Mastering the Art of Voice Design: PolyAI Webinar

Mastering the Art of Voice Design: PolyAI Webinar

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Building Great Voice Experiences
    • The Importance of Engaging Voice Assistants
    • Overcoming Language and Dialect Barriers
  3. The Vibrant Voice AI Community
  4. Designing and Viewing Voice Experiences
    • Understanding Conversational Design
    • The Role of Verbal Tics and Grammar
    • Balancing Latency and Natural Flow
  5. Asking Questions in Voice Interactions
    • Encouraging Desired User Responses
    • Avoiding Restrictive Questions
    • Allowing for Open-Ended Responses
  6. Giving Answers in Voice Interactions
    • Providing Clear and Precise Information
    • Avoiding Information Overload
    • Repeating Key User Requests for Confirmation
  7. The Importance of Voice Actors
    • Striking the Right Balance Between Formal and Conversational Tones
    • Coaching and Directing Voice Actors
  8. Balancing Ethics in Voice Technologies
    • Disclosing Non-Human Nature to Users
    • Navigating Sensitive Conversations Appropriately
  9. testing and Fine-Tuning Voice Assistants
    • Engaging Clients in the Design Process
    • Configuring Silence Duration and Re-prompting
    • Iterating Based on Real-World Interactions
  10. Adapting Voice Assistants to the Pandemic
    • Addressing Customer Concerns and Changing Behavior
    • Aligning Voice Agents with Brand Standards
  11. Achieving the Right Balance in Human-Like Interactions
  12. Conclusion

Building Great Voice Experiences

In today's digital landscape, voice interfaces have become increasingly prevalent, offering users a more accessible and convenient way to interact with technology. As such, it has become paramount for businesses to prioritize the creation of engaging voice experiences that truly understand callers, regardless of their accents, dialects, or language. At PolyAI, we are passionate about building custom voice assistants for Superhuman customer service over the phone. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of designing and viewing great voice experiences, exploring various aspects such as conversational design, asking questions, giving answers, the role of voice actors, ethical considerations, and testing methodologies.

Introduction to Voice Experiences

Voice AI, also known as conversational AI, has rapidly gained popularity due to its ability to provide efficient and personalized customer experiences. At PolyAI, we specialize in developing voice assistants that boast a remarkable understanding of natural language, enabling them to handle complex conversations seamlessly. With our expertise in natural language understanding (NLU) models, we strive to design voice experiences that meet and exceed client expectations.

In the following sections, we will guide you through the essential elements involved in designing outstanding voice experiences. From crafting engaging dialogue flows to training proficient voice actors, we leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of voice excellence.

Designing and Viewing Voice Experiences

Understanding Conversational Design

Conversational design encompasses a myriad of elements, including verbal tics, grammar, latency, voice actor delivery, and more. Each of these factors plays a crucial role in creating a natural and immersive conversation between users and voice assistants. While a single grammatical mistake or an awkward turn of phrase can disrupt the flow, finding the right balance of latency is equally important. At PolyAI, we meticulously train our voice actors to ensure impeccable phrasing and intonation. We even utilize technology to interject with human-like sounds during customer speech, fostering a truly authentic conversation.

It's worth noting that adhering to best practices in conversational design is essential, but it doesn't guarantee exceptional outcomes. Designing conversational agents that strike the perfect balance between human-like interaction and efficiency requires a comprehensive understanding of customer expectations and preferences. To achieve this, we break down the design process into four broad topics: asking questions, giving answers, Recording prompts, and managing exceptional performance.

Asking Questions in Voice Interactions

One of the primary goals when asking questions in a voice interaction is to gently guide users toward providing the answers we expect. While our natural language understanding technology boasts impressive accuracy, it is not infallible. Thus, we aim to limit the scope of possible user responses while still maintaining conversational freedom. For instance, in troubleshooting scenarios, asking a question like, "What is the issue with your broken phone?" can Elicit long and unpredictable responses, leading to frustrations when the voice assistant fails to address the problem adequately. Instead, we opt for more specific inquiries such as, "What part of your phone is broken?" By predicting likely responses and formulating open-ended questions, users can provide Meaningful answers without feeling restricted.

Giving Answers in Voice Interactions

When it comes to providing answers in voice interactions, the key is to offer clear and precise information without overwhelming the user. For instance, if a user inquires about flight availability, it is crucial not to bombard them with a lengthy list of options. Instead, we strive to strike a balance between Brevity and Relevant details. By stating, "I have three flights to Belgrade tomorrow, and the cheapest one departs at 6 pm for 58 pounds," we address the user's needs while still allowing room for any additional inquiries they may have. Additionally, we make it a point to repeat part of the user's inquiry within our answer to ensure accuracy and provide a complete response.

The Importance of Voice Actors

At PolyAI, we place great emphasis on the role of voice actors in creating captivating voice experiences. Through meticulous coaching and direction, we train our voice actors to deliver performances that strike the perfect balance between formality and conversational warmth. We encourage them to treat each interaction as if it were their first, ensuring a natural and engaging conversation. By avoiding a rehearsed or robotic tone, we foster an environment that encourages users to provide answers and engage in meaningful discussions.

Balancing Ethics in Voice Technologies

Navigating the ethical considerations of voice technologies is vital in designing responsible voice assistants. While we aim to create assistants as human-like as possible, we understand the limits of deceiving users into believing they are interacting with a human. It is essential to disclose the non-human nature of the voice assistant ethically and gracefully. Striking the right balance between providing empathetic responses without crossing ethical boundaries is crucial, particularly in sensitive conversations. At PolyAI, we are committed to maintaining ethical standards by giving truthful answers, applying appropriate disclosure techniques, and adapting our voice agents to cater to vulnerable user groups.

Testing and Fine-Tuning Voice Assistants

The process of testing and fine-tuning voice assistants is a crucial step in delivering exceptional voice experiences. At PolyAI, we actively engage clients in the design process, incorporating their brand standards and scrutinizing their existing voice actors' performances. By conducting iterative tests and user trials, we Gather real-world data and insights, allowing us to refine our dialogue flows, Speech Recognition accuracy, and overall user experience. Regular collaboration with our clients ensures that the voice assistant meets their expectations and aligns with their brand's voice.

Adapting Voice Assistants to the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted customer behavior and priorities. At PolyAI, we understand the need to adapt voice assistants' capabilities to address these shifting concerns. By ensuring our agents are aligned with brand standards, striking the right tone, and responding appropriately to sensitive inquiries, we empower our clients to deliver voice experiences that cater to their customers' evolving needs. As the world continues to navigate the pandemic, our adaptable voice assistants offer a safe and reliable option for customer interactions.

Achieving the Right Balance in Human-Like Interactions

Striving to create voice experiences that strike the right balance between human-like interactions and efficient performance is crucial. By avoiding the "uncanny valley," where interactions become off-putting due to their closeness to human behavior without perfect replication, we can provide voice assistants that meet and exceed customer expectations. Our goal is to create voice agents that match or even surpass the best contact center agents in terms of customer satisfaction and engagement. Achieving this level of excellence ensures that users feel heard, understood, and valued throughout the voice interaction.


In an era where voice technology is revolutionizing the way we interact with digital interfaces, designing and implementing outstanding voice experiences requires careful consideration. From asking questions and giving answers in a natural and engaging manner, to coaching voice actors and navigating ethical considerations, each aspect plays a pivotal role in creating voice assistants that meet and exceed customer expectations. By continually testing and fine-tuning our voice assistants, we ensure their effectiveness in handling real-world interactions. At PolyAI, we remain at the forefront of voice technology, delivering exceptional voice experiences that empower businesses to build lasting customer relationships.



Q: How do you train voice actors to sound human-like yet professional? A: Training voice actors to strike the right balance between sounding human-like and professional is a meticulous process. We provide them with detailed guidance on phrasing, intonation, and overall delivery. By coaching them to imagine themselves as call center agents thinking on-the-spot, we enable them to deliver dialogue flows that feel natural and unscripted. Through regular feedback and rehearsals, we refine their performances, ensuring they align with the brand's voice while maintaining a high level of professionalism.

Q: What measures do you take to ensure voice assistants understand different accents and dialects? A: At PolyAI, we train our voice assistants on diverse datasets that include various accents, dialects, and speech patterns. By exposing them to a wide range of linguistics, we equip them with the ability to understand and interpret different voices accurately. Additionally, our ongoing data collection and comprehensive testing allow us to continually improve our models' performance, ensuring they remain robust across different linguistic variations.

Q: How do you address the challenge of latency in voice interactions? A: Latency, or the delay between a user's input and the voice assistant's response, is a critical aspect of creating a seamless and engaging voice experience. At PolyAI, we prioritize minimizing latency by continuously refining our models and optimizing our systems for fast and accurate responses. By leveraging advanced natural language understanding technology and efficient backend infrastructure, we strive to provide near-instantaneous response times, enhancing the overall user experience.

Q: What steps do you take to ensure voice assistants respect user privacy and data security? A: User privacy and data security are of utmost importance to us at PolyAI. We adhere to strict data protection protocols and comply with relevant industry regulations. Our voice assistants are designed to handle user interactions conscientiously, ensuring that sensitive information remains secure. We treat user data with the utmost confidentiality and implement robust security measures to safeguard personal information.

Q: Can voice assistants handle complex conversations beyond basic inquiries? A: Absolutely! Our voice assistants are designed to handle complex and nuanced conversations. Whether it's providing detailed information, troubleshooting problems, or engaging in extended dialogues, our assistants are equipped to deliver comprehensive responses. Through extensive testing and fine-tuning, we ensure that our voice assistants excel in their ability to understand and engage in a wide range of conversation topics, ensuring a truly satisfying user experience.

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