Profiling the Customer Experience

Millions of calls are answered in call centers per day, generating conversations rife with insights into customer behaviors and preferences. This week, we take a look into how companies are analyzing conversations to enhance the customer experience. Voice technology companies like Observe.AI and CallMiner are deploying tools that analyze the interactions (including sentiment and even silences) between customers and call center representatives, providing recommendations on how these employees can improve their service. With information on what a customer is searching for, brands like Spotify and Amazon are hoping to personalize content in real time — setting the stage for how conversation analysis might be used in phone calls, voice experiences, and more to elevate marketing.

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Personality Check

As companies look for new ways to personalize their ads and messaging, voice profiling is emerging as a way to connect with consumers on a hyper specific level. Spotify was granted a patent for voice tech that pinpoints mood, gender, age, and accent, and Amazon was granted one to detect for irregularities (such as a cold) to then follow up with suggested actions. As brands clamor for new insights into consumer behaviors, their search coincides with the rise in use of smart speakers and voice analysis technology — expanding the opportunities for how this data can be used. However, brands must be conscious about consumers’ privacy concerns and questions on how accurate voice profiling is. More on Fast Company

Privacy Please

Voice company Sensory has developed a privacy-focused assistant that runs completely on a device and doesn’t store information in the cloud. The software was first deployed in a Farberware microwave that responds to basic voice commands like setting the timer and opening the microwave door, and more complex commands related to cooking a certain type and quantity of a food item. Because the voice assistant and device don’t need Wifi to operate, all speech recognition is done on the device and not shared. These custom assistants come at a time when consumers’ privacy concerns on data collection continue to mount. More on Sensory

Family Fun

Google is expanding its Broadcast feature on Google Assistant to send voice messages to the family regardless of their location. The original Broadcast sent announcements to smart speakers and displays in the home, but the new update now includes messages to mobile devices. Those that receive the Broadcast on the Assistant app can reply back with voice. In addition, further building on last week’s news that users can manage timers and alarms without the wake word, users can now manage Family Bell reminders without saying “Hey Google.” As more users leverage voice tech on their phones, Google is ensuring that the Assistant is positioned to manage their tasks. More on Gizmodo

Emerging Tech Stories

  • Where Are My Keys?Amazon and Tile are partnering to provide Amazon Sidewalk support for Tile trackers, making it easier to find your devices.
  • TV Shopping. Amazon is testing a feature that allows advertisers on Fire TV to promote an Alexa call-to-action to “add to cart,” “add to Alexa shopping list,” “buy now,” or “shop now,” directly from the ad using their voice or Fire TV remote.
  • Let’s Chat. Botpress raised $15 million in Series A funding for its open-source toolkit that helps companies build conversational AI applications.

Stats Don’t Lie

Smart Speakers Go Beyond Waiting to Be Asked

From sleep tracking to follow-up suggestions, new features on smart speakers and devices are being built to create a proactive experience that anticipates customer needs. In the Wall Street Journal, RAIN’s Eric Turkington describes how these updates need to balance being helpful without being intrusive.

Read more here.