2020, The Year of Voice AI

The Adoption of Voice

With the help of Siri, Alexa and Google Assistants, there is a new movement towards voice. They have become so ingrained in our everyday lives, that we don’t refer to them as things but use male and female pronouns as if they are one among us. In the new year, we can only envision them serving added purposes in both our professional and personal lives, beyond answering questions, setting calendar reminders or playing music as they are now.

The transition to AI in business has been noticeably fast, and the trend is projected to continue. In fact, in the years that have passed, many companies have begun employing AI, particularly conversational AI, for use in customer service, which undoubtedly is a top priority for any business. Global research and advisory firm Gartner foresees 15% of interactions with customer contact centers being AI-led by the year 2021, a 400% growth from four years prior.

IVR to NVR

And really, what is there to lose? When done right, AI can increase revenue and bridge the gap between companies and their consumers by personalizing the customer experience. The benefits are so convincing that 56% of call centers plan to implement AI in the near future, potentially abandoning out dated models such as IVR, that have served their purpose but way overdue for improvements. With the help of Voice AI, call centers can now adopt a dynamic, interactive system called Natural Voice Response (NVR). A big chunk of those call centers are catering to a particularly important sector, financial services. And with a world now highly driven by technological advancements with customers in mind, they cannot afford to be left behind in their efforts to boost performance and establish a connection with their clientele.

The idea that customers would be averse to using AI is slowly becoming obsolete. With developments such as machine learning and the prominence of voice assistants and smart speakers, consumers are growing to be more comfortable with AI. Smart speakers such as Google Home and Amazon Echo, are now a mainstay in many households, and users enjoy being able to customize these according to their needs. This expectation is also extended on how customers interact with the services they use.

Even with the wide use of voice assistants on mobile and smart devices, they are limited in what they can do. Siri can perform basic commands but would be unable to appease customers dealing with urgent concerns. Banking clients also have the added concern of security as any matters regarding money should always be handled with sensitivity, and financial institutions could not afford to lose their consumers’ trust. With ease in handling commands, voice assistance lack in holding conversations and that is exactly where Voice AI comes in to fill the gap.

That’s where Voice AI Comes in

With Virtual Agents being exceptional examples, you’ll hear a natural-sounding agent that can handle 80% of first line inquiries. Tone, pitch and accent are also adjusted based on the information that the customer relays. With its approach of analyzing speech to understand intent, Virtual Agents can interpret non-verbal cues and consequently incorporate feelings of concern and willingness to help through their voice, putting clients at ease. It is a promising method that increases profit, cuts waiting time and ensures efficiency.

7 out of 10 customers still prefer speaking over the phone, as they feel best understood through voice calls. After all, talking is the most natural way to converse, and other elements such as tone are not omitted, making it less alienating in contrast to the text, email, or chat routes.

Virtual Agents work hand-in-hand with human agents and leave them to focus on calls where human interaction is unavoidably required. Rather than replacing human agents, Voca.ai emphasizes on empowering them as a partner in accomplishing higher customer satisfaction.

Virtual Agents are always happy to assist and are able to provide a natural, human-like experience during calls. Human error is avoided and lost costs due to privacy training and quality control to ensure compliance is cut. Incorporating company data and policies isn’t a problem too. Voca’s machine learning algorithms mean that it can be customized according to a company’s needs and therefore meet all compliances to the T.

Leading financial institutions, insurance companies and credit card providers already attest to the benefits that working with Voca.ai has brought in streamlining its processes such as payments, customer acquisition, collections and more. Be part of the voice-first revolution —more importantly, reach your customers at scale, with Voca agents that ensure a human touch.

Interested to Learn more about Voice AI?

Top 8 NLP Startups to Watch in 2020

Voca is honored to be among the top 8 most innovative startups to Watch in 2020 by MarketWatch! 

As the article states:

One of the most promising areas of technological development is Natural Language Processing (NLP), along with one of its components, Natural Language Understanding (NLU). Together, these fields make it possible for computer programs to better “understand” human language, and in some cases, to use it in context. The potential applications are limitless.

Multiple promising, innovative startups are working in this area, and each of them has something unique to bring to the table.

How Does NLP Work?

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a field that blends linguistics, computer science, information engineering, and artificial intelligence (AI) to better understand and utilize the power of human speech. These insights can be applied in multiple different ways; for example, speech recognition allows a program to pick up on what a person is saying, translating their verbal speech into written text. Natural Language Understanding allows a program to better “understand” what a customer needs, or what their disposition is, giving them the capability of inferring context and subtext. There’s also Natural Language Generation, which allows a program to produce natural text in a way that can engage with another person.

There are multiple different approaches here, but most of them rely on taking vast amounts of data and using those data to form conclusions, which are then applied in various contexts. Some NLP products are geared toward solving a specific problem, like helping sales teams close more deals, while others are intentionally general, capable of being used in a variety of contexts.

Voca uses end-to-end speech neural models to automate an incredible diversity of conversions, in fields such as debt collection, customer support, and finance. With virtual agents, Voca can simulate human beings so naturally that many customers can’t tell the difference between these virtual agents and live ones.

If you’re interested in learning more about NLP, stay tuned for updates. NLP will remain an exciting and sought-after field for many years to come.


The Perfect Fit for your Contact Center

  • Respond quickly and efficiently to customer inquiries, creating excellent first impressions
  • Voca Agents handle the vast majority of first line inquiries 
  • Natural Voice Response (NVR) that understands your customers intent 
  • Insure customer gets through 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Human agents can work on high-intent calls
  • Satisfied customer experience with Virtual Agents that are always prompt and always on script 
  • Voca documents everything so that your agents don’t have to 
  • Monitor conversations as they unfold, so you can make decisions and take action in real time

Interested to Learn more about NLP?

Voca.ai Secures Investment from American Express Ventures

October 23, 2019

Voca is happy to announced our funding from American Express Ventures. Amex Ventures joined existing investors lool ventures and Flint Capital, which also participated in this funding round.

Leveraging conversational Voice AI technology, Voca is building the contact center of the future with friendly, Voice AI Virtual Agents that combine human expertise and AI capabilities to transform the way businesses interact with their customers. The investment from Amex Ventures enables Voca.ai to accelerate product development and extend virtual agent services to new sectors, use cases and languages.

While other Virtual Agents use speech-to-text, then process text to communicate with customers, Voca’s speech-to-intent technology is built for voice to replicate human experience in two-way, intent-based conversation. Voca Agents can adjust the voice, language, accent, pitch and tone, as well as its responses to provide customers with a pleasant, helpful and human-like experience, instead of having robotic exchanges that lack empathy and natural language.

More and more businesses are implementing virtual assistants into their call centers, and while consumers have become more open to interacting with AI, they ultimately want to feel like they are talking to someone that understands their needs,” said Einav Itamar, CEO of Voca.ai. “Amex Ventures’ funding will help Voca.ai further advance our mission to transform the customer experience with our empathetic and customer-friendly virtual agent that’s designed for the voice-first revolution.”

Launched in 2018, Voca Agents currently serve more than 2 million calls per month for a diverse range of use cases, across a variety of industries, to help boost productivity, improve customer loyalty and increase sales. Financial institutions, lenders, credit card providers and insurance companies are using Voca Agents for customer acquisition, payments and collections, servicing and more.

“Voca’s virtual agents allow businesses to leverage conversational voice AI at scale to make servicing interactions more natural, intuitive and personalized, resulting in a better experience for customers and human agents,” said Dana Eli-Lorch, Managing Director of Amex Ventures. “We are excited about Voca.ai’s human-like AI technology and look forward to supporting them in their growth.”

 

Interested to Learn more?

Voca Wins Best of Show Finovate Spring 2019

It was an honor presenting at Finovate Spring 2019! Watch the winning presentation below. 

Voca empowers financial institutions with AI Virtual Agents that keep customers engaged. 7 out of 10 customers prefer speaking over the phone which makes human-like engagement crucial for sensitive and trust-based transactions. Empathy and emotional intelligence is a key part of what makes Voca Agents unique. It’s why customers enjoy speaking with our agents longer, and feel comfortable sharing personal information. Empathetic Voca Agents handle calls with sensitivity, ensuring a positive dialogue by personalizing tone, wording, speed, accent and gender, so your customers feel that they’ve been treated with courtesy and understanding.

The Perfect Fit for your Contact Center

  • Get to the right person quickly for ease in debt collection or lead qualification
  • Respond quickly and efficiently to customer inquiries, creating excellent first impressions
  • Voca Agents handle the vast majority of first line enquiries 
  • Natural Voice Response (NVR) that understands your customers intent 
  • Insure customer gets through 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Human agents can work on high-intent calls
  • Satisfied customer experience with Virtual Agents that are always prompt and always on script 
  • Voca documents everything so that your agents don’t have to 
  • Monitor conversations as they unfold, so you can make decisions and take action in real time

Interested to Hear More?

Voca Wins Best of Show Finovate Spring 2019

It was an honor presenting at Finovate Spring 2019! Watch the winning presentation below. 

Voca empowers financial institutions with AI Virtual Agents that keep customers engaged. 7 out of 10 customers prefer speaking over the phone which makes human-like engagement crucial for sensitive and trust-based transactions. Empathy and emotional intelligence is a key part of what makes Voca Agents unique. It’s why customers enjoy speaking with our agents longer, and feel comfortable sharing personal information. Empathetic Voca Agents handle calls with sensitivity, ensuring a positive dialogue by personalizing tone, wording, speed, accent and gender, so your customers feel that they’ve been treated with courtesy and understanding.

The Perfect Fit for your Contact Center

  • Get to the right person quickly for ease in debt collection or lead qualification
  • Respond quickly and efficiently to customer inquiries, creating excellent first impressions
  • Voca Agents handle the vast majority of first line enquiries 
  • Natural Voice Response (NVR) that understands your customers intent 
  • Insure customer gets through 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Human agents can work on high-intent calls
  • Satisfied customer experience with Virtual Agents that are always prompt and always on script 
  • Voca documents everything so that your agents don’t have to 
  • Monitor conversations as they unfold, so you can make decisions and take action in real time

Interested to Speak with a Voca Agent?

Voca Wins Best of Show Finovate Europe 2019

It was an honor presenting at Finovate Europe 2019! Watch the winning presentation below. 

Voca empowers financial institutions with AI Virtual Agents that keep customers engaged. 7 out of 10 customers prefer speaking over the phone which makes human-like engagement crucial for sensitive and trust-based transactions. Empathy and emotional intelligence is a key part of what makes Voca Agents unique. It’s why customers enjoy speaking with our agents longer, and feel comfortable sharing personal information. Empathetic Voca Agents handle calls with sensitivity, ensuring a positive dialogue by personalizing tone, wording, speed, accent and gender, so your customers feel that they’ve been treated with courtesy and understanding.

The Perfect Fit for your Contact Center

  • Get to the right person quickly for ease in debt collection or lead qualification
  • Respond quickly and efficiently to customer inquiries, creating excellent first impressions
  • Voca Agents handle the vast majority of first line enquiries 
  • Natural Voice Response (NVR) that understands your customers intent 
  • Insure customer gets through 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Human agents can work on high-intent calls
  • Satisfied customer experience with Virtual Agents that are always prompt and always on script 
  • Voca documents everything so that your agents don’t have to 
  • Monitor conversations as they unfold, so you can make decisions and take action in real time.

Interested to Speak with a Voca Agent?

Voca Wins Best of Show Finovate Asia 2018

It was an honor presenting at Finovate Asia 2018! Watch the winning presentation below. 

Voca empowers financial institutions with AI Virtual Agents that keep customers engaged. 7 out of 10 customers prefer speaking over the phone which makes human-like engagement crucial for sensitive and trust-based transactions. Empathy and emotional intelligence is a key part of what makes Voca Agents unique. It’s why customers enjoy speaking with our agents longer, and feel comfortable sharing personal information. Empathetic Voca Agents handle calls with sensitivity, ensuring a positive dialogue by personalizing tone, wording, speed, accent and gender, so your customers feel that they’ve been treated with courtesy and understanding.

The Perfect Fit for your Contact Center

  • Get to the right person quickly for ease in debt collection or lead qualification
  • Respond quickly and efficiently to customer inquiries, creating excellent first impressions
  • Voca Agents handle the vast majority of first line enquiries 
  • Natural Voice Response (NVR) that understands your customers intent 
  • Insure customer gets through 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Human agents can work on high-intent calls
  • Satisfied customer experience with Virtual Agents that are always prompt and always on script 
  • Voca documents everything so that your agents don’t have to 
  • Monitor conversations as they unfold, so you can make decisions and take action in real time

Interested to Speak with a Voca Agent?