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The Death of Voice has Been Greatly Exaggerated (Call Deflection Only Gets You So Far!)

Laura Grainger
13 Nov 2020 - 5 minutes read

In the past decade, companies have increasingly tried to deflect calls through automated text channels. A number of these companies have tried to eliminate calls altogether by making their phone number hard or impossible to access, forcing customers through self-serving FAQs and chatbots. Chances are you’ve experienced this before, and at some point likely found them to be frustrating, impersonal and unhelpful, when all you wanted to do was speak to someone to ask a question or resolve an issue. 

Studies have shown that only 37% of organisations have been successful in steering customer support call volumes to new digital channels, and, unsurprisingly, 11% of contact centres have seen an increase in calls after implementing these changes. (Source: 2019 Global Contact Center Survey, Deloitte Digital)

While some customers can and will resolve some basic issues with automated text channels, voice is still a very necessary line of communication for your customers.

This is particularly true during times of uncertainty, as we’ve seen during the COVID-19 outbreak where 57% of customers ranked call support as their preferred contact method. Your customers prefer live interaction when they want answers to urgent and complex issues. They also don’t want to be left on hold when dealing with an issue that requires a fast response. All of this means that companies have to implement automation to provide a better customer experience.

Despite this, the voice channel has been largely left behind. Companies have failed to recognise advances in technology that can deliver better experiences to customers than previous solutions. 

Automating voice interactions is now possible in a way that has never been realised before, and companies that don’t want to get left behind will need to jump on this new technology to facilitate unbeatable customer experiences.

 

The problem with chatbots

Low-code or no-code chatbots are understandably appealing to companies that want to implement a fast, in-house solution for automated customer service. It will quickly become apparent, however, that these platforms are only fit for basic customer queries, and even then they can fail. These chatbots rely on an extremely rigid “if-this-then-that” logic: if a customer says x, respond with y. But if a customer wants to ask a question that has not been programmed, or asks their question in an unexpected way, the chatbot will not understand and not be able to answer. Similarly, if a customer changes their mind during the conversation or asks a question that has not been built into the chatbot’s decision tree, the bot will be unable to respond and resolve the customer query.

Low-code or no-code chatbots

Low-code or no-code chatbots struggle when customers don’t follow an expected path.

While some chatbots can show reasonable success with a handful of intents and display a tight proof-of-concept, they are often relegated to the most basic of FAQs when deployed at scale. The task of creating and maintaining linear conversational flows for multiple topics, flagging context at every turn, becomes complex and unwieldy very quickly.

Recent research highlights these limitations, showing that ‘59% of respondents indicated that chatbots often misunderstood the nuances of human communication, and 30% reported that chatbots performed commands inaccurately.’

A bad chatbot experience is not just frustrating for the customer, it can seriously damage a brand. Chatbots are expected to provide an easy, fast response, so if a consumer feels like they are getting nowhere with automated responses, it could impact their brand loyalty. Considering that 89% of companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience, companies should be making sure that every customer interaction is a positive one.

 

The benefits of effective voice automation 

Technological advancements have finally enabled voice-based customer service automation to reach a point where it can provide useful, efficient and reliable support to consumers, and benefit companies more than ever before. Voice assistants are now able to understand multi-turn conversations in a natural, free-flowing way, making them capable of holding complex conversations to move customers to the resolution of their query.

Our team of industry-leading experts is continuously optimising our technology so that it’s able to understand a caller’s intent regardless of their accent, background noise or patchy connections. Our voice assistants are pre-trained on billions of conversations from sources including Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, and television and movie scripts, giving them unparalleled language understanding, unlike any other voice assistant on the market. We deliver voice-first solutions that can be converted to text options in just days, to support a truly omnichannel experience. 

Being able to now deliver such a robust solution, companies that deploy a voice assistant will see faster and higher return on investment than ever before. The benefits and ROI opportunities include the following:

 

  • 24/7 support for your customers

Answer every call, at any time of day, and never leave a customer on hold.

  • Intelligent intent capture and route

We can accurately verify more caller’s intentions and reduce overall customer effort through our advanced Intent Engine built specifically for customer care.

  • Natural upselling

Our voice assistants intelligently identify upsell opportunities to give personalised product recommendations and spending suggestions that actively enhance the customer experience.

  • Collect conversational data

Our live dashboards give you access to front-line customer data to provide powerful, real-time insights into customer communications and recommended ways to optimise.

  • Plus, we can deploy your voice assistant in as little as two weeks.

Our voice assistants are pre-trained to understand conversations and perform common transactions. We only require small amounts of data from you to get your voice assistant up and running, such as FAQs, knowledge bases or previous customer calls.

Our voice assistants are capable of completing more complex tasks including troubleshooting, appointment booking, and complex industry-specific tasks that provide even greater benefit to customers and companies. 

Ready to learn more about voice assistants for customer service? You can download our eBook here to find out more, or request a demo

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