June 09, 2021

How to be heard by customers through changing voice services

Original article by Steve Briggs, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at SEACOM. 9 June 2021.

Some people may argue that “voice is dead”. However, the possibilities presented by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning suggest that voice integration has a prosperous future in business. While traditional voice communications, such as telephone calls, may be taking a back seat, the question is not ‘when it will change’, it’s ‘how it will change’.

Think of one of the world’s tech giants, Apple. It’s personal assistant, Siri, has been using voice recognition technology for around 10 years now. This form of accessible communication offers both businesses and consumers an always-on, omni-channel experience. Large companies are now using voice technology as a more engaging way to interact with consumers around the clock and reduce their dependence on call centres.

Businesses need to start bridging the gap between themselves and their customers by offering their target market more opportunities to be heard and feel connected. These AI voice technologies have seen massive success in companies around the world, including Amazon with Alexa, Samsung with Bixby and Google with its voice assistant.

Voice technology offers greater flexibility

Many modern businesses have done away with fixed desks and cubicles. They now have agile workforces that can operate remotely. While this requires a solid network, internet connection and cloud services, companies are still seeing vast advantages as a result of this flexibility. Employees can benefit from voice technology as they will be able to communicate with one another while they work remotely, without having to pick up a phone.

A reliable business network will ensure that internet voice services, such as Microsoft Teams, will function as intended without buffering and cuts in the transmission. Companies need to ensure that their employees aren’t being held back by outdated networks. These improvements to voice services will also benefit the customer.

They will be able to engage with the business, through various voice solutions, at any time of day or night and without having to speak to an actual person. Customers have become used to communicating with businesses through social media, websites, WhatsApp and emails - they don’t want to have to make a phone call. This is why companies need to ensure that their communications networks are reliable and up-to-date.

Without these omni-channel methods of communication or the networks to support them, companies risk their reputations and profitability. If consumers feel disengaged or have a poor customer experience, they will simply switch to a competitor that can provide them with simple and more reliable communication options. This is why voice is here to stay, and why it may become the dominant user interface in the future.

The new era of voice

Nowadays, voice-enabled technology permeates both our personal and work lives. Businesses need to ask themselves how and where to integrate these services into their platforms. This entails finding the right voice provider who can supply reliable and high-quality voice services. The provider can make or break the effectiveness of the voice service.

This technology is not only beneficial as a virtual assistant that automates tasks and provides information or answers to queries, but it is also a highly effective tool to maximise efficiency, reduce costs and deliver superior customer service. A company’s digitisation strategy and transformation needs to include voice and the adoption of sophisticated technologies that will help the business to remain competitive.

Whether a company wants to improve its communications with customers or the way in which its employees talk to one another, voice still has a dominant role to play. This service can be integrated into a number of platforms to help the customer experience and employee efficiency. It still needs to be a priority for modern enterprises. For more information or to get a quote for our voice and connectivity solutions, email us at marketing@seacom.com or leave us a message.

SEACOM owns Africa’s most extensive network of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, including subsea cables and secure internet connections. We offer a diverse range of flexible, scalable and high-quality solutions for businesses that meet world-class standards for connectivity.

SEACOM is privately owned and operated, making it agile and adaptable to the needs of the customer. This makes us the preferred ICT and internet connectivity partner for African businesses and peripheral service providers. We can guarantee high-speed, low-latency and secure internet connections to corporates and small enterprises.

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