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The Contact Center Voice Channel may not going away in the “short time”, but it will be progressively supplemented by Voicebots in the next few years…
Past months, Google’s Duplex demo forced us to think more about a world where we might get a random call from a business and not realize it is a robot making the call. Recent proof of concepts have verified that this technology is not just a staged demo but it actually works. While there are certainly many business implications of this from a business perspective, voicebots are becoming an interesting channel for any existing Contact Center. Text-based chatbots have been consuming more and more customer interaction-minutes. With the emergence of Cloud Speech API technologies, voice interactions could decline further in favor of this new kind of Voice Channel?
What is the Next Evolution for Contact Centers?
Contact Center owners have to think quickly about this new Evolution trend in their day a day tasks. A recent Deloitte 2017 study of 450 diverse contact centers showed that customer interactions on the voice channel will fall by 17% by 2019, but still remain significant at 47%, three times more than web chat and email, the next largest channels. More importantly, their respondents expect customer interactions to get more complex and that voice is by far the leader in dealing with complex interactions. Supporting this, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the larger “Telephone call centers” category will increase in headcount by 27.4% between 2016 and 2026.
Voicebots for Interactive Voice Response (IVR).
Voicebots itself are not really new technology, there are is actually derived from text-based Chatbots. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems have been able to handle basic voice interactions for years. However, these systems were heavy and complex to manage and therefore tended to be used only in large, well-funded call centers. More recently new IA machine learning approaches have fueled some major advancements for chatbots and speech technology which has in turn created a new, rapidly growing ecosystem.
The Rise of Natural Language Understanding (NLU).
The main improvement of current Voicebots is around Natural Language Understanding (NLU) - capabilities that let software match the vagaries of human speech to specific actions while extracting the right objects and figures from speech. The methodologies for programming bots are converging, helping to spread best practices and reduce the learning curve. Platforms like Google’s Dialogflow (formerly api.ai), Wit.ai (owned by Facebook), Microsoft’s LUIS, IBM’s Watson, and Amazon’s Lex provide, along with a few yet-to-be acquired start-ups and some open source projects, provide relatively easy platforms for building your own voicebots.
Do you need to take advantage of this? Interactive Powers provides advanced cloud-based IVR and RTC services that scale with your business neeeds. Learn more about it at our website, social medias and contact our sales to talk about your own Voicebot integration.
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