Shouting at devices: I never got it. I feel a bit weird when I'm shouting at Alexa to turn off the lights. But still I see the shift to voice both in companies and consumers around me. That's why I am excited about the integration of voice in our Booker25 application.
Booker25 is a native Salesforce application we have built ourselves. Organisations install and configure the app in their own Salesforce environment and then it can quite simply be used to schedule absolutely everything. From hair appointments to meeting rooms and from advertising space to bike rental.
Education First uses Booker25 to schedule their classrooms and teachers in the right place and at the right time all over the world. In America, a dog grooming salon uses the app to allow their customers to book a timeslot to have their labradoodle washed and to create the schedule for their employees. In short: Booker25 is a booking platform.
Until not too long ago, bookings could only be made online or by telephone, with a person at the other end of the line. With the integration of Voice technology and Booker25 we make it possible for customers to make a booking over the phone without the interference of employees.
An example: Suppose you run a pizzeria and are busy baking pizzas and serving your guests. It's annoying when you are constantly kept away from baking pizza’s to answer the phone to take reservations.
That's where Voice and Booker25 come in handy. When you have integrated Booker25 and Voice, the following happens: a customer calls your pizzeria and the automated system of Booker25 picks up. Using the voice technology and transcription, the system can accept and confirm a reservation for an available table. You will then see the reservations coming in on your system.
You can imagine that for small and large service- and contact centres, where customers come in through all sorts of digital channels, this has many advantages and generates efficiency for companies. Think of questions coming in via Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook or AI-based chatbots. However, research shows that 95% of service teams support customers over the phone.
Imagine that 25% to 50% of telephone queries could be handled with voice technology. The service centre's employees can help many more customers and customers are helped faster that way. Win-win for everybody.
The technology exists: a customer calls for a service. The call is sent to Amazon Connect and Amazon Connect calls a Lambda (a code-controlled signal) to check if the number is known in Salesforce. If the caller is known, they are greeted with the known name from Salesforce. An Amazon Lex-bot that collects the necessary data such as the time, date and duration of the meeting is called in the Amazon Connect Flow we created at Gen25.
Booker25 then checks the availability (through a Lambda calling the Salesforce API to retrieve the relevant information) of the available meeting rooms. The caller will then be asked for a confirmation and a reservation will be made in case of a positive answer. In Salesforce, based on the created reservation, a flow can be started and a confirmation is sent through another one of our apps, Social25. The caller will receive a confirmation via WhatsApp for example.
Of course, this system has its challenges. What if you can’t book a meeting room for your preferred time of 9 o’clock, but there is availability 10 minutes later? The integration must then be smart enough to propose something else or decide to connect you to a real person. It is important that the adoption process is initiated to ensure algorithms become smarter and can deal with complex issues without human interference. It also helps if the flow is set up properly: if someone wants to book a meeting room outside opening hours, a flow can be built into Amazon Connect to accommodate this.
Maybe you're wondering why you should implement this feature? In addition to the above example of the pizzeria owner who can do what he's good at all evening (baking pizzas instead of taking reservations), there are a number of other advantages.
Maybe you think the pizzeria owner could hire someone to take the phone orders. However, this increases overhead costs. When a Voice Bot can completely take over the reservations, the owner saves personnel costs in the long run.
By leaving simple tasks to a computer, you lose fewer man-hours. Those people can then be deployed where they are most useful and add the most value.
By integrating voice, you can now also make a booking when you can't access a website to make a reservation online, for example while driving a car. Voice can also be a solution for the blind or visually impaired.
With the integration of voice and Booker25 we are responding to a trend that is slowly appearing. Major players on the market, such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google, are working more and more on voice integration. Recently, Salesforce announced the launch of Service Cloud Voice, the first step in modernising and making phone contact more accessible combined with (Salesforce) CRM.