Is 2023 finally the year of the voice bots in the Nordics?


Voice is a natural way of communication for people. So, why haven’t we seen many voice bots, especially in the Nordics? I assume this is based on three challenges: technology, culture and volumes: 1. Technology has not been mature enough, 2) Nordic countries have strong self-service culture 3) We are a bit exotic and have a reasonably small language area.

ChatGPT has, of course, brought AI-based bots to everybody’s awareness. Suddenly, a virtual customer service agent, often regarded as a bit boring, has become a valuable, intelligent asset that everybody is talking about.

But what else has changed in the market: I assume the culture is not changing that fast and may be helping us launch voice-based self-service on the market. What is changing today at astonishing speed is technology: AI models are getting more widely spread and more common. They are, of course, the main building block for a well-functioning voice bot. Also, Speech-to-text and text-to-speech translators have incredibly high-quality today. It is impressive how speech-to-text services can introduce, e.g. subtitles to a video or Teams meeting in real-time today. The same algorithm is needed for voice-bot as well since it works so that speech is first translated to text and then analysed by text-based algorithms. It is astonishing how today’s speech-to-text translators can capture even local addresses and names. You can quickly try this with Google Maps or Siri/Google Assistant on your mobile.

Anyway, back to voice bots. Why now? And why are they even needed? Even if you introduce the most advanced self-service facilities in your customer service, you can be sure that there is always a customer segment that needs help finding any other point than a phone number from your website. They all too often pick up the phone and call you. Especially older people feel that voice is the best way to sort out their needs. This is the user group from which we can see excellent user experience feedback!You can steer many of them to alternative channels with a clever channel strategy implementation. Still, most likely, many will give you a call.

I firmly believe that our strong Nordic self-service “heritage” will help us here. Many customers who call your service line are still willing to try the voice bot instead of waiting in a queue for an actual human. And with the latest technology, the level at which the voice bot can understand the speaker is excellent, even in Nordic languages.

One of the vital voice bot benefits we have seen in our projects is scalability – You can get an instant voice response 24/7, and the bot can handle thousands of parallel conversations — no more waiting in line.

One of the latest voice-bot implementations we made with Nets as the client serves thousands of callers every month with impressive quality: voice-bot understands 90% of the customer questions are correct and can help them with 85% of the questions.

How well-equipped is your human customer service? Could they match the results of the voice bot today?

So I claim that voice bots are here because:
1. Technology is mature for voice today and improving daily.
2. Our Nordic self-service culture will work in our favour here.
3. Nordic languages are no longer problematic with voice-to-text services or voice synthesis.

Want to give it a try? Call us and book a Voice Proof-of-Value project, and you will see yourself.