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September 6, 2017 • 4 minute read

Finding the Budget for Voice Biometrics

Implementing some kind of biometrics authentication to protect your customers’ identities used to be an innovation play, but with increasing incidents of frauds and breaches, it has become a hygiene issue in the past few years. If your brand is not putting your customers’ privacy and security at the forefront of your customer experience strategy, you run the risk of falling behind your peers.

In our recent webinar on voice biometrics, we asked our audience about their familiarity with voice biometrics. To our delight, over 40% of them were actively investigating and evaluating a voice biometrics solution. From our experience in the field, we learned that one of the main hurdles in implementing voice biometrics is finding the budget and making a successful business case

We know that the costs and efforts associated with identifying and verifying callers are expensive and that contact centers spend billions of dollars on authentication every year.

So why is finding the budget for voice biometrics so hard?

A solution with many masters

Voice biometrics benefits span across multiple business units within the company. Voice biometrics provides a faster and more convenient authentication, hence improves the customer experience and therefore benefits customer service and care departments. It also adds another layer of security and reduces fraud – helping the security organization. Finally, it appeals to technically savvy consumers, supporting the digital transformation organization. With such widespread benefits, you can see how more than one department has stakes in the voice biometrics implementation and how chipping in to implement it can be tricky.

One who sows reaps the rewards

Budget comes from departments that see the most cost savings. Voice biometrics can significantly reduce frauds and social engineering of agents. So, should the budget come from the CSO’s organization? Well, it’s not as simple as that. In companies that deal with sensitive information such as PII, PHI or PCI data, the value of fraud or loss reduction – an unpublished number – is often used to justify the purchase of security solutions. But such numbers derived from risks associated with traditional knowledge based authentication can be drastically different from a more sophisticated biometrics authentication. 

Voice biometrics speeds up the authentication processes by 70-80%, reducing AHT and improving customer experience. So, should the budget come from the customer care organization? Voice biometrics demonstrates innovation and gives a company a competitive edge, so maybe the budget should come from the funds secured for digital innovation? The answer to all such rhetorical questions is, it depends. The champion of the solution, irrespective of the department he or she belongs to, needs to rally all stakeholders from the start and start the budget discussion early on. As the benefits go beyond security and CX, the budget too should come from departments beyond security and CX.

Don’t ignore the ‘soft’ savings or ‘extra’ benefits

A modern authentication system like Voice biometrics is a vital component of a frictionless customer experience across multiple channels – which helps improve customer retention, loyalty, and NPS as well as the overall brand image. Though companies have some ways of measuring the increase in such metrics, it is difficult to carve out the impact of Voice biometrics alone.

Voice biometrics also brings some wins for marketing; it helps the brand keep up with the competition and gives a reason to reiterate the company’s dedication to customer experience and security. Such ‘soft’ benefits, though hard to put in an ROI calculator, are absolutely important to the business case.  

In conclusion, implementing voice biometrics is not a mere IT purchase or a security add-on. It requires a thorough involvement from stakeholders across the company and a champion that ties everything together.

At Interactions, we partner with our clients to understand their customer experience and security goals and help them weave voice biometrics in their omnichannel customer care strategy.

Want to learn more? Let’s talk.