Have you ever considered voice AI as a potential brand ambassador? As voicebots increase in sophistication, it has become easier to give them distinct personalities that can be linked to a specific brand and customer experience. In this article, we will look at the ways you can shape your voice AI to be one of your top brand ambassadors.
Many businesses now choose to use voice AI to power their customer service and contact centers. This makes sense. Voicebots offer businesses a cost-effective way to serve their customers 24/7, even in peak call times, which make them an excellent choice for automating phone-based services.
Research in the United States has revealed that the majority of customer issues were still being resolved by phone compared to other channels. Even when automated with voice AI, voice channels remain popular with customers.
Therefore it’s essential that contact centers get the entire voice channel experience right, including for voice AI. This means not just getting the right services in place but also building a properly planned and executed brand experience for the voice AI.
If you are currently using voice AI or considering using it for your customer contact center, here’s how you can strategically develop voice AI as a brand ambassador.
Why you should think of voice AI as a brand ambassador
A brand ambassador speaks for your brand, represents it, and advocates for it with your customers. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider your voicebots as brand ambassadors:
- Often, your voicebots are the point of first contact between customers and your services. If your voice AI answers inbound customer calls, the voicebot will be the first ‘person’ from your company all new and potential customers will be talking to – and first impressions count.
- If your competitors are using voicebots, the experience you offer needs to stand out in order to differentiate you. It’s no longer necessary to rely on voices drawn from the same narrow pool as everybody else. These days, you can have a voicebot that is uniquely yours.
- Voicebots handle over 50% of customer calls from start to finish for some of our clients. If your voicebot is configured to complete frequent customer transactions, the voicebot could well be the main customer service agent your customers are interacting with when they call your business.
Things to consider when shaping voice AI for your brand
Ideally, all your customer touch points should be telling your brand story in a compelling way that is in alignment with your brand’s communication plan. As one of the key customer touch points, this is just as true for your voice AI.
There are three main components that will help shape your voice AI into an effective brand ambassador for your business:
- The script
- The voice of the voice AI
- The overall customer experience the voicebot delivers
Let’s look at these components one-by-one.
The script the conversational AI uses
The script is the set of content that the voicebot uses to communicate with customers. It starts with how the voice AI will greet customers and extends into the library of flexible responses the voice AI uses to field questions and interjections from callers (called intents in conversational AI terminology).
When designing the voicebot, the script should conform with your brand guidelines. Brand guidelines specify how your human agents should talk about your brand with customers – not just the description of services but also the brand values and the tone of the language (e.g. friendly, authoritative, relaxed, energized, casual, formal). Just as you would expect of your human agents, the voicebots should be set up to talk about your brand the way you want your customers to experience it.
If you already have a contact center, your customer service agent playbook is a great place from which to start designing your voicebot script.
Read more about how we design our voicebots at Talkie.ai from our blog posts on conversation design.
The ‘voice’ used by the AI
Big advances have been made in synthetic voices for voice AI. Before, there were only a handful of voices from which voicebots could be built. This meant that a lot of voicebots across businesses sounded the same. There was little to set one brand’s voice AI experience apart from the others. Now, improvements in the technology mean that any voice actor can be used for creating a unique voicebot.
When our clients want a unique AI voice for their brand, we use technology from different voice vendors to create synthetic voices. We can use the voice of their top performing human agent for the voicebot or use a professional voice actor that the client has chosen. Voice samples are synthesized to produce any utterance, including dynamically generated names.
Do your customers respond better to a sales offer from a female voice of a certain pitch compared to a male voice at a much lower pitch and slower speed? Maybe for your business services, it’s the other way around. Sometimes the smallest tweaks to the voice of the voicebot can make big differences in delivering better business outcomes over time.
Using the Talkie.ai platform, it’s possible to vary the pitch, gender, accent and speed of the voicebot without the need for expensive re-recordings. This feature allows our clients to experiment with a variety of voices to see exactly which one achieves the best results with customers.
The customer experience delivered by the voicebot
As a self-service customer experience, voicebots can complete a surprising number of transactional tasks without the need for intervention by a human agent. The range of services you select for the voicebot to handle helps define its contribution to your brand’s overall customer experience.
A frequent scenario is for a business to start with one or two automated services using voice AI. Once those are established, more services are added to the voicebot.
For example, a common application for voicebots is as a virtual receptionist that answers customer calls after hours. Unlike a recorded message, however, the virtual assistant can also take customer bookings and appointments.
For some businesses, that is enough, but with voice AI, it’s possible to extend the services to allow customers to also:
- change their appointments or cancel them
- request an appointment reminder by SMS
- ask for information about the business
- inquire about their account status
The decision to add new services and at what pace will depend on both the readiness of the business and how comfortable customers are with using the voicebot services.
Another scenario is for the voicebot to field the initial call, identify the customer’s issue, collect some basic information about the customer and then route the customer’s call to the appropriate department or specialist human agent. Callers have their calls answered quickly and the voicebot helps route the call appropriately and with a higher level of accuracy than a caller-directed IVR system. The voicebot can also update CRM records on the fly with customer details, saving human agents additional time in administrative tasks.
In order to deliver optimal customer experiences, the choice and mix of automated services performed by the voicebot should match both the needs of the business and the needs of customers. It’s a design choice that you will need to make in reference to your overall brand experience strategy.
Read a case study about how a leading hair salon franchise used voice AI to power their reception services.
Learn more about how to decide which of your business processes can and should be automated with virtual agents in this article.
Establishing a well-defined brand experience for voice AI
Customers will appreciate the convenience of a well-executed automated voice AI service but they stand to be delighted by a properly crafted customer experience designed to accompany it.
When the three elements are brought together coherently – the script, the voice and the customer experience – they can be used to not only deliver great customer service but also communicate a clear and compelling brand message that conveys important information about your business with the personality you want to represent your brand.
As a point of frequent contact, voice AI offers a fantastic channel for establishing, building and maintaining a brand relationship with your customers. Voice AI is unfailingly consistent. Unlike human agents, voice AI doesn’t run the risk of having an “off day” when talking with a customer. Voice AI helps convey your brand message each and every time a customer calls exactly the way you want it to, making it in many respects the ideal brand ambassador.
At Talkie.ai our team of expert consultants will help you plan and launch voice AI assistants that deliver great customer experiences that are aligned to your brand.