Customer Experience, Service & Success

TELUS International Survey for National Customer Appreciation Day

AI-powered voice technology is redefining customer interactions; Brands have a small window of opportunity to be at the forefront of the next iteration of customer experience

Imagine a world where customers literally didn’t have to lift a finger to engage with their favorite brands. Many consumers already use basic voice commands with their phones or home assistants, but voice tech in the age of GenAI is poised to revolutionize customer experiences (CX). By replacing texting and click-based navigation with voice-activated apps that feature the ease and fluidity of natural conversation, brands have the opportunity to provide consumers with low-effort and more personalized interactions while simultaneously driving efficiencies within their CX operations.

Recent insights from a TELUS International survey, conducted for National Customer Appreciation Day on April 18, highlighted the importance of this opportunity for brands. When asked if they would rather have a more personalized customer experience or one that took less time, 62% of survey respondents chose personalization. But, when survey respondents weren’t limited to a single response, they said that CX should be more personalized (44%), faster (44%) and make you want to purchase again (45%). And although 60% said they would “suffer through” a bad customer experience rather than pay one or more paychecks to guarantee a good customer experience, 55% said that “nothing excuses a bad customer experience.”

Considering the fact that more than half of survey respondents (54%) also said they would rather get stuck in a slow-moving traffic jam than endure a poor customer experience, it is obvious that consumers want brands to do better. This underscores both an opportunity and a challenging reality for today’s brands: how to balance the provision of timely, high-quality, personalized CX while delivering it in a sustainable, cost-efficient way amid a challenging macroeconomic environment. This is where AI-powered voice technology is a game changer.

“Advances in conversational AI and voice technology are revolutionizing how consumers are interacting with devices and the world around us. Brands adopting voice tech is about them leading the charge in a market that values speed, accuracy and above all, personalization,” said Tobias Dengel, President of WillowTree, a TELUS International Company. “What better way to show your appreciation to customers than by incorporating voice-activated and AI-supported technologies to elevate customer experiences in order to not only meet, but also anticipate their needs. Businesses have a small window of opportunity to be among the first to adopt voice tech and prepare their CX ecosystems for a voice-first future that will position them to lead the competition for years to come.”

Voice Technology Explained: How It’s Changing the Way We Communicate

Dengel is also the author of “The Sound of the Future: The Coming Age of Voice Technology,” and asserts that voice-enabled apps represent “the next big wave [in technology] — as big as the internet or as big as mobile.”

Voice-enabled technology is powered by a few key innovations that transform how we interact with devices. Voice-enabled technology leverages automatic speech recognition (ASR), natural language processing (NLP) and understanding (NLU) to transform natural speech into machine-readable formats and interpret underlying meanings. But to be truly effective, voice must be leveraged with other modalities, such as text and images, across a single interaction for brands to be able to provide frictionless digital customer experiences.

Multimodal voice applications and the ability to give voice prompts could ‘spell’ the end of customers manually searching a website in favor of verbally describing what they seek. On average, people speak three times as fast as they can type on a keyboard, and five times faster than on a mobile device. In action, voice-enabled apps cut down the time customers spend typing or clicking by two-thirds. These technologies help make customer interactions more personal and smoother overall by enabling customers to communicate in their natural language and receive thoughtful, tailored responses.

WillowTree, a TELUS International Company, takes a multidisciplinary approach to voice technology, combining talent and deep expertise from its award-winning AI, design, strategy, and engineering teams. See how we can help your organization with our conversational AI and voice technology consulting.

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