Have you ever had to repeat a menu in an IVR because you did not understand at the first opportunity which option to choose? Have you ever listened without interest to the possibilities to validate if pressing zero will lead you directly to a human agent? These situations are not far from reality. Contrary to a good user experience, it generates more effort and dissatisfaction in customers.
Sometimes, customers get stuck between the IVR routing menu's rigid options, consuming valuable minutes without solving their requirements. So the use of artificial intelligence tools such as TTS (text to speech) and ASR (automatic speech recognition) facilitate human interaction with the machine through voice streamlining the care process.
Markets and Markets explain "the TTS market was valued at USD 2,000 by 2020 and projects an estimated growth to USD 5,000 by 2026". The rise in TSS use is directly related to the need for attention to people with different abilities, the evolution of cell phones from calling devices to computing devices, and the possibilities of automation that favor adopting this functionality in other companies.
TTS trends for 2021
The way people are consuming digital texts in audiobooks makes the industry reflect that users prefer to listen to the contents before reading them; that is, they have learned to read with their ears. The portal voice intuitive also mentions that the goal of TTS shortly is the neural voices, those that achieve pronunciation, timing, intonation, and sensation to achieve conversational reading styles, dialect, colloquial, or news reading.
Adding artificial intelligence to functionalities such as TTS opens the possibility of turning customer service channels into accessible spaces. Since users with disabilities, older people with diminished abilities due to the aging process, illiterate people, or people with dyslexia, among others, will be able to interact with virtual agents through voice as the leading resource.
Finding the right voice
Choosing the synthetic voice that a brand will use to read information to its users is a necessary process. The voice must be aligned with the company's personality, generate closeness, convey the company's values, and make those who interact with it feel comfortable. wolkvox offers customers 345 different voices with male or female alternatives, neutral accents, or by regions for languages such as English, Spanish, French, German, Catalan, or Portuguese.
In establishing the right voice, it is also possible to synthesize the commercial voices that have accompanied a company for years, with wolkvox you can perform this process and read with TTS in each company's voice messages to your customers.
Today we have a wide range of TTS solutions that favor naturalness and personalization in the attention that contribute positively to ensure a seamless experience, says Mauricio Arias Sanchez, Design Operations Leader (DesignOps) at wolkvox. Arias Sánchez also adds that "we must not forget that the experience of robotic attention originates from the very design of the IVR, with endless menu options and mazes in which a user is left to their own devices to avoid getting lost. Now, by making the service 'natural' from the IVR design, the personalization of automated voice services opens the door to countless opportunities''.
When to use this service?
When the main objective is self-service, Mauricio Arias explains that "although there are customers with a predilection for talking to another person to solve their doubts or problems, they find in these customer service strategies the possibility of guaranteeing greater privacy in the interactions and of having greater availability to obtain answers."
Although the market trend is towards conversational IVRs, it is necessary to take some time to analyze and determine the processes in which this tool could improve the user experience. It is critical to evaluate the costs involved in using TTS vs. other fixed costs to generate the same process through a human agent.
For example, in terms of accessibility, TTS could use it to indicate to people who find it difficult to read the indications suggested by the physician after a telemedicine review. TTS could use it for prioritized attention to visually impaired people for whom tone dialing for customer service is not easy. It reduces agent effort by automating actions such as communicating that a case has been successfully closed.
It is worth noting that for the use of TTS coupled with other artificial intelligence components such as Dialog Flow to positively leverage the customer experience, they should be employed to resolve informative and recurring requests, thus allowing humans to take over interactions customer retention and loyalty.
How can we leverage automated voice services to improve the customer
According to our Design Operations Leader (DesignOps) at wolkvox, "from a business standpoint, the benefits are concrete: cost reduction, immediate integration with other information systems, and greater operational control. "Just imagine being able to design a voice experience that conveys brand identity, allows for customization of pace and intent that is tailored to the moment of truth that the customer is experiencing."
In summary, voice is still the backbone of customer service. The market trend is towards conversational IVRs through Artificial Intelligence with features such as TTS, ASR, and Google's Dialog Flow. Those components improve the customer experience, streamline interactions and return naturalness to voice communication by providing more explicit instructions. However, not all IVRs need text to speech, and not all companies can solve their routing by dialing tones; for each company, there is a tailored strategy to be developed.