Blog Details

How to interact with online customers safely and efficiently

Posted Dec 16, 2016

by George Skaff

What are two things that bother you the most when contacting customer service? Chances are you would say having to remember your username and password for each account and being put on hold to wait for the next available representative. But with many brands, you will not have to experience those concerns anymore. You may have even experienced one or the other of the following innovations that have made customer engagement worry-free.


Voice biometrics
Voice biometrics is transforming the contact center experience. And as we race towards one billion enrollments and a market size of $44.2 billion in 2021, we’re seeing security and ease of use as major drivers for adoption.


  • Better security for the consumer: Think of knowledge-based security as sprawl. When one level becomes ineffective, another level is added. PINS become passwords and passwords then require security questions to back them up. This is hard and stressful work for the customer, and it puts them further and further away from completing their intended task. Voice biometrics does away with all this. It uses the customer’s unique voiceprint for authentication. It can be passive, where the user can say anything and their voice gets matched to a voiceprint. Or it can be active, where the caller is asked to recite a passphrase. Either way, it’s a natural, effortless and much more accurate way to authenticate.
  • For the corporation: Knowledge-based security is easily compromised. The four-digit PIN is the weakest credential as it’s often shared and a brute force attack can quickly compromise it without any knowledge of the legitimate account holder. Passwords and security questions can be successfully answered with simple web searches of the account holder. Voice biometrics cannot be compromised in this way. Because a voiceprint is a hashed string of numbers and characters, a compromised voiceprint has no value to a hacker. Not only that, each time a fraudster speaks within an IVR, call center or mobile app, they leave behind their own voiceprint that can be used to proactively keep them out of the system and even alert law enforcement. The power of the voice really is in your hands.


Virtual assistants
Virtual assistants are becoming more popular for brands as consumers realize their convenience and brands cash in on the savings they provide. In fact, unique active consumer virtual assistant users will grow from 390 million in 2015 to 1.8 billion worldwide by the end of 2021. Here are two of the major reasons why this growth is occurring:


  1. Instant gratification: In our always-on, next-day delivery, 24/7 news cycle society, we’re used to getting what we want, when we want it — and if we can’t get what we want from one company, a reasonable substitute is often just a click or call away. Enterprises are under increasing pressure to provide instant, personalized, intelligent answers to any – and all – questions consumers have.
  2. Operating costs: Operating a large contact center is expensive – and growing more expensive by the day. More than 50% of customers call customer service when a company doesn’t reach them first, and according to Forrester, a typical transaction completed via a live agent costs upwards of $12 per call! Adopting a virtual assistant can significantly cut costs of each customer interaction, letting you reallocate that spend to other operational costs.



The best of both worlds

As mentioned before, you may have at one time or another experienced either a virtual assistant or authentication through voice biometrics; but have you experienced both together? Have you interacted with a virtual assistant and been asked to verify your account just by speaking or using face recognition?


Now you can!


Adding secure authentication to virtual assistant engagements allows enterprises to address a broader range of customer questions without requiring complex passwords or PINs. Nuance has offered this benefit through Nina ID since 2012. Nina ID uses voice biometrics to confirm the identity of the user by the sound of their voice, while at the same time fighting the increase in fraud that today permeates not only online channels, but phone, mobile, SMS and more. Meanwhile, the customer is still receiving the best in personal self-serve assistance via Nina.


And now, Nina ID 2.0: In addition to using your voice for authentication, you have the option to simply take a selfie. Nina uses AI-powered voice biometrics and face recognition to confirm the identity of the user by the sound of their voice and/or their face. Clearly, Nuance has the customer in mind when creating customer experiences, as is evident in Nina ID 2.0. With immediate engagement, strong security, seamless authentication, and active fraudster detection, customers can feel confident in their relationship with a brand.


To read more about this exciting news, find the Nuance press release on Nina ID here.

This blog post was originally published in the Nuance What's Next blog.