Delivering small business value with voice AI
Updated: Jan 13
Business leaders who are on the fence about voice AI may have concerns about the changes technology can bring. However, conversational AI tools can deliver business value to your small business customers by meeting their needs more efficiently. As clients experience improved service levels and personalized interactions, they’ll develop more positive sentiments toward companies that use AI. It’s these positive feelings and impressions that drive higher ROI.
If your small business clients are delaying the adoption of voice AI, that hesitancy may cost you. Although the ROI from conversational AI initiatives varies, estimates indicate the technology can increase revenues. This boost can be as much as 30% over four years. (https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/artificial-intelligence/roi-artificial-intelligence, 2019)
More small business customers are using AI, and it’s becoming a crucial part of their business processes, such as client support. The global AI market reached $327.5 billion in market value. (https://www.statista.com/topics/3104/artificial-intelligence-ai-worldwide/#topicHeader__wrappe, 2022) Certain industries, such as telecom and financial services, have been rapid adopters of voice AI.
Leaders in these sectors are realizing the business value AI can add. It’s only a matter of time before most industries will integrate the technology. Let’s examine how voice AI can deliver business value and why your customers shouldn’t delay its adoption.
Voice AI enhances client support experiences
Clients who have a poor or frustrating experience are more likely to stop coming to your small business customers for solutions. Clients will also turn to the competitors of your small business customers if they have to put forth more effort to complete transactions. Research indicates 87% of customers will leave a business after a high-effort experience.
An example of a high-effort experience is when a client has to repeat their problem or question to several support reps. Another example is when customers have to endure long hold times or wait days for an answer. Conversational AI solutions provide answers within seconds or minutes. Compared to IVRs, conversational AI solutions use more natural language, reduce or eliminate hold times, and connect customers with the information they need.
Plus, if a human-to-human conversation is necessary, conversational AI connects customers with the right employees or support reps. There’s less need to transfer between staff members and have clients review their stories again and again. The business value increases because better support experiences translate into loyalty and repeat purchases.
The business value increases with automation
One of the advantages of voice AI is automation. Solutions, such as Smart Receptionist as a Service™ “SRaaS”, streamline call answering and routing activities. For instance, companies that provide receptionist and call answering services to other companies can realize increased business value. This value comes from increased efficiency and revenue-sharing models.
For example, UCaaS providers can connect the SRaaS solution to cloud telephony or business VoIP systems. The solution answers and routes call while eliminating SPAM for the customers of UCaaS providers. In addition, providers’ customers can create company directories directly from the SRaaS.
Your small business customers can rely on the SRaaS solution instead of increasing labor costs to provide services after hours or fill staffing gaps. Through automation, an SRaaS alternative correctly routes calls and provides answers to routine questions. Because humans aren’t required, businesses can serve more clients with fewer payroll expenses. This alone increases ROI.
Furthermore, the SRaaS solution adds positive value to the customer experience by delivering quicker and more accurate answers. When voice AI is realistic and on target, customers don’t need to wait until normal business hours to get what they need. And employees who are answering calls during those hours don’t feel as pressured to get through heavy call volumes. They can focus on delivering top-notch service.
Conversational AI provides security through identity verification
Some businesses may be hesitant to use voice AI solutions because of security and identity verification concerns. Finding solutions that address consumer privacy laws and customers’ expectations can be tough for leaders. Customers want efficient authentication processes and seamless experiences. However, businesses can’t throw caution to the wind. (https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/risk-and-resilience/our-insights/building-security-into-the-customer-experience, 2020)
Those with malicious intent may pose as authentic customers in hopes of gaining access to accounts or sensitive information. And every case of fraud and unauthorized use of customer data subtracts from business value and ROI. So, it’s understandable that some business leaders may feel more comfortable leaving identity verification to their employees.
But leaving everything to humans can create authentication or identity verification experiences that aren’t efficient or seamless. Besides having to wait for a human to answer the phones, customers often endure other delays. Employees may ask clients to repeat information, have problems pulling up databases, or need clarification on company processes.
Voice AI tools don’t take as much time to verify or authenticate customer information. These tools also don’t make mistakes or require assistance to ensure identity verification is done correctly. Conversational AI software asks for and deciphers the information your company requires to verify its customers. Clients get efficient authentication experiences every time.
In addition, conversational AI software is less likely to make a verification mistake. While humans are susceptible to social engineering tactics, voice AI isn’t as easy to manipulate. The business value increases because:
Security incidents decrease
Customers have more favorable experiences, increasing positive sentiment and loyalty
Voice AI provides multilingual services
The U.S. is becoming a multilingual society or at least a bilingual one. As the fourth largest Spanish-speaking country, the U.S., bilingual services are in demand. (https://www.wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/us-worlds-fourth-largest-spanish-speaking-country, 2022) But hiring and retaining employees who can speak and write Spanish fluently is challenging. Unlike Canada, the U.S. still only has one official language: English.
This means that some customers aren’t getting the service and support experience they need. Conversational AI tools can hold discussions and provide support in a client’s native language. There’s no need to hire translators or multilingual staff, increasing ROI and business value.
The link between voice AI and business value
Your small business customers that don’t integrate voice and conversational AI into business practices are missing opportunities to boost ROI. Voice AI improves the customer experience, which increases long-term sales and client referrals. AI also helps companies streamline costs and serve more customer needs in less time.
Businesses that fail to stay on top of AI trends that stick around will have greater challenges meeting clients’ expectations. Voice AI tools aren’t necessarily about replacing people, which may be one of the hesitant leaders’ concerns. Instead, these devices and technologies help staff perform their jobs with increased efficiency and focus on more meaningful tasks.
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