In today’s digital age, buying power is firmly placed in the hands of consumers. And when they are provided with less-than-stellar service, they will jump ship. According to Harris Interactive, 89% of consumers have switched to doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. In fact, Oracle notes that 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. In order for businesses to effectively differentiate themselves, customer service must be a priority.

The landscape of customer service has changed drastically over the years. The rise of digital automation, artificial intelligence, and conversational user interfaces now allow businesses to communicate with customers in more ways, while enabling stronger interactions and more personalized engagement. American Express reveals that over 60% of US consumers now prefer an automated self-service, such as a website or mobile app, for simple customer service tasks, and Gartner notes that by 2020, 85% of all customer interactions will be handled without a human agent.

This post outline various ways AI-powered and automation technologies are playing a big role in enhancing customer service.

Voice Assistants

Voice assistants have gained steadfast popularity over recent years with the introduction of Google’s Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon’s Alexa. Research from Park Associates finds two-thirds of smart speaker households own an Amazon Echo, and almost one-third own a Google Home. With this in mind, more and more businesses are investing in voice-first channels in order meet user experience expectations.

Voice Assistants use speech technology and natural language processing to enable users to interact with technology using just their voices, allowing businesses to connect with and service their customer base in their preferred channel. For instance, the company Tide offers its users step-by-step instructions via voice on how to eliminate stains, and Best Buy allows customers to purchase their latest deals (including special voice-only offers), get updated on order statuses, and more through their Alexa Skill.

With the investment businesses are making to meet customer’s voice-first expectations, it’s important that the actual voice communicating with customers is as lifelike as possible. No matter how advanced a solution is, it will be perceived as subpar if the voice quality is unnatural. ReadSpeaker develops unique, human-like synthetic voices with the characteristics and emotion required to deliver successful experiences within the voice-user interface. 

See below how ReadSpeaker’s lifelike voices are being used in MSC’s ZOE, the world’s first virtual personal cruise assistant:

Chatbots & Intelligent Digital Assistants

Chatbots and intelligent digital assistants are changing the way brands interact with their customers, emulating human interaction to perform particular tasks, like customer service. Utilizing artificial intelligence and speech technology, these solutions are able to answer product or service-related questions, resolve issues, help consumers find what they are looking for, or direct customers to live agents.

While the technology is still quite new, a survey by Oracle noted that 80% of brands plan to use chatbots by 2020, a clear indicator of its potential.

As we move faster towards a voice-first world, businesses are increasingly turning to ReadSpeaker to be the voice of their chatbots and digital assistants because of our leadership in creating some of the best, most lifelike text-to-speech voices in the world.

Take a look at IPSoft’s cognitive agent, Amelia, which uses voices powered by ReadSpeaker:

IVR Systems

Customers have been comfortable with using interactive voice response (IVR) technology for some time now. IVR systems have become the benchmark of modern customer service centers due to smarter self-service applications to deliver better customer experiences.

Advancements within the IVR space are making way for interactions to be more conversational, allowing customers to express requests in their own words without having to navigate long menus. Using this approach allows businesses to resolve issues quickly, reduce abandonment, increase satisfaction, and provide successful self-service options.

Whether traditional or conversational, text to speech plays an important role in any IVR system. From the moment the customer makes the call, to the moment they hang up, text-to-speech voice solutions can provide a seamless experience for customers. At ReadSpeaker, we use deep learning techniques to generate voice responses that sound like everyday conversation. And, our ability to extend services across various language needs allows our clients to expand service offerings to better support their customers anytime from anywhere.

Outbound Call & Messaging Systems

Microsoft notes that 68% of consumers say it increases their perception of a brand when companies send them proactive customer service notifications.

Outbound call notification and messaging systems automate engagements across a variety of customer channels, including voice, SMS, email, and push. Text to speech can easily be integrated to deliver key messages in lifelike voices that are easy to understand. For example, some ReadSpeaker clients use our text-to-speech solutions for appointment reminders, surveys, verification services, emergency notifications, and other messages to their valued customer base.

How Can ReadSpeaker Support your Customer Service Goals?

ReadSpeakers offer accurate, natural-sounding, synthetic voices, designed to help businesses make that first great impression and engage users. Our voice solutions add lifelike speech across all customer engagement channels, helping businesses create personal user experiences, extend service offering, and service multilingual customer bases.

We provide flexible deployment options, offering the same high-quality text-to-speech voices both in the cloud and on-premises, so you can choose the best fit for your needs and requirements. Check out video below or get in touch with us today to discuss how ReadSpeaker can support your customer service goals.