Sunday, November 27, 2022

The State of Voice Mail in 2021

The State of Voice Mail in 2021

Sifox is a provider VAS (Value Added Services) and products for mobile operators that reimagines traditional mobile telephony and offers subscribers innovative solutions for their problems.

What is your first association when you hear «Voice Mail»? My association is like different situations from the American films, situations which are totally impossible in real life as mostly Voice Mail is not used beyond the U.S.

For instance, this indicator is at the level of 5 percent in Russia, and it is even lower in many African countries. But together with my team I want to change this!

There are several reasons as to why Voice Mail is not so popular on the market:

  • Inconvenience

It is inconvenient to listen to voice messages, there is no caller ID, and it takes a lot of time;

  • Habit

People are not used to leaving voice messages, especially since they know how inconvenient it is to listen to them, while understanding that they will most likely not be listened to;

  • Competition with other services

After a failed call, it is much easier to write your message in a familiar instant messenger, even if it is a request to call back. Plus, messengers also have voice messages;

  • No value for Operators

Operators do not see value for this product and do not invest in service development

Nevertheless, even though the Voice Mail appeared a long time ago – before the mobile telephony – this product can still bring new solutions to modern reality and be useful for both subscribers and telecom operators. Let’s take a closer look at it.

Voice mail

The most straightforward service based on voicemail is Voice Mail itself. All the problems described above relate to this particular product, and the current level of technology development can provide a solution to each of the following problems:

  • It is inconvenient to listen to the message. Yes, I agree, but it’s easy to read! In 2021, the level of development of speech recognition technologies finally reached a level that allows voice message transcription into text relatively cheaply in sufficient quality and transmit them to a subscriber in a much more convenient form: in SMS, instant messaging, and mobile application. This approach increases the number of messages and information delivered to the subscriber, from less than 5 percent to almost 100 percent.
  • Solving the inconvenience problem of listening to messages and bringing this indicator to almost 100 percent solves another problem – people start changing their habits and begin to leave messages more often, knowing that the recipient will almost certainly read it.
  • Together, these decisions make voice messengers much more convenient in comparison to competitors: leaving a voice message at the end of an unsuccessful call is several times faster than hanging up, opening a messenger and writing a text manually (or even leaving a voice message there), and in some cases, would be even cheaper – no need to spend on an Internet package, own a smartphone or be part of the data network coverage area. At the same time, the problem of low percentage of information delivered now does not negate these achievements. Moreover, the left message can be read and listened to using a convenient interface.
  • So where is the value for operators? Monetization models can be very different, but the point is that the operator always earns on traffic, and such a solution can attract on average up to 20 additional seconds of voice traffic from each unsuccessful attempt of subscriber calls, depending on the characteristics of tariffication and language in each specific country.

Voice Assistant

The next evolutionary step in the development of Voice Mail can be various voice assistants or the so-called Voice Bots. Now, similar solutions are used in smart speakers, in call centers of large companies, but the cost of such technologies in 2021 make it possible to implement such function for each subscriber.

This assistant can become a kind of virtual assistant to your Voice Mail and not only record the caller’s message but clarify various details and pass them to the subscriber the principal message instead of a large amount of transcribed text.

At first glance, it may seem that the value of such functionality is not very high but based on results of assistants on real networks, it turned out that they really save subscribers’ time, significantly increase their loyalty, and users are ready to pay separately for a subscription for it.

Anti-spam

Another separate value of Voice Mail and Voice Assistants appeared amid the problem of SPAM calls around the world. According to many studies, the number of such calls is growing from year to year. Today in Russia, on average, a subscriber receives one SPAM call per day, in Africa the situation is better, in the Americas – worse.

Voice Mail helps to solve two problems here at once:

  • For subscribers, we have developed a unique service called Spambox, which works on the same principle of “Spam” folder in e-mails – if a subscriber receives a SPAM call, but did not answer – dropped it or was unavailable – then the spammer’s dialogue with Voice Mail will be processed to find out what the spammer really wanted but will not bother the subscriber with notifications and will give the opportunity to get acquainted with the message in a separate section.
  • For the operator, there is also value here. The machine analysis of voice messages contributes to the enrichment of the SPAM database, which makes it possible to make both Spambox and other operator services aimed at combating SPAM calls more efficient.

The described solutions are just an icing on the cake, something that has already been tested on real networks and subscribers, but the potential of such solutions is already obvious – this is shown by both user reviews and the commercial indicators of operators. So, see you in 2022!