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Voice Technology Assists Humans Where Automation Doesn’t

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Image: Panther Media GmbH - Alamy Stock Photo
Deepgram, a provider of automated speech recognition (ASR) technology, teamed up with Opus Research to poll 400 enterprise decision-makers about the state of voice technology in 2022. Key findings included why improving customer experience (CX) is the primary motivation for using voice technology, impactful use cases, the current landscape, and a look at the road ahead.
 
No Jitter recently tapped Shadi Baqleh, chief operating officer, Deepgram, to discuss the State of Voice Technology for 2022, why voice technology is top of mind for enterprises, how it boosts productivity, and results that didn’t appear in last year’s survey.
 
Responses have been edited for conciseness and clarity.
 
In the survey, one of the results showed that Internal Operations (89%), support (81%), and marketing (75%) are the leaders in using voice technologies in their workflows. Why are these departments more likely to be using voice? What about their work makes voice such a good choice?
SB: Marketing, support, and internal operations (departments responsible for enabling contact centers) have a direct touchpoint with customers. Voice technology unlocks insights from conversations that can lead to productivity gains, identification of new business opportunities, and cost savings in those departments.
 
The leading reason for adopting voice technologies was “improving productivity.” What did respondents mean by this? How does voice boost productivity for people?
SB: Voice technology enables companies to automate customer touchpoints and assist humans in running processes where automation isn’t fully deployed or possible. For example, voice technology can automatically direct an inbound caller to the right customer service representative or provide an agent with solutions for solving the caller's issue without the employee searching an internal database. Data extracted from conversations by voice technology can help agents with resolution tips, selling options, or advice for add-on products and services with greater accuracy than ever before.
 
The report states that the most surprising result to Deepgram was for marketing use, which we didn’t see in last year’s survey. Why do you think this is?
SB: Every marketer knows it’s the angry or happy 5-10% of the customer base [that] completes post-transaction surveys. Now that conversations are moving to digital platforms, modern marketers have realized they can analyze an even greater sample size of their customer base on a more frequent basis using voice technology. Marketers can access the actual voice of the customer; unbiased, unfiltered, and in real-time, providing their teams with greater insight into customer needs and behaviors. These higher resolution insights lead to better targeting, higher-converting messaging and offers, and identification of new revenue opportunities.
 
What was the most unsurprising result in the survey? And why?
SB: I wasn’t surprised that 75% of respondents report plans to increase their speech technology budget in 2022. For years, enterprises have seen the financial and business benefits of implementing voice technology in the contact center—and the COVID-19 pandemic only fueled that fire even more. COVID-19 has also accelerated the adoption of digital communication platforms outside of support.
 
As we navigate this new normal, digital communications will remain part of how we do business. Voice technology is essential to making those experiences efficient for the provider and enjoyable for the consumer.

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