October 26, 2014

Speech Technologies

Self service speech

The market opportunity for using speech-enabled self-service or IVR solutions has never been more appealing. We are all aware of the limitations of touch-tone. The reasons for deploying speech solutions have recently become much more compelling, driven by a whole new range of associated technologies.

Now is the time to add speech recognition as part of a complete contact strategy to engage your customers.

These include SIP based VoIP telephony, advances in speech technologies, and improved processing and software architectures, plus the advent of new industry standards.  Particularly in the current economic climate, speech solutions address your need to deliver more with less whilst still keeping your customers happy.

Speech applications

Have long been recognized as the “way to go” for customer service. There are strong arguments in favor of their use, with benefits including:

  • Increased automation with a more natural and flexible user interface
  • The resultant reduction in costs (a 25% automation of calls in a 250 agent call center will deliver savings of more than $1m!)
  • Access to the vast universe of web-enabled content, enabling dramatically improved e-business strategies
  • Improved customer service because speech recognition systems eliminate many of the frustrating limitations of a touch-tone interface
  • A clear competitive and branding edge, as a well-designed corporate voice portal allows your company to project its personality through a natural customer experience
  • Security ensured by the newest capabilities of speech-enabled applications, using voice prints which are more secure than other security checks, allowing you to verify callers explicitly or in the background

Compelling Benefits

These are compelling benefits. However, the reality is that there is a huge difference between deploying speech solutions and actually realising the benefits! Speech recognition solutions are more complex to deploy, configure and manage than touch-tone interfaces.

Faced with such a flexible and powerful interface, businesses often fail to understand or assess the end users’ requirements when deciding where speech can successfully play a role in customer contact. Too often, well-intentioned plans by “Speech Champions” to use speech recognition for everything have failed, resulting in poor return on investment and unsatisfactory customer feedback. This is the single largest reason why speech solutions have not become as ubiquitous in the contact center as they should be.

Businesses have different priorities: some wish to automate as much as possible, others wish to enhance security, and many are increasingly concerned with the customer experience. Matching these priorities to the available speech technologies is a job for experienced speech solution experts.

Cost

The other challenge with speech is the COST!  Speech solutions require investment, and there are only a few practitioners who know how to ensure a good return on that investment.

So how do you acquire cost effective and powerful speech solutions that will deliver real benefit to your customers? The answer is PSS.

How PSS Can Help Your Business

We don’t just talk about the value and benefits of speech solutions – we have delivered them to customers and have convincing case studies that demonstrate the return on investment and end user satisfaction. We pride ourselves on our focus on delivering value in the long term, not just in the lifetime of the current project.

We understand what can and can’t be automated, understand where speech can add value and where it can be an unnecessary and costly complication. We are driven by long term business benefits rather than the short term goal to sell speech technology licenses!

In the current economic environment, when everyone needs to deliver MORE for a lower cost, speech solutions have an enormous amount to offer BUT ONLY when appropriately designed and deployed.