TTS or Text-to-speech is playing an important role in everyday interactions between brands and end-users. This technology isn’t new in itself and until recently, it was reserved for a very specific situation: converting written text into computer language for people with visual impairments or reading difficulties. But now TTS is being used by some brands. They are at the forefront of a new standard of experience that gives them advantages over the competition and anchors them more firmly in the minds of consumers. According to MarketsAndMarkets, the text-to-speech market was valued at USD 2.0 billion in 2020 and is estimated to reach USD 5.0 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 14.6% during the forecast period.
Stand out from the crowd
Digital experiences are used to court customers’ attention. To be successful here, retailers are relying on the voice economy. This enables completely new experiences with which a larger group of customers can be reached.
Hearables and wearables
Hearables and wearables make it possible for people to interact with brands via AI-based headphones, wristwatches, and glasses. By using conversational AI in conjunction with the behavioral data captured by such devices, retailers create interactive voice ads that reach customers anytime, anywhere, in real-time in response to their activity. Interactive voice ads can capture spoken questions from users and respond appropriately with product information or in the form of product photos on the user’s smartphone or smartwatch, before the purchase is then made, also by voice. In this way, brands interact with consumers both before, after, and during the sale, reports WUV.
Individual TTS voices
Individual TTS voices are key when it comes to expressing brand identity and driving change. The internet bookstore bol.com, a subsidiary of Ahold Delhaize and one of the top 15 retail chains worldwide, recently presented its own branded voice experience for the Google Assistant. The well-known core values of bol.com are conveyed directly to consumers with the help of AI, TTS, and in a personalized way when they interact with the assistant via a Google device.
Speech dialog systems and TTS with emotions round off the sales process
Voice dialog systems (Interactive Voice Response/IVR) are a well-known application example for TTS technology. In fact, TTS has shaped the call center experience for decades: Consumers call a service number and interact with companies based on prepackaged and pre-recorded responses. However, with recent advances in conversational AI and TTS technology, call centers are now giving companies the ability to manage incoming calls more efficiently and better serve customer needs.
Call center voices with emotions
A large number of calls are handled in call centers. Call trees make the work of employees a little easier, but it is not uncommon for the customer experience to suffer. The reactions to natural and personalized language contacts are better. Now the employees are trained to answer queries in an empathic tone, but if an excited or frustrated caller is on the line, it is not that easy. So that worries can be eliminated as effectively and quickly as possible and without additional stress for employees, conversational AI and TTS voices with emotions are being used more and more frequently instead of more employees and more intensive training. Speech dialog systems can analyze the characteristics in the caller’s voice and thus recognize whether they are happy, angry, or stressed. AI-based voice assistants can recognize these differences and react with the TTS voice that best suits the situation.
Digital voices on a new level
Digital language technology is becoming more and more popular, getting better and better and ensuring that the sales process is modernized. At the same time, it creates innovation opportunities for customer experiences and a greater reach. The world is becoming more and more mobile, less dependent on screens, and more demand-oriented. Personalized language experiences with individual TTS bring brands into contact with potential customers in a more binding and targeted manner. If they have not already done so, brands should therefore put their best minds on the language technology, which can then work out plans for a contemporary and convincing conversion.