiency?

Hitherto, IVRs provided a source of rudimentary automation. But their cognitive inabilities are resulting in customer frustration as no one wants to wait in lines for a human agent and start all over.

Voice automation is helping businesses free their operational bandwidth by answering simple calls, saving human-agent time, and reducing operations costs by 40-60%. Voice AI is thus empowering businesses to address significant challenges by automating repetitive queries, reducing wait time, and providing a delightful customer experience through human-like conversations.

Optimizing and automating processes is key to enhancing cost-efficiency. Here is how Voice AI helps in achieving this goal:

  • Self-service Optimization: On average, around 70% of calls fall in the non-urgent category. The intelligent voice agent can take most of these calls without engaging the human agent, enhancing a company’s ability to serve customers 24×7 without a human agent.
  • Scalability: The most neuralgic point of contact centers is team scalability. With the waning and waxing of call volumes, there is an urgent need to scale the support team. It is a nightmare for managers and has significant cost underpinning. By deploying a Voice AI solution, the intelligent voice agent will handle the bulk of the calls, passing only a fraction to the human agents.
  • Call Routing and Distribution: The primary focus of augmented voice intelligence solutions is to enhance customer experience. Tier 1 customer issues are resolved automatically with a voice AI agent. Voice AI solutions can prioritize requests and route them to the right human agent where needed. Such intelligent call distribution results in better customer satisfaction.
  • Meeting Compliance: More significant for collections space and banking, but every industry has a set of protocols and regulations to honor. Human agents handling large portfolios are prone to err. Calling a customer on the DND list or calling outside of time limits often results in lawsuits and penalties. A voice agent can easily be trained for any protocols, saving companies time and money.

Voice AI for Sustainable Business Benefits 

Augmented Voice Intelligence has displayed tangible improvements in all of the core metrics targeted by support centers, such as First Call Resolution (FCR), Average Handle Time (AHT), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Average Speed of Answer (ASA), Queue Length, Abandonment rate, and other Service level metrics.

The other significant advantage of using an AI-enabled voice product is that it gets better with time, and new use cases emerge. Voice will continue to play the cardinal role in customer support, and early adopters will create lasting competitive advantages.

Meeting Debt Collection Compliance With AI-Powered Digital Voice Agents

Owing to far-reaching repercussions, compliance management has become an issue of gravitas. It’s a challenge of change. Often, frequent regulatory changes create ambiguity for collection agencies. For instance, Regulation F of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) came into effect on November 30, 2021, and is the most significant debt collection rulemaking. Any creditor–either the original issuer or a debt buyer–faces challenges in responding to it. And even more tedious is training and retraining agents, reiterative setting up processes and tools to meet regulatory requirements.

When it comes to compliance, the devil is in the details. A human agent under varying stress and performance pressure is prone to make mistakes. But even an innocuous breach of compliance results in hefty fines and penalties. Even without state or local mandates around debt collection practices, federal regulations must be followed to avoid penalties or lawsuits from consumers or enforcers. CFPB levied $1.7 billion in civil penalties and over $14.4 billion in relief for American consumers in the last ten years. Compliance has thus evolved as a significant pain point for debt collections agencies.



We have reached a point where compliance is not just an expense item but also a source of differentiation for collection agencies. Unsurprisingly, most debt collection agencies are looking for tech solutions that can help them be more agile and efficient. Voice AI is one emerging solution with the most disruptive potential and growing use cases.

Too Many Calls, Too Little Communication

One of the prime objectives of compliance is to protect the customer from unfair practices and harassment. CFPB bases much of its enforcement authority on the concept of UDAAP (unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts or practices).

A call at the right time, to the right person, and with the right message can achieve the 3 Cs of debt collection: Cost, Compliance, and Customer Experience. A human agent may struggle to accomplish the triad, making too many or too few calls, but it’s a cakewalk for an intelligent voice agent.

Explore how Voice AI solutions are Transforming Debt Collection

Current Compliance Challenges

The formal, statutory fees and levies, which are increasingly hefty, represent just the tip of the compliance cost iceberg (around 10%) of total regulatory costs. The broader cost of compliance is much bigger, making it a formidable force. 

Here are the common challenges faced by debt collection agencies today:

  • Ever-Expanding List of Laws: Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Payment Card Industry compliance (PCI), and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) are a part of a growing list of regulations, adherence to which is a core driver to the success of debt collection agencies and similar financial institutions.
  • High Cost of Continual Training and Vigilance Process: A survey of sector firms by the Credit Services Association (CSA) reveals that in staffing terms, the proportion of resources involved (in compliance) seems to trend generally between 15% and 25% of total resources. That is a significant percentage and an opportunity to cut down the cost.
  • Client Expectation and Audit Requirements: Clients of collections agencies are deeply wary of meeting compliance and exert pressure, even more than regulators, to comply. As per a report by CFPB, collection agencies with large clients face 17 audits in a year. That’s an average of 3 audits every 2 months. The lack of transparency between debt collectors and consumers makes it difficult for agencies to facilitate these audits effectively. It is a formidable challenge to meet such high expectations cost-effectively.
  • Insufficient Time to Design and Implement Compliance Effectively: A rapid and frequent change in regulation leads to collection agencies running from pillar to post to update their processes. Deploying AI-enabled voice agents can minimize the training and guidance cost.
  • High Cost of Not Meeting the Compliance Requirements: Failing to meet the compliance requirement has, in the past, led to grave heavy consequences. Encore and Portfolio Recovery Associates, two giants in bad debt collections, were fined $18 million in 2015. They were forced to refund or halt collection of over $160 million in consumer debts. Violating the Do Not Call registry can cost agencies anywhere between $500-$1500 per case, as per TCPA. Moreover, razor-thin margins make the total cost of attorney fees, settlement costs, and the opportunity cost of time too much for agencies to bear.

Voice AI and its Ability to Empower Collection Companies Manage Compliance

More often than not, compliance is a matter of adhering to protocols and procedures. AI-enabled digital voice agents that can religiously follow a given set of instructions prove far superior in adherence to the regulatory framework.

There are numerous instances where small mistakes land collection agencies in trouble. Here are some simple yet powerful examples of how Voice AI can help with compliances:

  • Honoring Do Not Call Registry and Data Scrubbing: The telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) maintains a register of subscribers who do not want to be called for telemarketing calls and automated dialer calls unless you have consent to do so otherwise. It’s essential to scrub the data before dialing these contacts and check for permission. Solution is to scrub the data against certain database such as Do-not-call registries (external and internal), consumers represented by attorneys and debt settlement companies, deceased consumers, serial litigators, bankrupt consumers, cease-and-desist order consumers. Unlike human agents, who can fumble, digital voice agents perform this with the help of APIs in a fraction of a second.
  • Calling Within Permissible Hours: FDCPA does not allow collection agencies to contact customers outside of 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. local time unless the consumer has given explicit consent. Additionally, customers with night jobs may not wish to be contacted during the day. Such personalization in large portfolios prove to be a daunting task for a human agent but an effortless one for a digital voice agent.
  • Calling Frequency: Regulation F of CFPB limits the frequency of calls under the 7/7/7 rule, restricting the agencies from attempting to establish communication with their consumers for more than 7 times in 7 days. The 7/7/7 rule includes voicemail, unanswered calls, and messages left on the consumer’s phone, and excludes email and text messaging. Furthermore, agencies cannot try to establish contact in the next 7 days after a successful communication. It’s taxing for human agents to consistently follow these rules for the entire customer base while optimizing time and cost at the same time. On the other hand, configuring machines to follow all these rules is possible with a click. 
  • Mini-Miranda is mandatory as per FDCPA in the first communication in any channel. Digital voice agents never fail to comply with such regulatory requirements.
  • Failure to Discontinue Communication Upon Request: Communicating with consumers in any way (other than litigation) after receiving notice with certain exceptions can lead to lawsuits. Machines follow strict protocols and comply with the request submitted by the consumers.
  • Communicating with Consumers at Their Place of Employment: It’s illegal to contact the consumer after being advised that this is unacceptable or prohibited by the employer. Human agents under dier conditions fail to honor guidelines. On the other hand, since machines reachout at the right time and frequency have high conversion rate while meeting compliance.
  • Contacting a consumer represented by an attorney: Agents must not contact the consumers who have chosen not to be contacted by agencies and have signed up attorneys for communication with certain exceptions.
  • Communicating with a Consumer During Validation Period: Human agents can make a mistake and try to establish communication with the consumer or pursue collection efforts after receiving a request for verification of a debt made within the 30-day validation period. On the other hand, Digital Voice Agents are configured to not engage in any such activities and trigger the automatic collection calls once validation period is over.
  • Misrepresentation & Threatening Arrest or Legal Action: With variable incentive as a major wage component, it’s quite common for debt collectors to misrepresent as attorney or law enforcement officer. FDCPA prevents such kind of misrepresentation and has punitive enforcement directives. Digital voice agents follow strict protocol and never succumb to such malpractices.
  • The abusive or Profane Language used during communication related to the debt is prohibited. Digital voice agents never fall back to such practices in order to achieve the results.
  • Communication with Third Parties: revealing or discussing the nature of debts with third parties (other than the spouse or attorney) is prohibited except to know the location of the debtor without mentioning debt related information. Intelligent Voice Agents can confirm the right party before giving out any information.
  • Raise a Dispute: Voicebot can also help consumers raise a dispute over a call and tag it in the CRM so that the relevant team can pick it up.
  • Validation: Upon asking for validation information, the voice bot can immediately send the electronic copy of the validation notice and mark the contact with a relevant tag so that human agents can see the status, and neither the voicebot nor human agents try to communicate to the consumer for the next 30 days.
  • Raise Tickets: Voicebot can even raise tickets to send the physical copies of the validation notice if explicitly requested by the consumer.

With Distinct Advantages, Voice AI Will Play a Bigger Role in Compliance Management 

Apart from numerous other use cases, the utility of Intelligent voice agents in improving the compliance of debt collections agencies is fast emerging and very promising. 

Apart from the direct costs of compliance, indirect costs such as fines and penalties take a heavy toll on companies. Today, compliance has become more than an expense but a source of differentiation. Many companies have already begun adopting Voice AI, and its ever-expanding use cases will help them create a distinct competitive advantage.

For more information and free consultation, let’s connect over a quick call; Book Now!

Also, for more information visit our Collections Page.

Outbound IVR Robocaller Vs AI-Powered Digital Voice Agents 

One in four Americans (28 %) have at least one debt in collections. It underscores the significance of debt collection services. As more consumers depend on credit for multiple purchases from homes to vehicles, household appliances, and sometimes everyday living expenses, debt collection services are playing an even more significant role in the availability and recovery of credit.

Though use of IVR outbound Robocaller or outbound IVR is largely demotivated for debt collection through TCPA and FDCPA, we would discuss little bit about use of IVR outbound Robocaller for debt collection in this blog. 

Over the last couple of decades, it was perhaps wise to deploy Outbound IVRs, Voice Blasters, or Robocallers. The technology helped companies send pre-recorded phone messages to hundreds of consumers at once. 



In the last couple of decades, they have helped companies reduce calling errors, call costs, and improve productivity. But with rapid advancements in technology, especially Voice AI, the competitive landscape has changed rapidly in favor of intelligent voice conversations. 

In this blog, we delve into the core of the issue to explain why Intelligent Voice Agents are the way to deliver superior business performance and customer experience.

Explore how Voice AI solutions are Transforming Debt Collections

Understanding IVRs and why they fail to deliver real value

Typically, an Outbound IVR (Interactive Voice Response) is used to proactively reach out to a large number of customers in a personalized manner using different interaction channels, such as voice messages. The most common use cases are feedback, promotions, announcements, reminders, etc. 

Robocaller or outbound IVR has essentially two components in it; a dialer capability and a text-to-speech engine (Advanced Outbound IVRs) or a recorded voice message (Robocaller). Businesses can upload thousands of contacts in the dialer and configure certain parameters such as number and time of retry attempts, time of call etc. Dialer calls up these contacts and play a voice message which consumers can listen to. At the end of call, consumer can provide keypad based number input to listen to the message again and certain other things.

For 1990s this technology was a game-changer and led to huge improvement in efficiency, however, today it is ineffective and unnecessary, to say the least. 

Even the best outbound IVRs ail from persistent challenges as enumerated below:

  1. Unidirectional Communication: IVRs are capable of only unidirectional communication with a limited DTMF (Keypad-based) feedback mechanism.
  2. Low Engagement: IVRs have extremely low engagement rates owing to their non-conversational unidirectional communication.
  3. Right party contact: Inability to capture conversational inputs and run verification to check for right-party communication. Today, you cannot pass on debt related information to the wrong contact even inadvertently.
  4. Lack of ability to capture important dispositions: Robocallers or outbound IVR can’t capture meaningful dispositions that can be used downstream, such as:
    • Willingness to pay, and expected date and mode of payment
    • Refusal to pay and associated reasons
    • Debt dispute and reasons
    • Willingness to pay partially and offer payment arrangements.
    • Ability to capture call-back date and time for busy customers.
  5. Lack of insights for segmentation: inability to segment the pool of consumers based on disposition to help debt collection companies make meaningful strategic decisions.
  6. Inability to reach out to consumers on their preferred time: Since Robocaller cannot capture disposition for busy consumers, it cannot intelligently call back or arrange call back from human agents.
  7. Payment assistance and goal completion: can not help or guide the willing consumer to make the payment during the call.
  8. Human-Agent Dependence: for a large chunk of calls, the agent are needed to reach to a meaningful end result.
  9. Compliance adherance: Since every call campaign is triggered manually, compliance is left with the operator who is running the campaigns.
  10. Customer Experience: being extremely impersonal, they miserably fail at contributing to CX.

IVRs, even at their best, do not contribute to CX or major productivity gains, whereas a bad IVR experience can prove very costly. The State of IVR in 2018 noted that 83% of customers would avoid a company after a poor experience with an IVR. 

The more pressing problem still remains:

“How to automate the mundane, repetitive and non-value additive tasks human agents are doing”

For a long time, we did not have an answer, or we did not have a commercially viable technology solution, but today we have, and it is Intelligent Voice AI Agent.

Explore how AI-enabled Voice AI Agents are the Perfect Solution to Meet Compliance Requirements

Understanding Digital Voice Agents

Digital Voice agents are AI-powered virtual agents that allow customers to converse intelligently, without having to punch 1,2,3,4 on their screen to hold meaningful contextual conversation. It is able to converse with your consumers just like your human agents. It is capable of understanding, interpreting, and then analyzing conversational voice input expressed by an individual and responding to them in an everyday language.

A Virtual Voice Agent goes beyond understanding words, and determines what the consumer is saying based on underlying semantics, without relying on specific keywords. Using machine learning, a Virtual Voice Agent is continuously improving itself and the customer experience. Read more about Digital Voice AI agent here.

Unlike Siri and Alexa, which are designed to handle everyday context-less tasks such as setting up an alarm or playing the songs, AI-powered digital voice agents are trained specifically to handle complex problems, and understand what a customer may want in all probable scenarios, making them highly effective in solving customer problems and requests. 

A Comparative look: Digital Voice Agent Vs Outbound IVR

4 Core Benefits: Why Top Collection Agencies are Deploying Digital Voice Agents 

For any company, AI-enabled Digital Voice Agents are a quantum leap from aging outbound IVRs. There is no comparison. Digital Voice Agents are AI-enabled, making them improve exponentially with time. One can surmise the amount of competitive leg-up companies can create as they start early. Here are the core business benefits of deploying Digital Voice Agents over IVRs:

  1. Reducing Cost and Improving Speed of Collections: The Digital Voice Agents can make or handle hundreds of concurrent calls at scale, economically, and in just an hour. Not only that, voice agents, being a machine, are very punctual and reach out to debtors that request a callback or make reattempts right on time when the probability of connecting to contact is highest. All this is done within the prescribed compliance framework.
  2. Superior Recovery and Collection Efforts: Better collection and recovery demand persistent efforts. When nudged at the right time, a debtor who is willing but unable to pay now might pay a few months down the line. Thus, what matters is how persistently collection agencies can reach out to a certain segment of debtors, ideally disposed to pay. It’s a piece of cake for Digital Voice Agent to schedule follow-up calls, honoring the regulatory guidelines, spread over weeks/months, and ensure better recovery rates. With timely and adequate calls going out to customers, and 24*7 support, the right voice-tech solution checks all the boxes to improve collections and recovery.
  3. Minimize Errors, ensure Compliance and Security: With a myriad of ever-changing regulations, disparate for each state, it is challenging for agents to keep abreast and be flawless. Training and development are costly, but Digital Voice Agents are easy to update and ensure perfect compliance. IVRs play a limited role, as unidirectional communications have a low impact.
  4. Human-Agent Bandwidth Prioritization: The beauty of deploying an Augmented Voice Intelligence is that it can call all the customers and filter the cases of the complex cases that need human agent interference. In the present system, agents call the entire list, be it a simple case or a complex one, not creating desired value in the process. For the dispositions where human intervention is required, Voice Agent can segment the portfolio so that relevant human agents can be assigned the downstream tasks. This prioritization of bandwidth unlocks massive value for the collection companies.

For more information and free consultation, let’s connect over a quick call; Book Now!

Also, for more information visit our Collections Page.

7 Reasons Why Debt Collection Companies Are Deploying Voice AI

In the new normal, key players in the debt collection industry, from creditors to every downstream collection agency, face significant challenges to improve collections. This is happening mainly for two reasons. First, there are rapidly evolving regulatory and compliance frameworks to which collection agencies must adhere. Second, the mitigation of cost has become an extremely uphill task.

However, there is an additional issue at play: The most common solutions prevalent in today’s market, such as Robocaller and outbound IVR voice blaster, are incapable of conversations, feedback, and insights. Instead, an AI-enabled Voice Agent is capable of meaningful and human-like conversations with customers.



Unlike the most common solution prevalent today, i.e. Robocaller or outbound IVR voice blaster (incapable of conversations, feedback, or insights), an Intelligent Voice Agent is an AI-enabled machine capable of meaningful human-like conversations.

Learn more about the differences between Robocaller and AI-powered Digital Voice Agent.

Why is an Intelligent Voice Agent Ideal for Collections?

Intelligent Voice Agent, which is the blend of conversational voice AI and human intelligence, holds me

The rapid rise in call volumes, defaults, demand for remote resolution of disputes and diminishing CX have resulted in collection agencies scrambling to catch up.

The need for better outbound collections efforts—along with managing increasing volumes of inbound inquiries from customers—is putting pressure to scale contact center teams, an undesirable and herculean task.

Call center turnover (30 – 45%) has always been a challenge and has generally been twice as high as the industry average (13.5 – 18.5%), while collection agencies perform worse, with some reporting as high as 100% employee turnover. The concatenation of these factors—higher call volumes, regulations, and agent turnover—has made companies lookout for technology solutions such as Voice AI-enabled contact center automation.

Read More if you are interested to know how Intelligent Digital Voice Agents work in detail.

Research provides plenty of information to support the cause of automating collection calls. Apart from research provides plenty of information to support the cause of automating collection calls. Apart from improved recovery, 1 in 4 US consumers prefers interacting with an Intelligent Voice Assistant when handling awkward financial situations, according to a 2018 consumer sentiment survey by The Harris Poll.

Solving Collection Challenges with an Intelligent Voice Agent

The rapid rise in call volumes, defaults, demand for remote resolution of disputes and diminishing CX have resulted in collection agencies scrambling to catch up.

The need for better outbound collections efforts—along with managing increasing volumes of inbound inquiries from customers—is putting pressure to scale contact center teams, an undesirable and herculean task.

Call center turnover (30 – 45%) has always been a challenge and has generally been twice as high as the industry average (13.5 – 18.5%), while collection agencies perform worse, with some reporting as high as 100% employee turnover. The concatenation of these factors—higher call volumes, regulations, and agent turnover—has made companies lookout for technology solutions such as Voice AI-enabled contact center automation.

Let’s compare the challenges collections agencies are facing to how a conversational AI-enabled Intelligent Voice Agent meets every challenge.

7 Reasons Why Augmented Voice Intelligence Is Transforming Debt Collections

Augmented Voice Intelligence, which is the blend of Conversational AI and human intelligence, creates meaningful conversations with customers to support them throughout their entire collection journey while staying true to compliances and regulations. Let’s delve deeper into the 7 core reasons:

The beauty of deploying an Augmented Voice Intelligence is that it can call all the customers and it then filters out the complex cases that need human agent intervention. In the present system, agents call the entire list of contacts, be it a simple case or a complex one, not creating desired value in the process.

With a virtual voice agent, all the contacts in the portfolio are called at the right time of the day and within a couple of hours. The entire portfolio is then segmented based on the disposition collected for each debtor. The dispositions captured can be: propensity to pay, refusal to pay, wrong-party contacts, disputed debt, call-back later, validation requests, etc.

For willing debtors, the virtual voice agent can not only collect the payment during the call but can also negotiate and offer alternate payment options. It also reminds them of the next due date. 

Additionally, the Digital Voice Agent calls back all the debtors who could not be reached in the first attempt without the need for human agent intervention. This takes a huge burden off them.

For the dispositions in which human intervention is required, the Voice Agent can segment the portfolio so that relevant human agents can be assigned the downstream tasks based on the importance of the disposition for the portfolio and the company.

This automation and prioritization of bandwidth unlocks massive value for the collection companies.

Augmented Voice Intelligence, which is the blend of Conversational AI and human intelligence, creates meaningful conversations with customers to support them throughout their entire collection journey while staying true to compliances and regulations. Let’s delve deeper into the 7 core reasons: 

1. Automation And Human Bandwidth Prioritization

The beauty of deploying an Augmented Voice Intelligence is that it can call all the customers and it then filters out the complex cases that need human agent intervention. In the present system, agents call the entire list of contacts, be it a simple case or a complex one, not creating desired value in the process.

With a virtual voice agent, all the contacts in the portfolio are called at the right time of the day and within a couple of hours. The entire portfolio is then segmented based on the disposition collected for each debtor. The dispositions captured can be: propensity to pay, refusal to pay, wrong-party contacts, disputed debt, call-back later, validation requests, etc.

For willing debtors, the virtual voice agent can not only collect the payment during the call but can also negotiate and offer alternate payment options. It also reminds them of the next due date. 

Additionally, the Digital Voice Agent calls back all the debtors who could not be reached in the first attempt without the need for human agent intervention. This takes a huge burden off them.

For the dispositions in which human intervention is required, the Voice Agent can segment the portfolio so that relevant human agents can be assigned the downstream tasks based on importance of the disposition for the portfolio and the company.

This automation and prioritization of bandwidth unlocks massive value for the collection companies.

2. Improved Portfolio Volume and Customer Coverage

If, let’s say, 66% of the debtors are handled by digital voice agents end-to-end, now collection agencies can take up 3X more portfolios or cover 3X more customers with the same set of human agents. This illustrates how the same support team can manage higher levels of business with even better results. 

Collection agencies can take up more portfolios or take bigger ones, as they now have better customer coverage.

3. Lower Cost and Faster Collection Speed

Contact center automation with Conversational Voice AI assistant ensures that service quality and speed remain consistent, which otherwise will be volatile as new human agents with less experience join the team. Also, continuous hiring and training is a great operational hassle.

The Digital Voice Agents can make hundreds of concurrent calls at scale, economically, and in just an hour. Not only that, voice agents, being a machine, are very punctual and reach out to debtors that request a callback or make reattempts right on time when the probability of connecting to contact is highest. All this is done within the prescribed compliance framework. 

4. Superior Recovery and Collection Efforts 

Better collection and recovery require persistent efforts. When nudged at the right time, a debtor who is willing but unable to pay now might pay a few months down the line. Thus, what matters is how persistently collection agencies can reach out to a certain segment of debtors, ideally disposed to pay.

Understandably, a significant section of debtors will not pick up calls in the first attempt or might request a call-back at a certain time in the future. It is near impossible for human agents to follow up on every single contact, but the intelligent voice agent can do it with perfection. 

It’s a piece of cake for a Digital Voice Agent to schedule follow-up calls, honoring the regulatory guidelines, spread over weeks/months, and ensure better recovery rates. With timely and adequate calls going out to customers, and 24/7 support, the right voice-tech solution checks all the boxes to improve collections and recovery. 

5. Minimize Errors, Ensure Compliance and Security 

A significant amount of agent training and monitoring can be avoided with the deployment of Voice AI agents. High employee turnover, clubbed with significant training costs makes the entire exercise of meeting compliance, extremely costly. While the possibility of potential errors as regulatory regime complications is on the rise, it cannot still be eliminated. 

Conversational Voice AI Agents operate with negligible errors and can be easily updated, thus improving compliance significantly. Also, a Voice Collection Agent can be well trained in regulatory frameworks and will therefore ensure strict adherence to consumer data security and protection (encryption and redaction) by sticking to industry best practices. 

6. Enhanced Customer Experience

A Voice AI agent can ensure a smooth, courteous, and positive debtor experience, leading to a positive attitude towards the collections process and ultimately a positive brand image. 

7. Seamless Support Scaling for Any Call Volume

Business volatility and fluctuations put an economic strain on collection agencies that need to maintain a qualified team of human agents which has to grow and shrink with demand volatility. Scaling becomes further challenging as employee turnover is the highest among industries.

With the deployment of Augmented Voice Intelligence, there is no need for maintaining a large contact center team to deal with large call volumes, as voice automation helps in handling a majority of calls. Thus the problem of team management becomes minimized.

Intelligent Voice Assistants: The Future of Agile Customer Service

At times of disruption, it’s essential to leverage technology to craft a sustainable competitive edge by addressing core business challenges.

Growing evidence hints at the power of Augmented Voice Intelligence to enable cost optimization, and handle a broader customer base while minimizing significantly the operational challenges relating to regulatory compliances, and team management. 

With a tad steep learning curve, it’s best to be an early bird. The evidence abounds, with the right tech solution partner, there is a great amount of value creation possible.

Move early, move fast, grow faster!

For more information and free consultation, let’s connect over a quick call – Book Now!

Also, for more information visit our Collections Page.