What is a voice bot?
A voice bot is a conversational solution that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language understanding (NLU) to help interpret intent and meaning in speech commands. This technology, also known as conversational interactive voice response (IVR), enables users to interact with a device simply by speaking. As voice is one of the quickest forms of human communication, voice bots offer a secondary level of customer service by presenting another way to reflect your brand.
And it’s not just about understanding words. Voice bots determine what the customer wants and guide them to an efficient response. Constantly improving itself and the customer’s experience, voice bots make it possible to achieve multiple tasks simultaneously and successfully.
How do voice bots work?
Voice bots understand natural language and can initiate or participate in a two-way communication with users. With user commands, voice bots can use modules to listen, understand, and learn throughout their usage.
A voice bot uses the following programs and processes when interacting with a user:
- Speech to Text. Input voice recognition and translation, known as speech-to-text (STT), converts natural speech to text by recognising different accents and languages.
- Text to Speech. With a text-to-speech (TTS) engine, a voice bot brings text to life by translating it into synthesized speech.
- NLU engine. This helps bots understand questions, words, and sentences so the user can speak freely and respond instantly with more than just “yes” and “no” responses.
- Natural language generation (NLG). Answers will be translated into language that the user will understand.
- Language detection. The user’s language and dialect will be recognised and the voice bot will seamlessly switch to that language.
- Machine learning. The voice bot automatically self-learns from the user’s questions and data and adds these learning to the voice bot’s knowledge base.
The benefits of a voice bot
Your business can greatly benefit by adding a voice bot to your business processes. With voice bot AI, your business would be able to:
- Provide a smoother, more accessible customer service experience with round-the-clock availability.
- Recognise current customers and provide relevant history, preferences, and data for personalised interactions.
- Provide seamless interactions between voice bots and human agents to support omnichannel customer journeys.
- Scale and meet customer support needs effectively without adding majorly costly additions.
- Improve employee satisfaction rates by reducing team workloads and stress levels to work on more complex customer service plans.
Where to deploy a voice bot?
As with other bots, such as chatbots, voice bots are best suited for specific channels and instances where it makes sense for customers to interact using their voice. Some of these channels include:
- Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Deploying a voice bot through these devices can make it easier to control the IoT devices themselves, such as smart lights or thermostats.
- Virtual assistant devices. While devices such as Siri and Amazon Alexa are actually voice bots themselves, these devices also support voice bot deployments that enable a myriad of capabilities for the device itself or IoT devices they’re connected to.
- Telephony. Perhaps the largest-growing channel, telephony enables you to call voice bots on a phone line in your chosen language. This deployment typically supports a company’s customer service effort to help save time, costs, and resources.
A big part of why some voice bots work so well is that they’re part of the multimodality capabilities of conversational AI.
What is conversational AI?
Conversational AI is a set of technologies behind automated messaging and speech-enabled applications offering human-like interactions. Combining both art and science, as well as processes language detection and machine learning, conversational AI recognises speech and text, understands intent, and deciphers languages so it can respond accordingly.
Incorporating context, personalisation, and relevance helps make these conversations sound human and more natural. Conversational design, a discipline dedicated to designing flows that sound natural, is a vital part of designing conversational AI applications.