Skip to main content

Get started with Voice

Are you ready to serve your bot content over the phone? This guide takes you through taking your bot to the next level by adapting your messaging content for voice conversations.

note

This feature may not be included with your organization's subscription package. For more information, see Ada's Pricing page, or contact your Ada team.

Before you begin

Before you get started with Voice, take a moment to learn some background information. Then, you need to set up an account and phone number with Twilio.

Understand Voice's limitations

It's important to understand some limitations with Voice:

  • We currently only support calls in English.

  • Generally, bots are designed to accommodate caller interruptions so they can connect callers with the information they need sooner. However, the caller and the bot speaking over each other can create a confusing experience, and can get in the way of a caller getting their intent resolved.

    In some cases, like List Option blocks, we encourage interruptions so callers don't have to listen to the entire lists. However, because Speak blocks (the voice equivalents of Text blocks) might contain crucial information for callers, we don't allow callers to interrupt them.

Set up a Twilio account

Voice works by integrating a Twilio account with your bot. Follow the below instructions to prepare an account and phone number to use with your bot.

important

Your usage of Voice is subject to both applicable privacy and phone communication laws, and Twilio's policies. These may vary based on your location and industry. If you have any questions, please contact Ada's or Twilio's support.

  1. If your organization doesn't already have one, set up an account with Twilio. For more information, see View and Create New Accounts in Twilio Console at Twilio's Help Center.

  2. Set up a phone number with Twilio, using one of the following options:

  3. Submit your organization's toll-free phone number to Twilio for verification.

    • If you are using a toll-free number with your bot and you want to be able to send SMS messages from it during a phone conversation, you will need to submit a Toll-Free Message Verification request to Twilio. For more information, see Toll-Free Message Verification for US/Canada at Twilio's Help Center.

    • If you are using a local number with your bot and you want to be able to send SMS messages from it during a phone conversation, you will need to submit an A2P (Application to Person) 10DLC (10 digit long code) registration request to Twilio. For more information, see Programmable Messaging and A2P 10DLC at Twilio's Help Center.

After getting your phone number set up with Twilio, you can connect it with your bot.

Connect your Twilio account with your Ada bot

Once you have your Twilio account and phone number set up, you can put your account details into your bot. In your Twilio account, you need to obtain your account string identifier (SID), and create an API key to use with Ada. Follow these steps to get them and put them into your bot settings:

  1. On the Ada dashboard, go to Settings > Integrations.

  2. Under Channels Integrations, beside Voice, click Configure. Keep this window open as you go into your Twilio account to get your account details, so you can paste them in as you find them.

  3. In your Twilio console, in your account info, find your Account SID. Your Account SID is a unique identifier that acts like a username when you're using Twilio's API. For information on how to find it, see Auth Tokens and How to Change Them at Twilio's Help Center.

  4. On the Ada dashboard, under Twilio Configuration, paste your Account SID into the Twilio Account SID field.

  5. In your Twilio console, create a new API key. Enter a name into the Friendly name field, set the Key Type to Main, and leave the other settings with their default values.

    For information on how to create an API key, see API Keys and How to Change Them at Twilio's Help Center. When you create an API key, you get both a key and a secret. You can only view the secret once for security reasons, so make sure you save it in a safe place.

  6. On the Ada dashboard, under Twilio Configuration, paste the API key into the Twilio API Key SID field, and paste the secret into the Twilio API Key Secret field.

  7. Configure your bot to use a phone number, or configure a SIP address to handle transfers between your bot and your CCaaS provider. Your bot can only use one or the other. Click a section to expand the full instructions.

    For more information on how you can configure transfers either using the phone network or over the internet, see Integrate your voice bot with your Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) provider.

    Configure a phone number with your bot
    1. Select Phone Number.

    2. Under Main phone number, enter your Twilio phone number. This is the phone number your customers will call to interact with your bot.

    3. Under Fallback phone number, enter a fallback number. In case there are issues with your bot's phone number, your bot can redirect callers to a fallback phone number; for example, a number that goes directly to human support.

    4. If required, you can select Use a different phone number for SMS and enter a different phone number to send and receive SMS messages instead of your main phone number.

    Configure a SIP address with your bot
    1. Select SIP Address.

    2. Under Twilio SIP domain name, enter a name for your SIP domain, ending with .sip.twilio.com.

      If the domain doesn't already exist in Twilio, putting it in Ada will automatically create it, but you'll still have to go into Twilio and configure it.

    3. Under Fallback SIP address, enter a fallback SIP address. In case there are issues with your main SIP domain, your bot can redirect callers to this address, which should then direct to your Interactive Voice Response (IVR) provider.

    4. Under SMS phone number, enter your Twilio phone number, so your bot can use it to send and receive SMS messages, and so you can use it when you're testing your bot.

  8. Click Save. After you have connected your bot, the Phone toggle automatically switches on.

The configuration section of your bot has some additional options you can set, but we'll cover those and what they mean in later topics.

Choose a speaking voice for your bot

Choosing a speaking voice for your bot is an important part of your bot's branding. You can change your bot's voice at any time to better fit your bot's branding needs.

You can choose voices from two providers:

  • Google: Currently, we only offer Google voices that have US accents. If you want more information about the voices Google offers, see Supported voices and languages page at Google Cloud's documentation.

  • OpenAI: We offer all of the voices OpenAI offers. For information about these voices, see Text to speech at OpenAI's documentation.

While Google voices support SSML, which is the markup you can use to Control how your bot pronounces content in voice conversations, OpenAI voices don't. OpenAI voices are generally better at guessing how to pronounce content, but can sometimes struggle pronouncing content like long or complicated numbers. If you have terms that these voices don't pronounce as expected, consider spelling those terms out phonetically.

Each voice you can choose lists the provider as part of the voice's name. Keep these differences in functionality in mind as you select the one your bot uses.

  1. On the Ada dashboard, go to Settings > Integrations.

  2. Under Channels Integrations, beside Voice, click Configure. The Phone window opens.

  3. On the Phone window, click the Speaking voice tab.

  4. Under Speaking Voice, select a voice. Each time you select a different voice, your bot automatically generates a preview of the text in the speech bubble so you can hear what it would sound like over the phone.

  5. Optionally, in the text field, you can type in a text sample, like a message from your bot, so you can hear your bot read out a specific piece of your bot content. Then, you can click the Play button to play the sample.

  6. Click Save. Your bot immediately starts using the voice you selected for both internal testing and for any live voice content in your bot.


Have any questions? Contact your Ada team—or email us at .