adesso ARA

Real-time spoken customer phone support using AI


Traditional phone support in customer service often comes with various challenges, including long wait times, high operational costs, and limited business hours. These issues not only frustrate customers but also place considerable strain on a company's resources. Recognizing these limitations, adesso ARA was created, a modern solution aimed to enhance both the customer experience and the operational efficiency of the company. By automating routine tasks, offering continuous assistance around the clock, and handling a wide range of tasks that traditionally required human intervention during specific hours, adesso ARA represents a significant leap forward.

Figure 1: Flow of traditional phone support

The Goal

For adesso, ARA served as a fictional client (a large online retailer of shoes, fashion, and beauty) to demonstrate the potential of voice chatbot technology in the online retail industry. The objective was to construct a voice chatbot that could deliver accurate responses and engage in a natural-sounding conversation from start to finish. The aim was to enhance customer experience by providing a seamless and intuitive support channel that could replicate the nuances of human interaction, with a focus on the Dutch locale.

The Approach

The approach for developing the voice chatbot was multifaceted, involving not only the extraction of data from the web shop's FAQ section to build a foundational knowledge base but also incorporating a suite of advanced technologies.

The Methods

The voice chatbot is designed to learn from a wide array of documents, enhancing its knowledge base for more accurate responses. This is done with the implementation of

Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG) and facilitated using a vector store1, which allows for the efficient encoding and retrieval of information. These technologies enable the chatbot to process user inquiries accurately, by referencing a dynamically updated database, ensuring responses are both relevant and informed by the latest available data.

As can be seen in Fig. 1 the process begins with the collection of input documents. These documents are textual data retrieved from the webshop’s FAQ section. These documents are loaded into a vector store, where they will be transformed into a more searchable format, in vectors. After completing these essential steps, adesso ARA listens to user inquiries through a microphone. This voice input is transcribed using state-of-the-art Speech-To-Text. The transcribed text is interpreted as a question and sent to openAI’s Large Language Model (LLM) to be processed. A suitable text response is generated based on the model’s knowledge base and the query. The text response is then converted back into audio using Text-To-Speech. The final step delivers the spoken response back to the user, completing the cycle from speech to text to speech, providing a seamless conversational experience.

ARA also helps customers by giving them insight into the status of yet-to-be-delivered purchases. As this represents personal data, ARA automatically checks at the beginning of the conversation whether the caller’s phone number is associated with an entry in a data store. If the customer then wishes to get up-to-date information about their order, ARA verifies the authenticity of the caller by asking them for their birthdate. If this second check succeeds, the customer can gain insights, for example, a track-and-trace code. Should a customer call from another phone, then ARA will ask for their actual, registered phone number. This way, ARA guarantees confidentiality while maintaining customer satisfaction.

Figure 2: Visual represenation of adesso ARA

The difference and benefits for customer support

Introducing a voice chatbot to customer service simplifies the support process. adesso ARA is available 24/7, it handles routine inquiries instantly, saving time and reducing costs. In this way, direct human interaction is reserved for complex issues, optimizing staff efficiency. The voice chatbot’s context awareness and document referencing result in precise and relevant responses, elevating customer experiences.

Furthermore, this new technology also facilitates data collection from customer interactions, offering insights to refine the chatbot and inform product or service enhancements. In its final form, the voice chatbot is a straightforward, intelligent solution that enhances customer support, offering both immediate problem-solving and contributing to the company's continuous improvement in customer service management.


adesso ARA is a reliable 24/7 voice chatbot that enhances customer support with context-aware responses, document integration, and efficient handling of routine inquiries. Complex issues are escalated to human agents, ensuring personalized attention when necessary. The innovative approach of adesso ARA not only addresses the inherent issues of traditional phone support but also introduces a level of convenience and effectiveness previously unattainable, marking a significant leap forward in how companies interact with their customers.

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