Using Voice Biometrics to Secure your IVR and Shorten the Call

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Innovating with IVRWhen we think about biometrics, our minds could quickly drift to the elaborate authentication sequences of sci-fi/heist flicks, with vaults of gold guarded by impenetrable layers of iris, fingerprints or voice scans. Yes, we also envision an antagonist slowly breaching security, crawling across invisible lasers before Superman comes in and saves the day, but that’s just adding the ingredient of fiction to the real science. The important thing to note (lest I digress and cook my own action potboiler), is that biometrics has always been perceived as ‘technology of the future’ and an extremely secure authentication factor.

Yet when it comes to contact centers, it continues to remain a realm fairly unexplored, despite substantial benefits and cost savings. How many times have you called into an IVR only to hear the most painful announcement, “For any transactions, please keep your account, card and telephone pin number ready?” While the time provided is never enough for you to scramble and collect all the data needed, most people usually abandon that call only to dial in again later (better prepared) or perhaps forgo the whole idea of trying out self-service on voice in the first place. Few others will try all the permutations to reach an agent, who then spends most of their time validating the customer’s identity and wasting precious call handling time on mundane tasks that automation should’ve taken care of in the first place. In such a scenario, voice biometrics brings in much needed respite with enhanced security, shorter authentication process and reduced hassle of remembering multiple passwords.

What is Voice Biometrics and how does it work for your IVR?

Voice biometric refers to the unique biological trait possessed by the human voice. With the rising concerns of security and theft, organizations can rely on biometrics for faster authentication process on their IVRs which may or may not be coupled with a second authentication factor of something a consumer knows (like a password) or possesses (like a mobile OTP).

In addition to the umpteen benefits already highlighted as a part of this series, Aspect CXP also offers the capability to add an additional layer of security to your IVR in the form of biometrics. So, how would this work for your patrons? Typically, customers would need to do a one-time voice sample enrollment which can be facilitated using free speech or by asking them to repeat a set of numerical digits after hearing a prompt. While the former proves to be bulky, the latter is usually preferred for its concision. Also, Aspect CXP comes with a unique feature of Random Pin Authentication that safeguards this process against any hacks attempted with playbacks of recording. This means, post registration, each time a customer calls in, he is presented with a different sequence of numbers to speak, eliminating the chance of hacking via previous recordings.

Once enrolled, each time a person tries to authenticate, his voice sample is assigned a score depending on the multiple features extracted from the voice. This score is then weighed against a threshold that determines whether the user has passed/failed. With Aspect CXP, one can design personalized thresholds determined by factors like voice, networks or application to help give customers the most streamlined experience. The idea is to ensure that security is not compromised, and valid users aren’t blocked out of their own accounts due to unreasonable standards, leading to further frustration.

How does Voice Biometrics benefit your business?Voice Biometrics in the contact center

Voice biometrics brings with it several business and user benefits, one of them being increased security using traits unique to every human. This drastically reduces risk of theft or hacks which are prevalent in scenarios of passwords, which honestly no one likes to remember or keep (A 7- lettered word with unicorn feathers, hexadecimals, fire from Mordor and a tinge of Poly juice portion, is surely not everyone’s cup of tea). Further to this, it significantly reduces the cost to business by reducing the time a customer spends on the IVR for authentication thereby improving the customer experience and decreasing call handling time of agents as well. What’s more, voice biometrics also reduces the burden of maintaining/resetting passwords which falls on IT in the form of backend systems, integrations or man power. In addition to this, voice biometrics will fit seamlessly along with an existing CXP IVR and is not much of a hassle to implement or accommodate either. Voice biometrics can be used to authenticate not only your end customers, but also your field force spread out across multiple locations.

In a nutshell, faster IVR traversal facilitates improvement in quality of self-service, which reduces abandoned calls and queue hold times and leads to agent satisfaction. On the whole, it contributes tremendously toward improving your contact center metrics.

Biometrics are already heading towards becoming a rage with the fingerprint scan gaining mass popularity thanks to the iPhone. It will be only a matter of time before customers demand the same on their IVRs and adapt to them effortlessly. Worried that you may miss the bus? Buzz us to help you design the most amazing IVR experience for your business and we will be right there!

Other posts in this series:

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Ayesha Borker

Ayesha works as a Solutions Consultant at Aspect. She holds an expertise in Self Service applications across all major vendors in the contact center industry. Having worked in several roles from engineering to consultation, she is a rationalist and problem solver. She is a travel geek, lifelong writer and will always welcome a plate of donuts.
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