Speech Within Your Reach

If you manage a contact center, chances are good you have experience in offering some sort of self service to customers: an IVR, or a Web site with an FAQ list, perhaps. You know why self-service is good: It automates the basic issues customers have that may take up a large portion of your expensive live agents’ time, like balance inquiries and transfers for a bank, outage and billing information for a utility, store hours and stock availabilities for a retail store, price checks in the case of a b-to-b situation.

Enter speech-enabled customer self service. There is some evidence that customers actually like using speech for navigation and self service. There are no buttons to push, most systems allow “barge in” (so customers don’t have to wait for the end of a prompt), and speech systems are “smarter” and can allow for more ambiguous input, in the case of more advanced speech recognition.[click heading for more]