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Text-Based Chatbots vs. Voice-Enabled Chatbots: Which Is the Future?

Text-Based Chatbots vs. Voice-Enabled Chatbots: Which Is the Future?

Bots are fundamentally changing the way business and commerce work. Powered by Artificial Intelligence chatbots are now a critical part of digital strategy, automating customer interactions, with instant customer gratification. As voice technology becomes more popular and widely used, there are two chatbot options: text-based chatbots and voice-enabled chatbots. Which is the future?  

What is a Chatbot?  

A chatbot is a software application used to conduct an on-line chat conversation via text or text-to-speech, in lieu of providing direct contact with a live human agent. What makes a chatbot powerful, is its ability to answer queries. Natural Language Processing (NLP) extracts intent from utterances. NLP is what makes chatbots intelligent. It’s the artificial intelligence (AI) which powers their ability to learn and provide the most relevant information to each unique query.  

How Text-Based Chatbots Work 

As the name suggests, a text-based chatbot is the one that interacts and communicates through text or messaging. Text-based chatbots are amazingly effective and efficient because they quickly sense the need of the users and provide them with immediate outcomes. In addition, chatbots assist in gathering feedback and keeping the customers engaged by solving queries quickly.

Text-based chatbots are extremely efficient when programed to accurately sense the need of the user and can provide immediate outcomes. In addition, chatbots also gather valuable feedback and ensure customers are engaged quickly. Text-based chatbots are primarily used to handle customer interactions and are often merged with messaging apps, social media, SMS and other channels.  

But here’s the thing, chatbots are text-based which means they require typing, pressing, handling by the customer. 

How Voice-Enabled Chatbots Are Changing the Game 

A voice-enabled chatbot uses pre-recorded answers and text-to-speech to address customer queries. There are two ways to program these:  

  1. Users command the chatbots in either oral or written form, and then reply with their voice.
  1. Users make commands with their voice only, no text. For example, the popular voice-enabled chatbots such as Siri and Alexa.  

These “voicebots” are quite fluid, leveraging Conversational UI, or user interfaces based on human speech, written, or spoken. Instead of buttons, links or graphics, the customer uses spoken words to guide the conversation. What’s really neat is that as these bots continue to evolve, they can mix conversational UI with graphical UI; combining the intuitive nature of speech with the immediate gratification of graphics.   

Voice-Enabled Chatbots vs. Text-Based Chatbots 

The key to the decision between Voice-enabled chatbots vs. Text-based chatbots is to understand the preferences of your customers. According to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, approximately 71 percent of consumers prefer to use voice searches to conduct a query over the traditional method of typing. Recent reports estimate that 112 million people in the US will use a voice assistant at least monthly, up 10% from the previous year.  

Driving Customer Engagement with Voice 

Voice use is particularly relevant to people who are multitasking and need answers quickly, without having to put down what they’re doing and type or press a button. Voice-enabled chatbots are that next step forward for continuous, relevant customer engagement. They can be available 24/7 online and ready to serve anyone, anywhere, hands-free.  

Give Your Chatbot a Voice 

LumenVox Automated Speech Recognizer and NLU Gateway can give your chatbot a voice, boosting your CX strategy and increasing operational efficiency. To learn more, contact us here.  

Designing a Successful Outbound Call Campaign

Designing a Successful Outbound Call Campaign

A successful outbound call campaign is a powerful weapon to add to your sales arsenal. In today’s world of marketing emails and robocalls, a personalized phone call can be a breath of fresh air.

To ensure that your customers and leads receive calls that are relevant to them, follow these 4 tips.

4 Tips for Designing an Effective Outbound Call Campaign

1) Use an Open Call Script

The success of scripted outbound sales calls can be hit-or-miss. On the one hand, new reps can massively benefit from a script, particularly in terms of following compliance requirements.

On the other hand, overly scripted phone calls can come across as rigid. As such, you can lose the personalized, human touch of a phone call.

The compromise here is to develop an open call script. These kinds of scripts are loosely structured. They provide the agent with pointers rather than lines that they need to rehearse.

Loose scripts ensure that your agents cover all the important points (while remaining compliant) and yet still allow them to build on natural conversations.

2) Collect and Analyze Relevant Call Data

To build an effective call campaign, you need to have a good understanding of your target market. A successful campaign requires extensive research to build a library of data that reps can refer to before making calls.

Data shouldn’t purely focus on industry and location, but should also try to answer these questions:

  1. Who am I talking to?
  2. Why would they need my product?

3) Employ an Effective Training Program

Training programs help prepare new reps for real-world calls. This will help them remain confident and compliant every step of the way.

Training programs can include the following:

  • Call recordings that reps can analyze and critique
  • Group role-playing activities to help reps learn to think on their feet
  • Lessons on how to identify the key factors comprising a successful call (e.g. tone of voice)

4) Use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

KPIs are useful metrics for monitoring sales rep performance. It is important to first identify which KPIs your business wants to place the most emphasis on. Examples of common KPIs include:

  • Schedule adherence
  • Average handle time
  • Conversions rate (number of calls resulting in successful sales)

Make sure that employees learn and understand the importance of these metrics. Teach them how to maximize their KPI scores through the training program.

Finally, use KPIs to identify weak reps who might require further training, as well as strong reps that should be recognized and possibly rewarded to encourage good work!

The Takeaway

Personalized outbound calls, when done right, can be an incredibly effective sales strategy. Be sure to invest time into carefully designing an outbound call campaign strategy to maximize your center’s success.

And, while you focus on training the human side of the campaign, let LumenVox take care of all your automated contact center needs. Request a demo or contact us today so that we can help you maximize your company’s efficiency so that you can focus on spending your time on more important things.

The Top 3 Ways a Speech Attendant Benefits Your Business

The Top 3 Ways a Speech Attendant Benefits Your Business

Speech-enabled automated attendants are a must-have for any customer service strategy. In the age of Siri and Alexa, customers have come to expect automated, speech-based service. ComScore reports that more than half of all smartphone users are engaging with voice search technology in 2020.

In 2020 we announced Interactive Northwest Inc.’s (INI) release of Interactive Speech Attendant™. Powered by LumenVox’ Automated Speech Recognizer (ASR), INI’s Interactive Speech Attendant (ISA) is a robust solution for organizations looking to replace deprecated name dialers such as Nuance OSA to perform call routing. There are numerous benefits to incorporating a speech attendant into your customer service strategy; including these top three:

Enhances Branding and Corporate Image
The biggest brands in the world use speech attendants. Why? Their customers value speech recognition capability, which produces automated, yet natural communication with the end-user. This elevates the branding of any organization, large or small.

Automates Routine Operator Tasks
A virtual speech attendant takes on tasks that would otherwise be completed by an operator, allowing callers to speak the name of a person, department, service, or location and be automatically transferred. This removes the need for manual time and labor of operators answering inbound calls, searching for phone numbers, and connecting customers to their destinations. The web-based administration interface included with ISA simplifies the configuration of nicknames and aliases, department and location-based transfers, business hours logic, alert messaging, and more.

Gives Organizations Control of Transfers
A robust speech attendant provides callers with a convenient way to reach people within an organization by acting as a single point of access to the corporate directory. ISA’s full-featured administration dashboard puts organizations in control, allowing for highly customized handling of inbound calls.

INI Interactive Speech Attendant™ is now available through INI, LumenVox, and Avaya Channel Partners. For more features, benefits and information, visit www.interactivenw.com/products/ini-interactive-speech-attendant/ or https://www.lumenvox.com/project/interactive-northwest-inc/, or call 1-800-732-3236.

How to Leverage Existing Voice Technologies to Maximize ROI

How to Leverage Existing Voice Technologies to Maximize ROI

The pandemic has transformed the way businesses operate. Technologies have been adopted at lightning speed due to increased reliance upon remote workforces. There are many voice technologies that are now must-haves, such as Automatic Speech Recognition. But are businesses and organizations using these technologies to their fullest potential?

You need to start with a basic audit—what voice technologies do you already have? How are you using them? We’ll assume you are using Automatic Speech Recognition, as it is most common, and specify how you can leverage it to maximize ROI.

  1. Are you using Automatic Speech Recognition? What are you doing with your speech data? Transcription enables visibility of this precious information. When transcription is used in conjunction with artificial intelligence, or Natural Language Processing, feeding machine-learning processes downstream, it enables customers to speak their mind, literally. This means the IVR or even chatbots can interact with customers in a more personal, efficient way, solving problems that would have required costly time with a live agent.
  2. If you are using Automatic Speech Recognition in your IVR, how have you tackled authentication? Have you considered voice biometrics? Voice biometrics creates a secure, convenient authentication process that can either happen within the IVR or with live agents. It cuts costs by reducing handle time. It raises satisfaction levels for agents and customers by removing the need for painful, lengthy interrogation processes. There are two modes of voice biometrics: Passive & Active. Passive means customers are verified through natural conversation. Active means they are prompted to speak a specific passphrase to authenticate. Either method results in higher satisfaction and compelling ROI.

The LumenVox Technology Stack is unique in its convenient licensing and add-on capabilities. With just one installation of one of our components, such as our Automatic Speech Recognizer, you can easily add licensing to incorporate any of our other technologies. With forward-thinking and access to such a flexible stack, companies can remain competitive. Step up your game and keep your customer service at the cutting-edge.

Questions about any of the LumenVox voice technologies? Contact us.

3 Ways to Improve the Agent Experience with Voice Technology

3 Ways to Improve the Agent Experience with Voice Technology

Customer experience is often highest on the priority list for businesses. But in a post-pandemic world, organizations are looking for ways to improve the agent experience as well. By raising the importance of agent concerns to the same priority level as customer concerns, organizations can dramatically improve employee satisfaction levels, optimize the efficiency of individuals, and demonstrate best care practices. These steps can also improve agent recruitment and retention. The benefits also translate into a positive customer experience. Happy agents equal happy customers.

Here are three ways to enhance and improve the agent experience with voice technology.

Challenge 1: Authentication. A renowned technology research firm, Opus Research, has “long seen zero-effort authentication as a necessity for creating trusted links between brands and their customers.”

Solution: Voice biometrics provides a convenient and secure form of authentication for customers and an effortless task for agents. There are two types of voice biometrics, Active and Passive.

Active Voice Biometrics means that the customer enrolls by repeating a set phrase. On subsequent calls, the customer speaks their passphrase, which is compared to their stored enrollment voiceprint​.

Passive Voice Biometrics means the customer is seamlessly enrolled by capturing historical or real-time audio​. Enrollment is completed by recording the customer’s unique voiceprint during an initial conversation, not a specific phrase​. On subsequent calls, customer’s conversational voice is compared to their stored voiceprint. A customer speaks with an agent and is transparently verified within the agent desktop.

It’s secure and effortless, turning a common pain point for agents into a seamless experience.

Challenge 2: Fraud. Right now, attackers are shifting from spoofing to using virtual call services since they are anonymous and untraceable. These fraudulent calls are legitimate calls that can be placed from many devices from anywhere in the world​. This allows fraudsters to bypass spoofing detection technology with numbers unrelated to a record​. Fraudsters then use social engineering on agents to grant them control over a customer’s record​.

Solution: With Passive Voice Biometrics, agents themselves can help identify fraudulent activity in real-time. If a customer’s voiceprint does not match the one on file, the agent will be alerted of the voiceprint mismatch. The agent can then pass the warning signs to the fraud department to initiate investigation—while the call is still in progress. By giving these agents greater peace of mind, and the fraud department greater resources, everyone is protected and more productive.

Challenge 3: Containment. With greater reliance upon the contact center to solve customer issues, the workload of agents rises daily. Without intelligent proactive outbound communication and robust Automatic Speech Recognition and Text-to-Speech technology, customers route to agents for menial tasks to mine information that could be accessible ahead of the need/ask.

Solution: LumenVox’ Automatic Speech Recognition and Text-to-Speech enable automated yet dynamic and personalized interactions with customers within the IVR. This improves containment and reduces Agent Handle Time, as customers gain immediate access to relevant information, often removing the need for a live agent. With the use of Call Progress Analysis, agents’ time can be spent solely on live interactions with customers. Call Progress Analysis is a novel predictive dialer technology which uses Voice Activity Detection (VAD) to quickly and accurately classify whether calls were answered by a human or a machine. With this technology as well as statistical analysis, adjustments and feedback, agents can achieve optimal performance.

Voice technology can be leveraged in a variety of ways to shave valuable minutes from each agent’s workload. This translates into benefits for the business, for the agents themselves and for customers.

Find out more about LumenVox’ complete Voice Technology Stack here.

Join LumenVox at IAUG Wired!

Join LumenVox at IAUG Wired!

The International Avaya Users Group is holding its second annual online virtual event: IAUG Wired, this Tuesday, February 10, 2021. We were able to attend last year in Phoenix, Arizona, and can speak to the exciting engagement it offers.

The best part about this year? You don’t have to leave the comfort of your office or home to participate. It’s completely virtual and accessible from anywhere. IAUG has a host of panelists delivering highly interactive, 3D virtual environments, breakout sessions, and interactive partner exhibits within the virtual show floor.

As a proud sponsor, LumenVox will have a virtual booth to showcase our best-in-class voice technology. We’ll have a plethora of information on the LumenVox Avaya-compliant, speech-enabled contact center applications including:

Call Progress Analysis ensures outbound message delivery and is currently beating the competition with 98.6% accuracy of over 500 million outbound calls per month. As an enhancement to the Avaya Proactive Outreach Manager, you can ensure the message is delivered successfully and clearly. No cutoff. No miscommunication.

Automatic Speech Recognition converts spoken audio into text, providing users with a more efficient way to interact with automated systems. Increase IVR containment by allowing callers to self-service.

Text-to-Speech provides the voice output for conveying information to callers – further assisting with containment. With Text-to-Speech you can speech-enable your telephony platform or software application.

Learn more about our offerings here: Speech and Authentication Solutions for Avaya

Want to chat with us during the event (Feb. 10, 2021)? 

  1. Go ahead and log in before registering if you have an IAUG account. Members will also have access to the recordings. For inquires, contact info@iaug.org.
  2. Register here. By registering for this event you are opting in to have your name and email visible on the event platform while the event is live in order to participate and interact with attendees and speakers. If you are not an IAUG member already, you will receive a basic entry-level “affiliate” membership after the event.