Speech recognition slashes turnaround times for HCA's radiology reports

HCA International, a central London healthcare facility has rolled-out speech recognition-based radiology reporting on 12 sites. The technology has reduced average report creation times to 2:40 minutes from 24 hours previously. Adoption levels among radiologists surpassed the initial goal of 60% by the end of the project: with two-thirds of the roll-out complete, more than 96% of the dictations are already processed through speech recognition. [click heading for more]

Speech self-service speaks the language of savings

Speech self-service is still a minority toolset in the touch tone-dominated call center world, but its impact on the customer experience continues to improve for such companies as DirecTV and Orbitz.
Alan Hubbard, senior vice president of Aberdeen Group's customer service and support group, reveals that while only 20% of best-in-class companies have speech self-service, 86% of those firms have seen their customer retention and satisfaction rates climb. They have also witnessed a 10% drop in abandoned calls. [click heading for more]

Customer Service Debacles "R" Us

[nik's note: sadly this experience from Toys 'R' Us is typical of so many contact centres and the mere act of deploying speech recognition IVR does nothing to change it. For me this is worrying- as an industry we need to tackle the stigma associated with traditonal IVR, which means we must get next-generation contact centre experiences and speech recognition experiences right first time.]

There are some customer service fiascos that make you want to bang your head against the wall. When they come to you courtesy of a mom-and-pop Internet business, all you can do is sigh, heave your shoulders and say “Well, that’s my fault for going with amateurs.” When the debacle is brought to you courtesy of a national chain, it really makes you wonder how the business has managed to keep its doors open and who is running the company’s customer service.

I called the “helpful” Toys “R” Us customer service line again. I routed myself obediently through their IVR system using their oh-so-fine speech recognition solution. Part of this process included speaking my 10-digit order number, which the system accepted. Informed by the automated system that my order was “processing” (presumably in the same manner and at the same rate that erosion in the Grand Canyon is “processing”), I spoke the words “representative” to get a human on the line. (I had learned, during my last encounter, that speaking the word “agent” got a caller put into a hellacious and circuitous IVR loop of despair.)

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Speech recognition saves Aussie Post A$500,000

Australia Post has invested in a speech recognition system for incoming calls, reducing call costs by 80 percent and allowing Post staff to be transferred to more complex tasks.Implemented in June, the Inference Communications speech recognition system answers calls requesting information such as the location of post offices, postcodes of suburbs, trading hours and passport application enquiries.
Australia Post's NSW contact center receives 10,000 calls a day, according to the company, 1,500 of which are now answered by the speech recognition system.
The average call time with a human operator was 135 seconds, NSW Australia Post customer contact center manager Eddie Sayad said, while the average call time with the speech recognition system is now 89 seconds, with customers tending to ask fewer questions to the automated system. [click heading for more]