Voice AI and Why it’s Critical for your Omnichannel Strategy

Published on August 4, 2020

Yes, It’s True

Voice is, and always will be, the most natural way to communicate. It is the nearest experience to face-to-face engagement. Why is it, that in such a digital age where customers demand greater customer service, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, most call centers are still relying on outdated Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems? 

We all know that the nature of call center work requires timely responses to repetitive queries, so it is necessary to automate this part of the customer service process. That is why many businesses have started investing in the latest Voice AI technologies such as Natural Voice Response (NVR) to support and streamline customer engagement without compromising customer satisfaction.

We’ve broken down why Voice AI is critical in this day and age and why having a deep understanding of the Voice AI movement helps you realign your strategy to deliver the customer experience your callers expect. In the call center automation revolution, combining advanced Voice AI technologies with customer service means that all calls can be measured, analyzed and dissected in greater detail. Thanks to advanced speech recognition tools built on deep-learning neural networks, machines continue to improve their recognition of the human voice and automatically classify and score each call.

Why Voice AI?

Efficiency is the paramount quality in this industry, so it is not surprising that call centers are trying to move away from their outdated IVR systems and towards AI. Defined as Natural Voice Response (NVR), call centers today are letting AI run most of the show. Typically, the IVR system provides a long list of items on their menu with scripted responses and predetermined outcomes. 

By incorporating Voice AI into the customer experience, call centers save time and money invested in the infrastructure. The built-in real-time speech analytics assess the emotional quality of customer calls, whether they are satisfied or not. It also monitors the stress levels, speech clarity and tone, all while the call is in progress. Additionally, Voice AI reduces average call handling times and cost of operation while increasing satisfaction and engagement rates.

According to Gartner, an average of 30 minutes dedicated to customer support calls between the customer and agent is wasted due to ineffective IVR and long wait times. Collectively, 50% of all calls go unresolved. With that common hindrance to effective customer service, incorporating AI technology is crucial in increasing first contact resolution.

Most industry executives agree that labor shortage and turnover are the most common problems facing call centers as more agents are time-stretched, and only a few are multi-skilled. This especially holds true due to Covid-19 and working from home. Voice AI can be the most logical option to fill that gap. Moreover, it is a cost-efficient investment in the long run as Machine Learning and AI have the capability to handle customer service around the clock and will be a lifesaver in shortening average handling times.

Speech Analytics

Call centers that integrate Voice AI can capture important customer data in every interaction and run it through data analytics to optimize call center processes. Increasing the automation in every step of the process means that call centers can immediately spot satisfaction and dissatisfaction trends through sentiment analysis. On the other hand, AI can also utilize predictive analysis to efficiently use of customer data from product preference to previous transaction history to build dynamic strategies to anticipate expectations and predict tendencies.

Not only that, it effectively eliminates redundant data capture, analysis, cross-referencing and information sharing across different channels and platforms thereby minimizing time wasting and cost. Achieving self-service means that the AI’s language processing makes customers feel like they are talking to a real person and therefore increases levels of overall satisfaction while needs are quickly being met. Businesses that employ AI Virtual Agents have a head start over their competitors because they can easily break down their data into actionable insights. Imagine an AI-powered Virtual Agent that can answer up to 80% of routinely-asked questions and, in turn, free up human agents to answer more complex queries.

Achieving AI self-service means increased levels of satisfaction while needs are quickly met.

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Benefits of AI in Call Centers

Voice AI brings many benefits to call centers and customer service departments. Arguably, the most notable is call centers’ ability to scale in almost every aspect by streamlining processes and reducing costs. AI provides multiple, behind-the-scene benefits to contact centers. For example, it saves contact center managers the long hours of coding elaborate call routing algorithms. Designing experiences that include AI Virtual Agents as first-tier and human agents as second-tier improves contact center productivity, customer experience and agent retention. The infusion of AI into conversations revolutionizes agents’ efficiency.

AI application assimilates information over time and creates patterns that can be addressed with ease. For example, when a customer calls and launches a complaint, the Virtual Agent takes over and solves these complaints with ease, freeing up human agents for more complex questions. Most importantly, AI brings the consistency customers crave, with hardly any wait times and quick solutions for first tier inquiries.

AI assists contact centers to increase call volumes by reaching the right person quickly and responding efficiently to customer inquiries. Virtual Agents can help customers answer common questions and all first-line inquiries with NVR that fully understand customers intent. Moreover, the demand for Voice AI is growing due to 24/7 availability in multiple languages, accents or tones. The ability to monitor and document calls is fully automatic with our in-depth dashboards. As a result, human agents are free to handle complex conversations and spend less time on redundant calls and inefficient processes. 

The race to leverage AI solutions while streamlining contact center operations, this year, has become so important as efficiency has never been more pertinent. With AI-based applications, businesses can now route conversations to the “most qualified” agent without keeping the caller waiting. Virtual Agents understand when to seamlessly hand over a call including warm transfers and seamless introductions.

Now What?

Voice AI is about working smarter, not harder. AI should be viewed as a means of enhancing and augmenting the highly skilled role of a call center agent. It is about helping agents do more with less, and it is about providing value to your customers. The future success of your company partly depends on how you prioritize your customer interactions and your willingness to invest in technology that delivers satisfaction at scale. In short, AI requires companies to rethink how they interact with their most valuable asset – their customers.

Interested to Learn How to
Improve Customer Experience with AI?

A Modern Approach to Call Center Customer Experience

We’re Heading Into a New Era of Customer Service Transformation

We’re at a tipping point of customer service transformation, which includes triggers from globalization, digital growth, regulatory compliance, behavioral shift and a changing economy. Each of these issues has the power to dramatically impact customers and change how they interact with brands. The combination could completely alter the face of customer experience moving forward. Buckle your seat belts because we’re in for a bumpy (and exciting) transformational journey heading into the new era of customer service. 

Most of those changes are driven by consumer demand and behavioral shift in how customers want to interact with businesses. Customers crave personalized, frictionless experiences, and companies are sprinting to deliver them. But this idea of constant transformation can present a seemingly insurmountable challenge for companies that are struggling in today’s complex business environment.

Artificial Intelligence Channels Have Never Been so Critical

 

But what about organizations that have yet to achieve maturity in this area? With volumes spiking and the contact center workforce being disrupted, now is the time to double-down on AI and create a multi-speed human and machine workforce. Virtual Agents, built using AI technology, offer customers instant, on-demand service. Imagine instantly greeting your customers the moment they call – without wait times or frustrating IVR systems. Virtual Agents provide automated support, deliver a human-like conversational experience, and can handle the same intents as human agents. They can both understand and satisfy individual customer needs. They can evoke empathy and emotion, and regardless of their maturity, organizations can still harness virtual solutions to relieve the pressure on contact volumes. 

Scaling up, AI-Powered Support is Now Imperative

  • Expand existing Virtual Agent environments with prioritized intents, urgency triaging and 24/7 activation. Human agents must be available to focus on the most complex and valuable customer needs and let automation handle everything else.
  • Deploy Virtual Agents for specific use cases with high volume such as COVID-19 for public service use cases. Define new intents, build on existing solutions and ensure content relevancy with the rapidly evolving global situation. 

If you Haven’t Adopted AI Just Yet, All is Not Lost

  • Quickly adopt AI with turnkey, end-to-end service solutions. To do this, focus on the volume that matters most, start simple with use cases that are taking away from agent efficiency.
  • Maximize the success for new virtual agents by adopting open architecture principles, including prioritization of configuration while focusing on a modular design.

Now What?

AI brings the consistency customers crave, with short wait times and quick solutions for first tier inquiries. AI assists contact centers to easily increase call volumes by getting to the right person quickly and responding efficiently to customer inquiries. Virtual Agents help customers answer common questions and all first-line inquiries with Natural Voice Response (NVR) that fully understand customers’ intent. Moreover, the demand for Voice AI is growing due to 24/7 availability in multiple languages, accents and tones. As a result, human agents are free to handle complex conversations and spend less time on redundant calls and inefficient processes.

The race to leverage AI solutions is streamlining contact center operations this year. Voice AI is about working smarter, not harder. AI should be viewed as a means of enhancing and augmenting a call center agent’s highly skilled role It is about helping agents do more with less, and it is about providing value to your customers. Your company’s future success depends on how you prioritize your customer interactions and your willingness to invest in technology that delivers satisfaction at scale. In short, AI requires companies to rethink how they interact with their most valuable asset – their customers.

Interested to Learn How to Improve Customer Experience with AI?

AI’s Impact on the Banking Industry

It’s no surprise that banks are adopting AI to help in a variety of ways.

Many banks are embracing AI to stay ahead of competition, providing greater customer service. Ultimately, those that invest in AI to increase customer satisfaction will outperform their competition, enabling frictionless, 24/7 customer interactions.

With such a large and distributed customer base, banks need to continue to innovate in order to best service their customers. One way they are doing this is with AI to improve products and offerings for their customers. 

Applications of AI in Banking

 

 

The two main channels where banks are using artificial intelligence to save on costs: are front office (conversational banking) and middle office (anti-fraud).

  • Banks are leveraging AI on the front end to smooth customer touch points, mimic live employees through Virtual Agents, deepen customer relationships, and provide personalized insights and recommendations. 
  • AI increases customer service wait time efficiency due to a decrease in repetitive tasks.
  • AI provides insights into customer touch points, allowing banks to monitor conversations as they unfold, for real-time decision making. 
  • AI is also being implemented by banks within middle-office functions to detect and prevent payments fraud and to improve processes for anti-money laundering and know-your-customer regulatory checks. 

Investing in Natural Language Processing (NLP) Technologies

Another way banks are looking to improve their customer and banking experience is by enhancing conversations with intelligent means. By looking at language patterns in recognition and working towards developing a conversational AI model that can interact with the customers and help them reach their financial goals.

Many banks and financial Institutions are adopting conversational AI to help their customers with a variety of tasks. Voca’s Virtual Agents engage and interact with customers, 24/7, breaking down the idea of traditional banking hours. Customers are becoming increasingly comfortable conversing with Virtual Agents, especially with sensitive subjects such as debt delinquencies, making this a logical, next step for banks to invest in. 

Transformative Technology

Adopting AI does not need to be scary. Many believe that implementing AI is a lengthy process and requires long technical processes, including investing in in-house expertise. With Voca, enabling AI for many use cases could take as little as a week, with all heavy lifting on us. Data is also provided in an easy-to-read platform. If the data is there but hard to access, it can make it challenging to update or improve processes.

People fear being replaced by AI and losing their jobs. But by using AI to help handle certain tasks, it frees up call center agents to focus on higher value assignments, decreasing repetition. By adopting an augmented intelligence approach call center agents are able to handle higher value calls that require human interaction. 

At the End of the Day…

It’s important to make sure companies strike a good balance between keeping costs low for their members, but still allow the company to move forward with the adoption of various AI technologies. This balance will help companies improve and provide excellent customer service and customer products for their members. The adoption of AI in banking is continuing to transform companies in the industry, provide greater levels of value and more personalized experiences for their customers, reduce risks and increase opportunities involved in being the financial engines of our modern economy.

Interested to Learn How to Improve Customer Experience with AI?

Voca Introduces Virtual Agent to Support Call Centers During COVID-19

Voca’s AI Virtual Agents enables call centers to quickly respond to increased customer calls without adding agents and without lengthy implementation.

Call centers that are under intense pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic will benefit from Voca’s Natural Voice Response (NVR). Voca’s Virtual Agents instantly answers customer inquiries and easily deflect call volumes, with onboarding in less than a week, including free set up. This is our way of supporting your customer service activities, helping to restore capacity and address business needs, with limited interruptions and quick to market execution, when you need it the most.

Optimal Customer Experience Amidst COVID-19


 

The setup is designed for easy implementation by those without a technical background and is not a lengthly or costly process. “Our customers have seen a spike in call volume by 3X-4X due to COVID-19. Customers need fast responses now, more than ever as human capital issues are arising and remote working constraints are reducing the ability and efficiency of current call centers. Voca’s, AI Virtual Agents becomes a life-ring and game changer to organizations as they handle this new reality and increased call volume, maintaining a high level of service and customer satisfaction. Amidst global panic, we want to assist customer care centers in providing the highest level of service, to their most valuable asset, their customers,” said CEO and Co-founder Einav Itamar.

One of the largest telecommunication companies has recently deployed our Virtual Agent to deflect call volumes and respond in real time to customer inquiries. Together, we’ve created responses to common questions amidst the pandemic. Voca uses a combination of speech-to-intent and machine learning algorithms to determine which responses delivers the best outcomes. When a customer calls in, the AI will be able to understand and respond to product inquiries, while also responding to questions regarding the virus and what the organization wants to disclose to the caller. The client will be able to update and answer any questions as they find necessary.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

While the pandemic forces businesses to work remotely and into quarantine at home, Virtual agents utlilizing Conversational AI, can help maintain lines of communication since all face-to-face communication is no longer possible.

The greatest risk has become not implementing a plan at all, making this a critical part of planning amidst our new reality. Implementing our 24/7 Virtual Agent is simple and easy to deploy because these models are pre-built and ready to be placed into action. Together, we will define the call flow and answers to common questions.

Conversational AI is about working smarter, not harder. The future success of call center success partly depends on how customer interactions are prioritized, especially in times of need. 

Adopting new technology does not need to be a lengthy or costly process and that is why Voca is taking it upon ourselves to get call centers ready with a Virtual Agent in less than one week, including free setup. Finding the right software to empower and maximize agents time is critical in response to the increase in call volume from customers who are facing financial and economical turbulence. Onboarding a Virtual Agent can take the much needed weight from agents, assisting in seamless handovers and providing the service your customers need in such dire situations.

Interested to learn more about how a Virtual Agent could assist your call center amidst COVID-19?

Help us Fight COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Voca and Carnegie Mellon University partner to enable fast diagnosis of COVID-19

In partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, we’ve created the project Corona Voice Detect, created for early diagnosis of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). It combines recently developed AI and voice forensic technologies, finding specific patterns in voice, tone and other sounds that we produce as we speak, that relate to unique illnesses and other human factors.

YOUR VOICE COULD INDICATE YOUR HEALTH!


Corona Voice Detect, is led by Dr. Shmuel Ur a renowned Israeli inventor and Dr. Alan Bekker, CTO & Co-founder at Voca.ai. The success of this project will have an immense impact on the health of our communities and prevention in spreading. 

We’re starting with global data collection. With this data, we will be able to identify and develop technologies to determine the probability of being infected with the virus from voice analysis. If you are interested to provide a voice sample, then please CLICK HERE.

The research and development effort is being conducted in collaboration with Professor Rita Singh from Carnegie Mellon University, and other researchers worldwide. Researchers will use this data to study and develop algorithms that will automatically detect COVID-19 and related illnesses from voice. These will potentially serve as rapid tests that can be performed over a phone or computer, and aid in the diagnosis of Coronavirus.

Following the success of the data collection phase, people will soon be able to determine the likelihood of contracting the virus – with just one short voice recording.
NOW THAT SOUNDS REMARKABLE!!!

Interested to learn more about this project?

3 Ways Contact Centers Must Prepare for COVID-19

Voca Enables Businesses to Address Customer Service Spikes Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

The recent outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 has quickly evolved from a local issue to a global crisis. The disease is having, and will continue to have, a profound economic impact. People are buying products in bulk, organizing their finances and preparing for lifestyle changes. 

Voca Helps Companies Handle an Increase in Call Volume While Working Remotely

The outbreak of Coronavirus has led to volatility within the workforce and millions are forced to work from home. If the new Coronavirus causes workers to take sick days, customers to stay home, and officials to order quarantines, it will be hard on all American companies. Many people are feeling the economic impact that COVID-19 has brought, either with pay cuts, situational changes, less hours or at worse, job loss. People are preparing their finances for this tough time of uncertainty. Our customers have disclosed that their customer support call center is receiving, on average, 3X-4X increase in call volume. 

Many of the calls that our customers are receiving are simple, repetitive questions regarding current events. Due to the high call volumes many contact centers have increased wait times or are practically inaccessible. 

The Economic Slowdown Requires Companies to be Extra Sensitive to Cost. Voca Can Help Handle Call Peaks and Lows in a Cost Effective Way

 

With the global impact of COVID-19, organizations need to ensure adaptability within their plans. To accomplish this, companies are quickly adopting Voca to assist with an increase of call volume.  As the nature of customer inquiries is changing by the day, the ability to quickly adapt to call volumes and seamlessly hand over calls to agents, even if they are working from home, is exactly how the rapid change should be handled to make sure no customer issues are left unresolved. 

A decisive and rational response, along the lines of the 3 principles outlined here, will minimize economic risks in customer support call centers and contribute to a speedy recovery, handling all calls with care and with the highest levels of customer satisfaction. 

1. Equip your Remote Call Center With The Best Tools

There is a wide range of must-have features included with contact center software, which are specifically tailored to managing remote workers.

Virtual Agents

Virtual Agents are easily able to handle 80% of all first-line inquiries, such as assisting with repetitive tasks that could easily be handled with one of our human-like virtual assistants. As an outcome wait-times have significantly decreased. Virtual Agents allows your call center to provide 24/7 availability and support, giving customers a sense of trust and security in such dire times.

Call Monitoring

Call monitoring tools make it possible for managers to stay on top of their agents, despite working in separate locations. Managers can train agents virtually, drop in on live calls, or even provide silent coaching to agents through a chat-based conversation to help ensure your agents are providing a consistent level of service.

Comprehensive Analytics

With call logs, managers can take a peek into the wealth of data, how long and how many calls agents are making. These tools also allow managers to see when agents are logged in, if they are idle and how long they have remained on a call and see if they are unavailable to take another call.

Workforce Management Tools

A complete schedule is key to keeping your agents on task during the day. Sophisticated workforce management tools make it simple to build schedules that adhere to agent availability, manage call flow and call volume based on the number of agents available, and help maintain a flexible workforce.

Post Call Customer Surveys

Some of the monitoring and analysis of your agents will be done after the fact, with post-call customer surveys. Made possible through contact center software, these surveys give callers a chance to rate their interaction and levels of satisfaction to help managers better understand and receive feedback on their agent’s performance.

Real-Time Supervisor Dashboard

Monitor your agent’s activity in real-time. If an agent is on a call, managers can take a peek to see all of the relevant information, and from here, call barging and silent coaching can be made possible.

2. Voice AI

In today’s situation, sick leave, time off and remote working is forcing call centers to innovate, adopting AI to handle increased call volumes. More agents are time-stretched and only a few are multi-skilled. Voice AI can be the most logical option to fill that gap, due to the fact that Virtual Agents are able to handle 80% of all first line inquiries, lightening the load of calls and decreasing repetition. Moreover, it is a cost-efficient investment because just one virtual agent can handle any number of calls, simultaneously, and is capable of handling customer service calls around the clock.

Designing a cost-effective experience that include AI Virtual Agents as first tier, and human agents as second tier, improves contact center productivity, customer experience and agent retention. The infusion of AI into conversations revolutionizes agents’ efficiency. AI application assimilates information over time and creates patterns that can be addressed with ease. For example, when a customer calls to understand their loan application status, the Virtual Agent answers and solves these complaints with ease, freeing up agents for more complex questions. Most importantly, AI brings the consistency customers crave, with no wait times and quick solutions for first tier inquiries. AI assists contact centers to easily increase call volumes by reaching the right person quickly and responding efficiently to customer inquiries.

It is all about helping agents do more with less, and providing value to your customers. The future success of your company partly depends on how you prioritize your customer interactions, especially in times of change and need. In short, AI requires companies to rethink the way they interact with their most valuable asset – their customers.

3. Boosting Agent Performance

In addition to dealing with the challenges mentioned above, managers are left with supervising agent times and making sure they are as efficient as possible. The key to achieving this in the financial services industry is boosting individual call agent performance by maximizing call effectiveness.

Having good call agents is important in every industry. But it is even more important in financial services where a premium is placed on building trust and developing solid relationships with customers – especially in such times where hysteria and emotions run high. That is why critically using agent time is mandatory to stay afloat while managing any call center, remote or not.

Agents need a unique set of skills to perform their jobs effectively. They also need the right mix of knowledge, professionalism, and technology to support their efforts and achieve high levels of performance that today’s financial customers demand. Investing in a technology that provides immediate measurable results is critical when overcoming national and global changes. In fact, it provides a leg up when your customers feel their needs are being met.

TO SUM IT UP…

Employers need to figure out how to survive these tough times by supporting their most important assets – their customers. As call center agents work in the office or remote, finding the right tools to empower and maximize their time is critical in providing support to the increase in call volume from customers who are also facing financial and economical changes. Onboarding a Virtual Agent can take the weight off agents, assist in seamless handovers and provide the customer service your customers need in such dire situations.

Interested to Learn more about Voca’s Virtual Agents?

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.

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 have more time to 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 AI Product at CogX 2019

It was an Honor Presenting and Winning at CogX for Best AI Product for Telecommunication.  

Our presentation discussed designing experiences that include AI Virtual Agents as first tier and human agents as second tier for improved contact center productivity, customer experience and agent retention. The infusion of AI into conversations revolutionizes agents’ efficiency. AI application assimilates information over time and creates patterns that can be addressed with ease. For example, when a customer calls and launches a complaint, the Virtual Agent takes over and solves these complaints with ease, freeing up human agents for more complex questions.  Most importantly, AI brings the consistency customers crave, with close to no wait times and quick solutions for first tier inquiries.

The Perfect Fit for your Contact Center

  • Respond quickly and efficiently to customer inquiries, creating excellent first impressions
  • Handles the vast majority of first line inquiries 
  • Natural Voice Response (NVR) that understands your customers intent 
  • Insures customer gets through 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Human agents have more time to 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 and Try the Magic for Yourself?