PlaynVoice brings conversational AI to customer calls

Missed calls can lead to missed opportunities for companies and customer dissatisfaction. Zurich-based startup PlaynVoice offers an artificial intelligence-based plug-and-play phone assistant to tend to customers and provide them with detailed responses, just as a customer attendant would do. Following the successful beta phase, the startup entered the commercialisation phase.

Phone calls are still the most popular way to obtain answers or further information on a product or service. Large companies often have a dedicated customer care department and a budget to deploy advanced technologies to automate the process. On the other hand, small companies in customer-facing businesses often have smaller teams and rely on manual labour to tend to customers. This was an observation from Dominic Spalinger (photo) and his team during their initial jobs as technology consultants with PlaynVoice

Starting as a consulting company, the PlaynVoice team saw the advantages large companies like Sparkasse, Die Post, Swisscom and other big brands derived from using conversational AI tools. Subsequently, they developed PlaynVoice, an AI platform that allows companies to forward phone calls to a trained voicebot assistant that answers phone calls and provides end2end services with API access, thus adding an AI layer to speech-based business processes. Setting up the system is simple: the customer inserts data based on which the model will generate answers for the customer. The discussion can be extracted for the company to follow up and provide further support.

“Since the launch of chatGPT, conversational AI has become mainstream and made everyone aware of its capabilities”, said Dominic Spalinger, CEO and founder of PlaynVoice. “Speech is still the most popular and natural form of communication; therefore, we see huge potential in this field. Conversational AI on a speech level is more complex than standard text-based chat systems. Its complexity comes from the conversation design and the technology side as you need to add speech-to-text and text-to-speech engines and then orchestrate the entire conversation with all technical elements.”

Relaunch and customer onboarding
Following successful beta tests with early adopters, PlaynVoice has relaunched itself as a tech startup that caters to corporates and small companies, especially in the tourism, hospitality, retail and gastronomy sectors. The solution is now available for a limited number of businesses. Since the relaunch in April this year, the startup has started onboarding companies and is filling its waiting list. As part of the next steps, PlaynVoice plans to continue advancing the solution, increase marketing activities and build up a diverse team.

PlaynVoice is bootstrapped and run by a team of four people. As CEO and founder of the startup, Dominic Spalinger brings over six years of experience building conversational AI solutions. He also gained entrepreneurial experience from earlier ventures such as Algotruck and working as an investment manager in venture capital. The CTO Jacky Casas, starting in June this year, is a senior software engineer and has a PhD in the fields of natural language processing and training large language models for more empathy.