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Trends in speech technologies for banking – 2017

Quality is experienced rather than measured. Getting it right in customer experience improvement has much to do with the rapid development of speech analytics and voice biometrics technologies.

1. Universal chatbots with voice user interfaces Highly effective universal chatbots are being developed to improve user experience. These chatbots can be helpful in automating self-services, but let’s be honest: it’s hardly possible for a chatbot to deliver a smooth customer experience without a finely tuned voice user interface.

Trends in speech technologies for banking – 2017

It’s not just because of those small buttons. Nothing could be more natural than operating chatbots and personal assistants with one’s voice, with a customer identity being verified online continuously by means of voice biometrics.

At this point you may be remembering your Siri experience and asking whether the level of accuracy is sufficient to make use of such technologies in banking without embarrassing mistakes, caused by the low accuracy of speech recognition. Valid point.

The answer to that is machine learning from client data as well as using systems that are specifically trained to recognize and understand your customers, using the voice recordings of your customers. And that increasingly appears to be the only realistic way at present to ensure nearly perfect customer experience. This level of bespoke service is not on offer from Apple and Google yet, but many smaller providers are filling the gap.

In 2017-2018, a growing number of consumers will access financial products, get answers to concrete questions, and more—all made easy by talking to a mobile app, call centre robot, or to a fellow human being, as many of us traditionally prefer, but with their speech being analysed automatically, helping call centre agents to come up with prompts and personalized answers and services quicker and more effectively.

This can even be done through the social networks. American Express has a Facebook Messenger chatbot that lets its customers request receipts, track charges, and redeem reward points. A range of retail banks are pioneering Facebook and Twitter banking with a varying degree of success. It would be wise not to let the interface problem get in the way, by deploying proper voice user interfaces.

2. Deployment of real-time speech analytics for better customer service, regulatory compliance management, and sales personalisation Standing in the queue at the branch is already history, perhaps, but many other traditional banking rituals are not regarded as fun anymore, and not just by millennials.

Trends in speech technologies for banking – 2017

Online and voice channels have little untapped potential for customer experience improvement without speech analytics. Analytics has become the fuel that drives the next generation of customer service solutions. Banks that successfully leverage their analytics in 2017 are set to obtain a competitive advantage that differentiates the leaders from the rest of the crowd. And it will be one of the critical differentiators during the challenging period we are facing.

McKinsey was reporting in 2014 that companies making extensive use of customer analytics show a 126 percent profit improvement over their competitors that don’t. In 2017, the trend will continue in the form of tapping into the potential of real time speech analytics.

It facilitates tracking of customer satisfaction levels, compliance issues, data extraction for personalization of services and certainly – greater operational efficiency and cost saving by means of reducing time per contact, average call handling time etc.

What is more, latest algorithms for sentiment analysis and semantic interpretation offer a trustworthy alternative for post-call surveys and customer loyalty prediction. The task is finding the right mix that suits your strategy.

3. New algorithms and machine learning approaches delivering a nearly perfect accuracy in speech recognition Extrapolation of the current trends in natural language processing research and algorithms for Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) shows that eventually a transformational break-through can be expected by attaining precision in speech recognition at least in banking-related closed domains. In 2017, Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) will approach maturity and go from hype to everyday life.

Devices like Amazon Echo, which are already used to access banking services, will most likely drive the ‘always-on’ voice user interfaces enabling access to a full scope of financial services. Within the next 3-5 years, it is highly probable that robots will be surpassing the scope of human capability in human-machine dialogue, which is already happening in mass marketing campaigns segment.

Spitch AG is spearheading the effort to transform this space for you and your customers alike.