Latest research by voice artificial intelligence start-up AI Rudder has revealed that half (47%) of contact centers in Asia-Pacific are now looking at adopting voice AI solutions in the next 12 months as a business strategy to improve customer and employee satisfaction.
The report, titled The Future of Customer Experience with Voice AI was based on a survey comprising more than 500 customer experience (CX) leaders in Asia, on the state of the contact center industry. Having prioritized customer acquisition and onboarding over the past 3 years, digital-first businesses now find themselves at the tipping point of digital transformation and are thus increasingly realizing the importance of CX in driving long-term engagement, winning, and growing their revenue. According to the report, nearly half (46%) have prioritized improving CX in the next 24 months.
Businesses still falling short on omnichannel implementation
As customer journeys become more complex, personalization has now become imperative. Users are choosing to interact with brands on their preferred channels, switching between these frequently and expecting uninterrupted access. This means that organizations now have to track customer journeys across all channels to better serve the customer – whether for sales, assistance, or resolution of issues.
“When brands view their channels in silos, it is nearly impossible to personalize the experience for the customer,” says Kun Wu, Co-Founder and Managing Director of AI Rudder. “The challenge now for organizations is to achieve personalization at scale, without compromising the quality of customer experience. For this reason, voice AI is becoming a critical avenue for businesses to manage high volumes of customer requests, while ensuring their services are seamless and intuitive,” says Wu.
The inextricable link between CX and EX
Looking into 2024, organizations are also looking to bridge the gap between CX and employee experience (EX). Customer interactions still require a human touch; quality CX is dependent on motivated and empowered employees. Increased customer demand means that contact centre teams are more stretched than ever, and organizations are under pressure to optimize service standards while managing costs and workload. Against this backdrop, solutions like voice AI are gaining traction as part of efforts to support staffing requirements, without compromising on service quality.
Investing in AI to improve CX, EX
Given that calls have to be answered within a specific timeframe, organizations are looking at diverting queries to non-voice channels that do not require support from a human agent. More than half (59%) are now considering the improvement of customer self-service as a key component of their CX strategy.
To address these issues, organizations are increasingly prioritizing AI and ML and expect these investments to reduce the load on agents, improve employee retention (41%), and drive customer satisfaction (40%). More than three-fourths (77%) have either started or re-calibrated their digital transformation priorities in the last 2 years, and over half (53%) are deploying a combination of AI and self-service applications, including voice AI assistants.
Understanding nuance is key to voice AI success
To reach the successful adoption of voice AI, understanding the nuances of voice interaction by collecting the right data pool to train AI models will be critical.
As such, AI Rudder is continuously expanding its platform to support more languages, dialects, and accents. Most recently, AI Rudder launched its new Singlish bot, which was enhanced with 3,000 hours of speech data from the National Speech Corpus (NSC) complete with humanized features to process semantics, linguistic utterances, and speech disfluencies.
“Our voice assistants can carry out sophisticated conversations and can discern between meaningful interruptions from background interferences in order to infer the true intention of the user,” shares Zader Zhang, Director of AI at AI Rudder. “Likewise, they are able to intuitively converse using speech disfluencies and localized filler words sound more familiar and natural. This makes customers feel more at ease when conversing with voice AI.”
Zhang also says the voice AI assistants are expected to improve over time with each use. Currently, the platform supports more than 20 languages and dialects, including English, Chinese, Hindi, Tamil, Bahasa Melayu, Bahasa, Tagalog, and Taglish.