By Summer Naomi Interior – July 11, 2022
Love chatting with your Alexa? Stop and think about that for a second…
She’s a robot. But, for many of us, she’s also essentially a member of the family. Says a lot about where we’re at with AI and voice automation technology, right?
We just happen to know someone who can offer some pretty spectacular insights on this very topic. Kevin O’Connor is Managing Partner of ScOp Venture Capital. He was one of the brilliant brains behind the creation of Amazon Alexa, and is a valued partner of RedRoute.
Kevin joined us on our Spamming Zero podcast this week to talk voice automation – past, present, and future. And oh, the things we learned!
You’ll want to tune in to Episode 6 of the show to take in all the awesome details, but—until then—here’s a quick recap of some key takeaways.
AI, Then & Now
Even 30 – 40 years ago, AI was all the rage. A whole lot of movies—along with some PhDs in AI—came out of it. The problem was, because it was overhyped and never delivered on any promises, it soon became what our expert calls a joke.
The good news? Times and tech – they have evolved. With Alexa making a significant splash along that wave of evolution.
The work that Kevin and his team contributed to her creation was primarily answering most of the questions that led to the “human-like experience” that Alexa offers. “Trying to understand the tenet – what do they really mean, and then giving them an exact answer,” he says. “That was our contribution.”
As it turns out, that’s a pretty essential feature when it comes to what people want out of AI.
Most of Kevin’s career has been spent in technology, and the idea was always – how do we get people to speak like a computer? Now, of course that’s been flipped on its head. It’s all about having computers speak like a human, which—in Kevin’s opinion—has been the fundamental shift in AI over the past 5 years.
The Truth About Voice Automation
Despite these brilliant advancements in voice AI, there are still some pesky little misconceptions around it – the primary one being that people think they’re going to get a quicker answer from a human than they would from automation.
Now, that may be true for complex inquiries. However, as Kevin points out, the reality is most customer service questions are the same. And, with the right automation—AI based on, in Kevin’s words, “understanding what humans want and responding to people in a language they understand”—it’s a whole new (and much better) world out there for brands.
Tech That Helps You Thrive
It’s also worth mentioning the major advantages voice AI can have when it comes to dealing with the repercussions of a recession.
According to Kevin, “There’s only one way to grow an economy, and that is through increased productivity. There’s no other way… Technology gives you that productivity,” he says. “And that means that customer service agents can shift into higher-level roles – roles where maybe, instead of answering the same questions over and over again, they can move to more difficult questions and provide a higher level of service.”
Seeing as how that’s precisely what RedRoute offers (shameless plug alert), we wholeheartedly agree with our guest! And one thing’s for sure: the future of voice is sounding good.
Check out the full conversation in Episode 6 of Spamming Zero. And be sure to Listen, rate, and subscribe on Casted, Apple Podcast, or Google podcasts for more great eps coming your way!
If you’d like to see how RedRoute can slash the spamming of zero in your call center—cutting costs while improving CX metrics across the board—schedule a quick demo here.