Why Voice AI Is Customer Service’s Secret Weapon

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Voice AI has significant potential to address some of the most critical pain points for customers in every industry.

Great customer service experiences forge an emotional connection between the brand and the buyer. Those emotional connections act as primary drivers in retaining loyalty and increasing sales. Voice AI can help.

Why? Poor service, on the other hand, risks driving customers to competitors. Forty percent of respondents in a 2020 survey by Statista reported they stopped doing business with companies due to poor customer service. Industries with lower service scores, like banking, cable providers, airlines, and health insurance companies, stand the highest chance of losing business this way.

Over the last few years, companies have continued to devote more resources to their service programs. They invest in the latest innovative tools like live chat and chatbots, but one channel often gets left behind: voice. Picking up a phone and calling a company allows customers to engage immediately in a way that feels profoundly natural.

The power of voice can make a real difference in customer service, and voice AI can be their secret weapon. Here are three ways voice AI can help companies supplement their workforces and level up their customer service game.

See also: Open Voice Network Aims for Standards-based Voice Assistants

1) Providing a Frictionless Customer Experience

When people contact customer service, it’s often between daily life events like work meetings, household chores, or running errands. They want a quick way to flag and resolve their issue, so they can return to their day-to-day life. That’s often not what they get.

To their credit, many brands these days have multiple online and offline touchpoints for customer interactions. However, the sheer number of touchpoints often creates complex customer journeys, which only frustrate the customer more. While omnichannel is still important, it’s also important to focus on an opti-channel strategy, especially when it comes to voice. Optichannel aims to support a customer journey in the channel they prefer.

For many, that’s voice. A HubSpot survey found that 69% of the participants preferred to contact customer service through their phones, over live chat, or any other channel. Yet when people think of conversing with an automated voice, they often think of repeating themselves, the bot misinterpreting their purpose, and other frustrations that occur far too often.

Voice AI can help customer service departments with an opti-channel strategy: serving customers better in the channels they prefer. Today’s voice AI can be trained to understand customer pain points and navigate complex conversations. Voice AI agents have access to previous conversation history with the company, can check and act on open requests, and can bring up crucial information such as payment due dates, balances, and order status.

In fact, Voice AI can quickly guide your customers through the most common types of inquiries at any time, day or night – no human involvement needed. This way, customers get faster resolution times, real-time information, and a consistent brand experience.

See also: Advanced NLU: Why You Need to Understand People to Help Them

2) Personalizing Service to Help Customers Feel Valued

A 2021 survey found that more than 80% of consumers consider trust a deciding factor in their buying decisions. If consumers don’t trust a company, they don’t buy from them.

Trust often comes when they get personalized service that helps them feel valued. If a person feels heard and gets their needs met – like quickly resolving an issue with customer service – they’re more likely to become frequent customers. Voice AI is a great way to help customers resolve their issues, personalize service to their current attitudes, and help them feel valued.

Voice AI is modeled on human conversations, and certain Voice AI companies are very good at understanding the context and the semantics of conversations. Advanced Voice AI engines can pick on cues such as tonality and speed of speech during conversations to gauge customers’ intent and behavior. With that information, the AI is able to deliver personalized and contextually accurate responses. 

For example, when customers call a contact center with their registered mobile number, a voice AI agent can pull up details like product preferences and what they’ve ordered in the past. Then, the voice AI agent can engage in conversation with that context. They might be able to help them order or recommend a new product, remind them of upcoming maintenance requirements, or just process their request without the exchange of basic personal information. This seamless capability is a game-changer.

See also: Voice Tech Becoming Indispensable to Healthcare

3) Enabling Scalability and Cost-Efficiency

Voice AI empowers contact centers with automation and augments the efforts of human service agents in a powerful way.

Contact centers are today facing record attrition. While they typically have had high turnover rates, the pandemic exacerbated the situation. T-Mobile, for example, saw its call-center turnover rate increase from 45 percent to 65 percent during the pandemic. The pandemic also increased the number of difficult calls and made customer service experiences decidedly worse.

With these issues, simply expanding call centers is not usually feasible. These centers face customer, resource, and team management problems. Even if those issues could be solved, they cannot be scaled overnight to handle call-volume surges.

Voice AI can help contact centers seamlessly scale their operations to handle any volume, as required. Industries notorious for long wait times and huge call volumes – like banks, health insurance, or airlines – can use Voice AI to answer every customer query with no waiting time, escalating only the complex calls to human agents. With the help of Voice AI, the same team of human agents can handle any surge in call volumes.

A Voice AI agent can resolve repetitive customer service issues and automate routine tasks, so live agents can focus on high-value and complex customer problems. This helps companies transform their contact centers to generate more revenue by offering a world-class customer experience while reducing the cost of customer support to a fraction.

Voice AI has significant potential to address some of the most critical pain points for customers in every industry. There’s no better way to boost revenue than making sure customers feel heard and helped. It’s time to bring customer service programs further into the future and add the one care component many lack—voice.

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