The sound of silence and human speech: Being able to interpret this automatically is the key to an effective call center strategy for outbound calling success.
LumenVox Call Progress Analysis offers call center operators and predictive dialer developers the core technology to quickly and accurately classify whether calls were answered by a human or a machine. It accomplishes this with Voice Activity Detection (VAD). VAD is vital in creating effective predictive dialing solutions while complying with related regulatory restrictions governing the use of such automated systems.
Silence & Timing
There can be a varying amount of silence before someone begins speaking/ when a human answers a call. This silence needs to be taken into consideration by call flows, which means allowing some silence before speech, but also limiting the amount of time the application should wait for someone to speak. For instance, if no speech is detected after 5 seconds from the start of the audio stream, it is highly unlikely it was a human that answered. The ability to interpret this silence intelligently is critical to an effective call center strategy.
Speech & Timing
Once human speech has been detected, the next thing to determine is the length of that speech. Our extensive research has shown that statistically residential lines answered by a human have less than 1.8 seconds (1800ms) of speech in the greeting. That same research concluded that business greetings by humans are likely to be between this residential threshold and 3 seconds (3000ms). By extension, we can also conclude that anything greater than this should be classified as machine, likely a prerecorded message, possibly from an answering machine.
With the ability to classify and make these intelligent determinations, Call Progress Analysis can minimize the wait-time between calls handled by each agent, by predicting when the next agent will become available.
Not only can this contribute to significant operational cost savings for a contact center, but it also can dramatically impact the overall competitive advantage, since calls are being handled in a more efficient manner. This effective call center strategy and commercial advantage can be reflected as increased profit margin, more competitive pricing for customers or a combination of the two.
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.
A solid outbound contact strategy requires technology that can perform intelligent proactive outbound communication. Predictive dialers can accomplish this, with the right type of detection, boosting efficiency and cutting cost.
Predictive dialers give businesses a shortcut through a simple issue: delay. When any phone number is dialed, there is a high likelihood (over 60%) that the call will not be answered. Therefore, the time spent waiting for it is wasted, if/ when performed by a human operator or agent.
Even calls answered are not answered immediately. On average there can be 15 to 20 seconds of delay before the phone is picked up. Predictive dialers can filter out productive and unproductive outbound calls–ones that require the expense of agent interactions, and ones that do not.
Modern predictive dialers that can distinguish the difference between live parties, answering machines or voicemail services fall into the category of “voice activity detection.” Predictive dialers which can only identify machines by their busy, SIT, answering machine beep or fax tones fall into “tone detection.”
Voice Activity Detection (VAD) Predictive dialers perform an intelligent interpretation of delay. VAD enables agents to spend more time speaking with their intended call recipients. This dramatically increases the overall productivity of the contact center.
LumenVox has moved the goalpost with this Voice Activity Detection approach. We call our technology “Call Progress Analysis.” Call Progress Analysis leverages VAD to filter out these “dead” calls, so that only “live” calls (ones that have been answered by live parties) are passed to agents.
Any contact center with any number of agents working can reap the benefits. With the use of Call Progress Analysis, agents’ time can be spent solely on live interactions with customers. With statistical analysis, adjustments and feedback, that contact center can achieve optimal performance and considerable cost savings.
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.
Want to chat with us during the event (Feb. 10, 2021)?
Go ahead and log in before registering if you have an IAUG account. Members will also have access to the recordings. For inquires, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Right now, customers crave communication. LumenVox Call Progress Analysis (CPA) is a technology that delivers proactive outbound phone messages with incredible accuracy, enabling businesses to give their customers the information they need exactly when they need it. CPA accomplishes this by a unique combination of tone detection and speech recognition. At first blush, the world of voice technology may label this product as Answering machine detection. But it’s not. So what’s the difference?
Answering Machine Detection (AMD) is typically a software that determines whether a machine (voicemail or answering machine) or a human has answered a call. AMD can be applied to all automated outbound calling use cases (outbound IVR, Text-to-speech, pre-recorded automated calls, or click-to-call).
Traditional Answering Machine Detection products use some form of energy or voice detection that extracts the duration of the greeting from the person or device answering the call. Answering machine messages can be remarkably diverse, effecting the algorithm and its decision-making process.
LumenVox Call Progress (CPA) Analysis has two distinct advantages when compared to AMD software.
Typical AMD software only uses energy detection, while LumenVox CPA is built on LumenVox’ Speech Recognition Engine’s Voice Activity Detection (VAD) which uses a more sophisticated machine learning process to detect speech vs non speech with greater accuracy. The VAD processes are used to determine speech vs background noises and measure the length of speech with greater accuracy. We then use the statistical correlation to make a machine vs human determination.
When the machine vs determination decision is made, traditional AMD software expects to find silence of some duration after the speech to indicate to the application that it is OK to leave a message. With LumenVox CPA we take advantage of our Speech Recognition engine to detect the answering machine tone before indicating that it is OK to leave the message. This ensures that the full message is successfully delivered.
With LumenVox Call Progress Analysis, your outbound dialing application can exceed expectations, starting precisely where it should, right after the beep. Its flexibility makes it compatible with most voice platforms and PBX systems. To learn more about how CPA can work for you, click here or contact us today.
As the world continues to react to COVID-19 (coronavirus), the LumenVox team is readily prepared to help our clients deliver excellent customer service amid surmounting challenges. Here are a few LumenVox best practice ideas and relevant solutions that apply to the new sign of the times:
Best Practice #1: Play it safe.
It is important for everyone to deliver great customer service and balance the need to protect your staff. At LumenVox we are limiting staff travel and providing our headquarter offices with the option to work from home. Many of our colleagues are doing the same, as significant industry events have been rescheduled (See our new appearance dates here and watch this space for upcoming virtual events). In every business, people should come first.
Best Practice #2: Boost remote engagement technology.
Communication is key when daily life is disrupted. Customers rely upon remote channels to gather information. One way you can elevate your business’ remote engagement strategy is with automated outbound calling. LumenVox Call Progress Analysis enables innovative, tone-based outbound calling to inform customers of changes to times, events, etc. What’s special about LumenVox’ solution is that we can deliver a significantly higher payload compared to competitors, as our Call Progress Analysis is able to verify if an outbound call has been connected to a live person or an automated recording system. Additionally, we have such flexible licensing, we offer “bursting” to assist with higher than usual call volumes.
Best Practice #3: Ensure secure authentication.
Secure authentication is paramount as call centers are increasingly overloaded with calls. Do you have cutting-edge technology to make sure every customer is who they say they are? Voice biometrics protects and defends vulnerable voice channels from criminal activity. Both active and passive biometrics keep customer accounts secure, and the interaction seamless.
As for LumenVox, our technology is immune, always up and running and we are here to ensure no disruption of our products and services. We want you to be able to say the same. Let us know how we can help you keep your customers feeling connected and safe.