Voice AI: The Biggest Contact Center Automation Trend of 2022

Harshad Bajpai

July 1, 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 Alexa

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



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