Industry analysts have long speculated that voice calls as a means to communicate with customers would go the way of the dinosaur. Even email seems a bit antiquated as customers gravitate to chat, text and self-service tools or simply find the answers they need online. But the notion of making a call and speaking with another human can seem downright archaic.

As with most predictions of death following the emergence of new technology and capabilities, the demise of the voice call has not come to pass. Why?

Despite the availability of endless information at most people’s fingertips, as well as advances in chatbot technology, voice calls are still needed to resolve problems and complete complex transactions. In fact, growing use of chatbots and other artificial intelligence (AI)-driven technologies are bringing about a renaissance of voice calls. For example, the success of chatbots has given rise to voicebots capable of replicating a human conversation.

Let’s not gloss over the impact of a live conversation compared to less personal interactions. Beyond the contact center, most organizations prefer a phone call with current or potential customers to earn their business, close sales and build long-term relationships. The feeling is mutual among consumers, especially search users, as 70 percent of mobile searchers call a business directly from search results, according to Google research.

The ability to make a call with a single tap from Google, a website, social media and other online pages, whether you’re using a mobile or desktop device, is also contributing to an increase in voice calls. Employees tend to use what they know when it comes to communication, and 97 percent still use the phone, according to Mitel research.

In a previous blog post, we discussed the importance of recording these conversations. Every voice call is a treasure trove of data. Call recordings can be analyzed to train employees and contact center agents, improve contact center performance, deliver a better customer experience, and increase sales and loyalty. With increasingly sophisticated transcription tools, you can automatically generate and save the text of voice calls as well.

We also recently discussed the role of AI in the contact center with regard to meeting customer expectations and allowing agents to focus on more complex inquiries. Instead of manually listening to call recordings or reviewing transcripts, you can gain insights on language, tone, and intent in a fraction of the time using AI. While AI-powered chatbots will never completely replace voice calls, chatbots can provide basic information and answer simple questions to lighten the load for live agents. The insights gained from both call recordings and chatbot interactions will help you better understand customer needs and tailor your processes and training accordingly.

Mitel, through its developer alliance, offers speech-to-text and analytics solutions that can be used to generate insights from your voice calls. Mitel’s API platform uses its own proprietary speech engine to process audio recordings and quickly deliver accurate transcriptions. Analytics features such as keyword spotting, pitch and energy are combined with Appointment Made, Hot Lead, Churn Detection, Sales Made and other metrics to deliver actionable intelligence from spoken data.

Voice calls, once thought to be approaching extinction, are experiencing a renaissance of sorts, thanks in part to the technology that was supposed to replace them. Let us show you how Mitel’s platform can help you convert audio into business insights that guide your decision-making process.