Is Voice Dead or Alive? – We Asked Five9 and AT&T

The digital age has seen a rise in text-based interactions

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Published: September 20, 2023

Rob Scott

Rob Scott


From messaging apps to emails, the written word seems to be the preference for async conversations at the very least. But are we overlooking the potential resurgence of voice technology, especially in the realm of contact centers? This topic was brought into focus in a recent conversation with industry leaders Jake Butterbaugh of Five9 and Doug Jones of AT&T. 

Both AT&T and Five9 share a rich history of partnership. Their combined expertise brings a unique perspective to the debate: Is voice truly dead, or are we just witnessing its rebirth as Voice 2.0 – intelligent voice? 

Dive in Deeper: Register for our 18th October webinar here.

“Voice is far from dead,” started Butterbaugh, Senior Vice President, Global Partner Organization from Five9. “It’s evolving, and with advancements in AI, we’re entering an era of Intelligent Voice or Voice 2.0.” 

But what about the rise of AI-powered digital interactions? Will they replace voice communications in the contact center environment? “That’s a myth,” asserts Jones, AVP Product Management, Voice and Collaboration from AT&T. “AI isn’t here to replace voice. Instead, it’s enhancing it, giving it capabilities, we’d never imagined.” 

Voice, as both our experts emphasize, remains a predominant mode of communication. The clarity of a conversation, the tonal nuances, the immediate feedback – these attributes are irreplaceable. What’s changing is how voice integrates with modern technology. “Quality voice paired with trusted network connectivity is the foundation for successful contact center operations,” Jones added. 

One might think that in an age where customers want quick answers, voice might be a hindrance. However, the essence lies in trust. As Butterbaugh points out, “Building trust with customers is paramount. And nothing does that better than personalized voice interactions.” 

The rise of omnichannel communication has brought its set of complexities. While simple transactional interactions find their space in digitized mediums, more intricate, nuanced conversations find their home in voice channels. “Voice will always be a part of the contact center environment,” states Butterbaugh with unwavering confidence. 

The future, as both leaders envision, is a contact center environment where every customer engagement is viewed as a multi-step journey. With the inclusion of technologies such as Intelligent Voice Assistants (IVA) and advanced AI algorithms, businesses are equipped to optimize each step, ensuring unparalleled customer experience.  

The resounding takeaway? Voice is neither dead nor on life support. It’s merely evolving, blending with AI to offer richer, more efficient, and more meaningful customer interactions. As companies like AT&T and Five9 continue to innovate and drive these advancements forward, we can only expect the realm of voice technology to reach unprecedented heights. 

Further Insight into this Topic 

Watch our recent video interview here and register for our forthcoming interactive webinar Voice 2.0 and the Rise of Intelligent Voice in CX with expert speakers from Five9 and AT&T as we dig even deeper into this hot topic. 

Check it Out: Register for our 18th October webinar here.

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