If you find yourself getting impatient with Alexa, Siri or any number of voice-prompt customer service lines, listen up: Conversational artificial intelligence (AI) has a lot to say.
In a growing number of use cases, voice and messaging are talking customers along step by step from engagement to interaction to transaction, without blowing the sale or frustrating the user.
Proponents of unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) are vocal about the potential.
Among them is Spitch.ai, the Swiss automatic speech recognition (ASR) voice user interface firm that announced its expansion into U.S. on Wednesday (Mar. 9).
Spitch said in a press release that since 2021 “the conversational AI market has grown 130% and continues to increase as businesses look for customizable solutions to optimize operations for efficiency and accuracy,” adding that sales of its solution increased 400% year over year.
On Tuesday (Mar. 8), Singapore-based Voice AI startup AI Rudder announced it raised $50 million in a Series B funding round, and also reporting 400% YoY growth for its solution.
The list of investments in voice AI startups gets longer as companies are now caught up in the trend of modernizing experience using next-gen automated voice assistants and chatbots.
Giving context to the trend, Nicolas du Cray, partner at AI Rudder investor Cathay Innovation said, “We have been looking to invest in companies using AI to reimagine the customer experience. Through its global-first approach and rapidly growing [total addressable market], AI Rudder’s position within the rapidly growing global conversational AI marketplace fit squarely into our thesis.”
As theses go, it’s a good one. Mounting opinion backed by data sees voice as a solid bet.
Striking the Right Tone
In a December PYMNTS interview, Raghu Ravinutala, CEO of customer experience automation firm yellow.ai, said, “The ability of agents to naturally adapt to the different language of communication and the right channel at the right point of time, these are all needed to address global consumers and the changing complexities of engaging with [them].”
On Thursday (Mar. 10), UCaaS solutions provider RingCentral added enterprise conversation platform Balto to its gallery of voice and messaging solutions.
In a press release, RingCentral senior vice president of Customer Engagement Jim Dvorkin said, “Balto is transforming the way in which contact center agents communicate while on the phone, which in turn leads to unbeatable customer experience and bottom-line impact. It’s the reason we are fully behind Balto as a partner, a customer and an investor.”
Developments are expected to ramp up throughout 2022 as companies seek to reduce costs while improving engagement, something that voice-assisted AI is getting good at.
According to the study Consumer Authentication Experiences, a PYMNTS and Pindrop collaboration, 52% of consumers accessing accounts digitally are satisfied, while only 43% using their phones are satisfied with digital authentication and want options like voice available.
“This data both highlights the sizable opportunity to improve customer satisfaction and suggests that organizations looking to do so would be wise to consider voice-based solutions that could be consistent across digital and phone-based communications.”
Get the study: Consumer Authentication Experiences