What Is Voice Biometrics, and How Can It Improve CX?

CX Today Team

The process of using an individual's "voiceprint” to verify their identity

What Is Voice Biometrics, and How Can It Improve CX?

Analysts estimate that the voice biometrics market will grow from 1.1 billion in 2020 to USD 3.9 billion by 2026. Such a surge underlines the rising perceptions of the technology, which helps to strengthen customer authentication across the inbound voice channel. Read on to discover how.

What Is Voice Biometrics, and How Does it Work?

Voice biometrics is a technology that uses unique characteristics of someone’s voice to identify them by matching real-time audio with their unique voice profile.

By digitizing a person’s speech profile, this technique develops a stored model voiceprint or template. Each spoken word is deconstructed into hundreds of base characteristics to detect the speaker’s particular voice pattern. Companies store this voiceprint within a database like fingerprints and other biometric data.

Customers usually recite a text, spoken phrase, or series of numbers to ensure a high-quality voice sample. They repeat this several times before the sample is complete as a database template.

When the same user attempts to access the system, their passphrase is compared to the saved voice model.

Thanks to this process, voice biometrics can prevent fraud and protect sensitive information when utilized for security and authentication purposes.

For example, suppose a fraudster pretended to be a customer to obtain access to their account by calling a contact center. In that case, voice biometrics can confirm their identity and prevent them from gaining access to the data.

Like other biometric modalities, voice biometrics offers significant security advantages over authentication methods that rely on something the user knows, such as passwords or security questions.

Voice biometrics also improves the user experience by eliminating the annoyance of time-consuming login processes and password resets.

How Can It Improve CX?

There are many ways that voice biometrics can safeguard the contact center. Here are three excellent examples.

1. Preventing Contact Center Fraud

Preventing unauthorized access to systems or data allows voice biometrics to safeguard the contact center and combat fraud.

By requiring all callers to verify their identity using their voice, organizations can ensure that only authorized individuals access their systems.

If an unauthorized person were to call and request sensitive information (such as a credit card number), the voice biometrics system would check their identity and prevent them from obtaining the requested information.

2. Removing Lengthy Authentication Processes

Voice biometrics helps improve the overall customer experience by eliminating the need for lengthy login processes or remembering passwords. The result is a much more seamless customer experience.

3. Combating Data Loss

Finally, voice biometrics provides a layer of security in case of system failures or power outages.

In the event of such a failure, voice biometrics can verify the identities of authorized users and grant them access to the system. This can help to prevent data loss or breaches in security.

How to Implement Voice Biometrics in the Contact Center

Companies most commonly implement voice biometrics through the IVR or voicebot. When a caller calls the contact center, they will say a specific phrase or set of numbers. The IVR/bot then compares the recording to the voiceprint on file. If the caller’s voiceprint is a match, they pass through to an agent.

Users can also implement voice biometrics by combining an IVR and a live agent, with the human also comparing the customer’s voice to their voiceprint as a method of double-factor authentication.

However, it is also possible to implement “passive voice biometrics”, the next generation of the technology. Passive voice biometrics compares the customer’s voice to their voiceprint on file as they speak to an agent. If there is no match, the system immediately triggers an alert to the agent desktop.

Leading Providers of Voice Biometrics Software

Many companies are focusing on developing user-friendly and secure voice biometrics. These include Apple, Google, and Nuance (now a part of Microsoft).

Indeed, the latter claims that its Nuance Gatekeeper solution has delivered the following results to customers:

  • 85 percent of businesses have recorded improvements in customer satisfaction
  • Companies have realized average handling time (AHT) gains of 89 seconds
  • Many businesses have cut down customer authentication time by as much as 95 percent

Nevertheless, there are concerns that deep voice fakes may circumnavigate a biometrics system. Meanwhile, some reports suggest that the technology is better at authenticating particular customer demographics than others.

Find out more about these potential disadvantages and weigh them up with the benefits of the technology by reading our article: The Pros and Cons of Voice Biometrics Technology



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