The future of customer contact is digitization. Time is money and digital channels are more efficient and therefore cheaper for companies. But where does that leave the voice channel? After all, sometimes it’s easier to say something than it is to type it. That issue has now been solved as well; say hello to speech-to-text and text-to-speech.
Voice and written kanalen
In customer service, we usually distinguish voice and written channels. Telephony and video chat are voice channels. Here you have 1-on-1 personal contact, because you hear and/or see each other. Social media, live chat, chatbots and email are written channels. Here all interactions take place in written form. Less personal, but also easy because things can be done faster. As a company, you want to offer both types of channels, in whatever form, priority and accessibility. This contributes to the image of your brand.
Voice is personal and efficient
The voice channel, where telephony is the most used type, is most used for complex and urgent questions. In those cases people don’t feel like and/or don’t have time to type their story. They want quick contact and explain their story verbally. This leaves less room for misunderstanding and more room for emotions and nuance. This makes the contact more personal and often also more efficient.
Written channels are cheaper
Agents can only handle one conversation at a time in the voice channels. And that’s exactly why written channels are more popular within most companies. These channels provide several opportunities to work more efficiently, which makes them cheaper than voice channels. Think, for example, of canned answers for frequently asked questions, agents who can conduct 2-3 chats simultaneously and (chat)bots that can independently handle large parts of a dialogue with a customer using AI.
Make voice more efficient
Because the voice channels remain popular with customers, the efficiency of the written channels is also increasingly applied in the voice channels. You can, for example, use an IVR to obtain information from the caller, so the agent can start the conversation well informed. And you automatically add endings to the conversation, such as pointing out general terms and conditions and conduct a quick customer survey. This saves time for the agents and makes their work more varied.
Combine voice and written
But there is of course a limit to that efficiency. At a certain point it can no longer be significantly improved. And chatbots aren’t the cure either. The maintenance of a bot takes a lot of time; you have to continually update the knowledge documents, improve combinations of questions and answers based on dialogues conducted, etc. But what if you can use the chatbot’s knowledge and experience to increase the efficiency of an agent on the phone?
Text2speech and speech2text
This is exactly what happens with text2speech and speech2text. It helps you easily replace things such as IVRs and forms. The caller can still call and talk, it remains a voice channel. Those spoken words are converted into text, fed to the chatbot and the result translated back into speech. This way you can use dialogues that have already been created for the chatbot in the voice channel. So you have one-off maintenance costs, but a double return on investment.
Interactie with a digital human
Text2speech and speech2text can be used for different purposes. For example, report a move or theft, make an appointment, request a product catalog or brochure, etc. This can often already be done via a form on the website, but that’s not always convenient. For example, the older generation is less proficient online. They prefer to pick up the phone. And sometimes you want to arrange something when you’re on the road and can’t simply fill in a form. Text2speech and speech2text can help you solve these problems. And replace those IVRs for spoken interaction with a digital human.
Adding sentiment analysis
During those calls you can easily measure the tone of voice of the dialogue by adding sentiment analysis. As soon as the caller appears to be getting into a conflict or can’t resolve the question, the bot can automatically transfer the call to an agent. Including information of what has already been discussed, so the caller doesn’t have to repeat what’s already been said. This sentiment analysis also provides insights to improve interactions where necessary. This is all available in the reports of the customer contact platform.
Improve customer satisfaction
You connect the voice and written channels on the same platform. This integration ensures that the telephone conversation with the digital human can seamlessly switch to a telephone conversation with a real employee. Or during a chat with an agent, switch to a phone call. This not only improves efficiency, but also improves customer satisfaction. Enabling you to accomplish two goals at once.