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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.
A Dive Into Deep Learning

A Dive Into Deep Learning

The development of Automatic Speech Recognition techniques continues to accelerate. Already an established technology, Automatic Speech Recognition is growing by leaps and bounds each year, especially as artificial intelligence contributes to evolution. A crucial building block of artificial intelligence is deep learning.

What is Deep Learning?

Deep learning refers to the process of a computer model learning how to do classification tasks by example, directly from audio, text, or images. These models are trained using very large sets of data and neural network topologies with many hidden layers, to which the word “deep” refers. Deep Neural Networks can achieve state-of-the-art performance in many different fields, even exceeding human-level performance on some of them.

What are Neural Networks?

More specifically, neural networks are a series of algorithms, whose job it is to identify relationships within a set of data, a process that simulates the way a human brain identifies underlying connections. When it comes to speech technology, neural networks enable us to push the limits of speech recognition.

Which Neural Network for Automatic Speech Recognition?

Deep Neural Networks are transforming the way humans interact, playing an important role in the technological revolution of artificial intelligence. At LumenVox, our Research and Development team is currently utilizing Time Depth Separable Convolutional Neural Networks (TDS CNN).

Convolutional Neural Networks are advantageous for a few reasons: They are computationally efficient, making them highly useful for mobile applications, and they have fewer knobs to toy with, fewer parameters to adjust. That means LumenVox customers get an ASR engine with greater speech recognition accuracy without requiring more compute performance, encouraging greater efficiency and performance.

LumenVox’ deep learning technology is applied to many of our technologies, including Automatic Speech Recognizer, Natural Language Processing, and Voice Biometrics. To learn more about our comprehensive stack, or to take an even deeper dive into deep learning, contact us today!

The Art of Speech & a Conversational IVR

The Art of Speech & a Conversational IVR

Speech technology can truly bring the customer experience to life, but it takes a unique blend of creativity, technology, and hardware to do so. We recently interviewed LumenVox Software Engineer Shaun McThomas to gain his perspective on the art of integrating speech technology with IVRs to enhance the customer experience.

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Hi, my name is Shaun McThomas. I’m a Software Engineer at LumenVox, and today I’m here to talk to you about creating next-generation conversational Interactive Voice Response systems. IVR for short.

What are the biggest issues facing customers and IVR-s today?

One of the biggest issues with IVRs today is that callers are forced to follow a rigid script. It’s not a conversation, it’s an interrogation. First, they are asked, give me this bit of information; then they are asked for another bit and another bit. There is no flow like you would have with another person, just a series of “painful, tiny steps”, making the whole process ridged and uncomfortable for the caller.

Another issue is you often get trapped in IVR jail there is no escape route. You are forced to listen to the very end of the prompt before you can respond, “This isn’t what I want; let me go back to the Main menu.”

What do you think the solution is to address these pain points?

Most of these issues are easily addressed with an artful blend of good design and use of modern speech recognition technologies, what LumenVox calls Speech Art. If you listen to the very best contact center agents within a business and model how they solve the same issues and how they question a caller, you’ll understand how callers really ask questions and can provide very lifelike IVR responses. By following this model, you can produce frictionless, intuitive (and personalized) interactions with callers, radically improving their experience.

The very first thing a good IVR should do is quickly identify who the caller is, confirm that assumption. Remember, a blend of technologies can make this easier.  Look up the phone number they are calling from in your back-end systems and see if you can determine their identify from that. You can use both speech recognition and voice biometric authentication to make that process simple and easy if needed. More than likely calling from their cell phone, which provides a unique identifier.

Once you’ve identified the caller, use data available from your back-end systems to anticipate the reason for calling and personalize the next steps.

For example, if you’re a power company and a customer’s home is in the middle of a known power outage, assume that’s the reason for the call. Likewise, if you’re an airline and they have a flight booked on your airline that departs within the next 24 hours, assume that’s the reason for the call.  Now that you’ve made an assumption, confirm that’s the reason they are calling with a simple yes/no prompt and if yes provide them with appropriate information. If they are not calling for that reason, ask them why they’ve called, but allow them to use natural language to answer. And always give them a way to correct themselves.

How does Conversational IVR work, exactly?

Conversational IVRs work by leveraging three key technologies, ASRs, NLU, and TTS. These aren’t the only piece to the puzzle, but they are important ones. Let’s talk a little about each.

First, there is Text to Speech (or TTS for short). TTS is the method to turn text into speech. This is key to allow you to easily ask questions quickly. It is important to use TTS instead of recordings to allow questions to be personalized. For example, when a caller first calls in and you want to verify them, you can use their name and directly ask if it’s them.

Next, there is the Automatic Speech Recognizers (or ASR for short). An ASR’s job is to take speech, recognize it as something meaningful, and then turn it into something useful like text. There are lots of types of ASRs. LumenVox’s new transcription ASR uses machine learning techniques such as deep neural networks for natural language processing. This is effective for transcribing text from human speech. Before this sort of technology existed, you had to constrain your recognizers to a limited set of words (called a grammar) that it could only recognize. Modern NLP models have a large set of words they can recognize allowing you can speak naturally, and it will be able to feed you back the raw transcribed text. Once the ASR has done its job, we have that text.

Finally, we need to use another technology, which is Natural Language Understanding or NLU for short. NLU takes this text and converts it into meaning, intents, and slots, for example:

The caller can say: “I want to fly from New York to LA.” And we parse out “to fly, New York” “destination, from LA.”

Using these three technologies we can create a conversation with a caller rather than a scripted interrogation. First, we would use TTS to ask the caller a question, then an ASR to get text back from the caller’s response, then NLU to understand that response, and then finally use that understanding to figure out what additional information we need from the caller or processes the caller’s request.

 What sets LumenVox apart?

At LumenVox, we’re creating a Configurable AI Gateway that makes it easy to integrate many different NLU engines with our ASR. This approach opens the possibility to use widely available NLU platforms from IBM, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and others with your existing IVR along with LumenVox ASR, TTS and Voice Biometrics.

Many technology vendors don’t offer choices in the combinations of ASR, NLP, and NLU that you can use to build a solution. Their entire suite of technology and tools is often proprietary, expensive, and because its proprietary, involves the use of expensive, dedicated professional service teams. At LumenVox we want to be able to easily integrate existing technologies with our speech recognition, text-to-speech, and voice biometrics software as part of the solution stack. We want to take the technology that’s already out there and make it easier for our customers to use.

Ready to take your contact center to the next level by implementing a conversational IVR? Contact us today!

LumenVox assists its ASR customers by providing free bursting ports

LumenVox assists its ASR customers by providing free bursting ports

In response to COVID-19 and its burden upon our customers, we wanted to do our part. As of today, LumenVox Advanced Speech Recognition (ASR) customers who have a maintenance agreement can use up to a 50% increase of their current ASR license volume, at no additional cost, for 60 days.

It’s imperative to stay connected to your customers right now. During this uncertain time, LumenVox remains flexible and committed to serving our partners and customers, making sure your service remains seamless, as demand and dependency upon remote channels increases.

“We hope that this flexibility to our licensing allows for increased automation and alleviates some of the contact center stress we are experiencing during COVID-19. This is just one way we can help come together and support one another.”

-Edward Miller, CEO of LumenVox.

This free bursting also demonstrates our commitment to both outstanding customer service and meaningful support, from speech application development to deployment and daily use.

LumenVox ASR is a software solution that converts spoken audio into text. Its ability to recognize naturally spoken language and its tuning flexibility set the technology apart as an industry standard. With LumenVox ASR, user experiences improve, and completion rates rise. To accompany this technology, we provide a wide selection of licensing options, including per-port, monthly subscription, use-based, bursting and Software as a Service (SaaS).

LumenVox is also directly addressing one of the major issues resulting from COVID-19, a spike in fraudulent attacks on contact centers, with Fraud Scanner, a voice-based fraud detection tool. Learn more about this fraud detection strategy here.

To further discuss your licensing needs, or to inquire about any of our solutions, contact a service representative here.

You can read a message from our CEO further detailing our response to COVID-19 here.