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January 14, 2008

Speech Technologies Vital to Self-Service Options

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor


Companies today understand the importance of customer service. Many companies also understand that the face of this service is changing and as a result, are offering customers the ability to use self-service applications to conduct business, resolve issues, gain information and more.

One of the most effective strategies today is to implement self-service options that coincide with the consumer’s demand for real-time information and solutions whenever and from wherever they desire. When a company does not offer such functionality, it runs the risk of losing customers to the competition that does.

Self-service can also be highly personalized when the company integrates speech technology that includes speech recognition, rules engines, IP-based networks and home-based agents. This environment can streamline the call flow for the customer and maximize automation across all communication channels.

In doing so, the customer experience is maximized, and the contact center is optimized for total efficiency. The result is an optimized experience for the customer where satisfaction is realized, while also helping to improve the contact center environment and motivating agents to deliver the level of service that customers expect.

Self-service is not necessarily synonymous with speech technologies, but there are significant benefits that can be realized when a company opts to implement such a strategy into their customer service initiatives.

Consider the more mobile and “always-on” society in which we live, work and compete. If all of our self-service options required us to always push buttons and work our way through calling trees, we would quickly become frustrated. When required to enter a 16 digit account number, each of us would much more prefer to say the number and have it effectively recognized by the speech recognition application.  

While there are many solutions available on the market that can provide speech self-service applications, anyone who has had a frustrating experience with speech technology knows that not all solutions are created equal. As such, a company must take a discriminatory approach to selecting a vendor to provide a superior speech application.

Intervoice (News - Alert) is one company that focuses on providing applications that resolve business challenges that many companies face. The company offers robust, flexible speech solutions that can help the organization to achieve a higher rate of automation, better customer service, and even cost savings.

When an organization turns to Intervoice, it has the option of selecting from the company’s rich library of proven, pre-built components that can help accelerate development time when developing an Intervoice solution, or working with Intervoice Global Consulting Service team, or collaborating with one of the company’s authorized service partners.

No matter which path is selected, the company can be assured that Intervoice will provide a robust and proven solution that will optimize the customer experience to help ensure long-term customer loyalty and maximum success.
 
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.
 
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