What is TTS (Text-to-Speech)?

TTS, an acronym for Text-to-Speech, is speech synthesis technology that converts written text to spoken words. Note that it synthesizes words rather than playing back pre-recorded messages. This can be difficult with the English language because many words are spelled the same, but have different pronunciations and meanings. For example, TTS must figure out if it should pronounce the word "lead" as it's pronounced in "lead the way" – or as it's pronounced in "lead pipe." This is handled by calculating probability and choosing the most likely pronunciation. It's an imperfect approach, and there will be mispronunciations.

TTS was originally developed as assistive technology for the visually impaired to help them understand, for example, website content. TTS is now a common feature of websites and popular applications like Microsoft Word. There are several TTS software providers and the TTS functionality can often be incorporated into websites and applications using a simple API. TTS is becoming more mainstream as everyday users use it for activities like reading inbound text messages out loud.

TTS in contact centers

TTS has some interesting applications in contact centers and the innovative use of it will likely expand. Interactive voice response (IVR) systems can use TTS to provide customers with information such as account balances and how much is due from their latest bill. IVR systems can also use TTS to have callers confirm what they entered into the IVR, such as a customer ID. TTS can also be used for administering post-call satisfaction surveys. Organizations just need to type in the questions they want to ask, and the system will synthesize the speech for them. This adds flexibility to businesses that want to change-up their survey questions.

NICE CXone Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is integrated self-service that accelerates resolution, improves routing and cuts cost with automation. It leverages ASR (Automatic speech recognition) and TTS (Text-to-Speech) to gather caller information and determine optimal handling for improved customer experience. CXone IVR is easy to use with Studio, a drag-and-drop interface for defining multimedia routing.

How NICE can help

NICE CXone is the market leading call center software in use by thousands of customers of all sizes around the world to help them consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences. CXone is a cloud native, unified suite of applications designed to help a company holistically run its call (or contact) center operations.

CXone includes:

Omnichannel Routing – routing and interaction management that empowers agents to positively and productively interact with customers in digital and voice channels. These solutions include an automatic call distributor (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), interaction channel support and proactive outbound dialer.

Workforce Optimization – unlocks the potential of your team by inspiring employees' self-improvement, amplifying quality management efforts to enhance customer experience and reducing labor waste. These solutions include workforce management (WFM), quality management (QM), customer satisfaction surveys and performance management (PM).

Automation & Artificial Intelligence (AI) – leading-edge, intuitive technology that eliminates mundane tasks and speeds resolutions of customer issues for better business outcomes. It provides self-service, agent-assisted and fully automated alerts and actions.

CXone also includes pre-defined CRM integrations and UCaaS integrations with most leading solutions on the market. These integrations provide a holistic call center software solution capable of elevating customer experiences for companies of all sizes.