How to speak your customer’s language with multilingual Voice AI

Ernest Lee

Marketing and Communications, AI Rudder

Studies have shown that providing customer support in English only is not cutting it for many businesses, especially in markets like Asia with great linguistic diversity. 

While businesses understand that supporting customers in their native language is important, the cost of running call centers in multilingual countries is even higher as the cost of hiring and training continues to rise.

The big question is how can companies harness the growth potential of providing native-language services and navigate the rising costs and complexities of hiring bilingual speakers.

Automating multilingual customer support with voice AI

Speech technology is rapidly changing the way millions of people around the world interact with brands, businesses, and service providers. 

In Southeast Asia, forward-thinking companies have moved away from hiring bilingual customer support in favor of multilingual technology like voice AI. By 2026, Gartner projects that voice AI deployments within call centers will reduce agent labor costs by US$80 billion. 

For those companies, voice AI agents can support any customer in every language, making it easier to scale into new markets and to the right audience. With voice AI bridging the language gap, call centers are also able to broaden their customer support talent pool by hiring for the right skills rather than language.

Localized voice AI that understands accents and multiple languages

Voice AI can be immensely beneficial for call center operations, but for end consumers and people with accents – especially in Southeast Asia – such speech technology can seem very different and unhelpful if it’s unable to understand the colloquial English, languages or slangs spoken in the country.

While we are on the topic, have you ever asked Siri, Alexa, or your Google Assistant to turn the music off; instead, the volume turns up? This is widely known and referred to as the “accent gap”.

The accent gap is the inability of speech technologies to understand speakers with non-native or regional accents with the same accuracy. After all, mainstream voice AI assistants are trained to recognize English accents generally associated with western societies and communities. 

At AI Rudder, we understand the vast diversity, dialects, and accents in this corner of the world. As the leading voice AI solutions provider in Southeast Asia, we have built our capabilities to serve customers in more than 16 ASEAN languages with regional accents. Our capabilities are built by native speakers, who spend hours tailoring our solutions to converse with locals seamlessly.

These nuances in our voice AI technology ensure that our customers’ customers receive optimal service, regardless of their preferred language. In doing so, businesses can offer a more welcoming human touch despite the virtual interaction, and reach customers in a manner that best suits their needs.

Delight your customers happy by speaking their language

Rapid digitalization and an ever-increasing customer base have caused support functions to be oversubscribed, bringing forth the urgent need to augment customer support, collaboration, learning, and new ways of working.

This is where voice AI steps in to support by intelligently automating a range of routine high-volume functions – from lead generation, information verification, quality assurance, and loan collection to some levels of customer support – while retaining some of the human element that customers still find comfort in.

In multilingual countries like Singapore and Malaysia, where people use English and their native language interchangeably to converse in their daily lives, offering multiple-language support is integral to delivering a great CX.

By combining Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), Natural Language Understanding (NLU), and lifelike Text-to-Speech (TTS) to process conversations, receive and interpret customer intent, AI Rudder’s voice AI can communicate at scale to a level of near-human intelligence.

With more than a decade of experience in the AI industry, our team continuously improves the performance of our voice AI by training it with industry-specific data for various scenarios. Further, 99 percent of users and customers are not able to tell the difference between a human agent and our voice AI assistant. 

Interested to learn more about how voice AI can benefit your company’s growth? Contact us for a demo today!