When you start your due diligence on voice biometrics a few good lessons can be gained from early speech recognition implementations (actually you’ll still find plenty like this today). These speech systems were put in as a step-change where the experience would leap over the long winding IVR menu trees, allowing people to simply say what they wanted and be routed directly and painlessly. Unfortunately poor business requirements and limited design input resulted in simple voice replacing touch-tone, and no material gains were made in the experience or routing value. Don’t even ask me about the “confirmation” prompts.
Now, speech recognition design has improved significantly, just try Westpac Australia or Lloyds Bank to see how slick the experience is from “how can I help you” into the agent greeting. But my point here is that voice biometrics, and its value can experience the same stumbling design issues if your focus isn’t spot on. So, forget all those catchy “in wallet”, “out of wallet” etc lines and focus on “something you are”. Too many systems are designed around trying to fail the caller rather than pass them, and that’s plain stupid given the frailties that affect quality across a phone line.
The key to successfully deployed voice biometrics is a dynamic approach to the design, maintaining security but in a flexible way where different layers of security can be invoked depending on the business unit, customer, transaction, channel or device in question. Security is critical but needs to be aligned with an effective user experience to succeed.
So it must be valuable for the customer:
- The increase in security from traditional authentication should be transparent so customers understand the value
- More about customer than “account” numbers including flexibility in how to identify and No PIN to remember
- Greater access to self-service, faster resolution of simple issues
- Faster contact centre service with less time wasted on identity
- Reduce rejections which are often common-place in business using traditional authentication (Barclay’s rejected 7-10% prior to voice biometrics), reducing this obvious source of complaints
- Reduce the “effort” for customers. Make sure the verification experience is seamless. That doesn’t necessarily require verification from general conversion (text-independent speech), but it must be relevant to your specific business interactions. A good system is “invisible” to the caller and the worst should still take only seconds to complete
- Privacy is protected and an audit trail available
- Enables customers to self-select higher security protection to protect a vulnerable account
And valuable for the business:
- Base verification is much more secure than manual authentication or knowledge based questions
- Reduce manual authentication, its impact on staff (reduced stress having to conduct these identify “challenges”), and cost to the business
- Reduce risk of identity take-over or fraud
- Reduce rejections, eliminating long complex interactions simply allowing more business to be conducted
- Often missed is that removing the manual authentication makes a smoother transition to dealing with the enquiry, saving call handling time and driving better outcomes
- Another missed is the opportunity to put more robust operating processes in place that provide flexibility to increase security if desired to protect vulnerable account, real-time tools to protect accounts/customers in real-time, and strengthened audit processes
Flare Design are passionate about voice biometrics, and so hopefully these few notes have given you some food for thought on just a few aspects of the solution. Let us know if we can help you further in your journey.
Oh, and as always, this won’t happen without a focus on change so don’t forget these tips…
About Flare Design: Flare are leaders in voice biometric customer experience and business process design. We bring a complete end-to-end view of the impacts, pitfalls and mitigating strategies of voice biometric implementations, change and the impact on staff.