Video: Three Megatrends in the Speech Technology Market

Learn more about conversational IVR at the next SpeechTEK conference.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Nico Acosta: When we look at what's going on in the market, there are really three megatrends that are going on here. They're particularly interesting in the sense that they are interrelated to each other.

The first one is not surprising: it's cloud. We've been on this for the last 10 years. Migration to the cloud is something that's well on its way, but it still has a ways to go, especially in the communications world.

The second one is omnichannel. Customers are on a bunch of different channels, and it is only getting broader with Apple Business Chat coming up, WhatsApp, WhatsApp for Business, RCS. Then you have telephony. You have all the home assistants, Alexa, Google Assistant.

The last one is intelligence. For consumers, this is the new expectation. This is the new normal. Customers expect applications to be smart.

What's so special about these three megatrends is that you only get the full value of them if you implement all three of them. You don't get the full value just doing one. But when we look at the customer journey to date, looks something like this. You're going to buy a product, or looking to solve a problem. You first give it a go at self-service, and if you can't find the answer, you call in. 

Anybody want to take a guess what happens? "Agent!" I don't know, I've never done that. This is just how it works.

But there are many problems. The first problem is that customers actually prefer self-service. On average, 70% of customers prefer self-service when it works.

The second problem is that agents are really expensive. If you take the blended average of agents in India, the Philippines, the US, and like every company has some combination of agents all around the world-- if you take the weighted average, agents cost 40 cents per minute. So, a 10-minute call has already put you at $4. It's pretty expensive.

But it also has another characteristic, which is the scariest one: The customer experience gets worse as you scale.

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