Speak Freely – Part III

Contributed by Eyal Inbar, Marketing, NEC Unified Solutions

Why do we like to hate speech applications?  The most interesting question to start with is how come we love to communicate verbally with people yet will do all in our power to avoid communicating verbally with a machine?

Well, by now you could probably guess. It is all about the customer experience and the way we are designing and implementing interactive voice and speech solutions
Like many other software and hardware solution, Speech technologies have been designed and implemented by technical people with very little understanding of the customer experience and needs. It has been deployed as an infrastructure project, usually with the intention to use the technology to save costs to the company, unfortunately on the expense of customer experience.

Why should we make the effort in integrating and using voice technology?
Speech and Voice applications are very powerful technologies that can be used to attract new customers and connect with them in a much deeper level than any other technology we have.

Our ability to integrate voice solutions to line of business applications allow us to provide a better customer experience and much more efficient communication when customers are interacting with our organization. We should just use it smarter and make sure those responsible for the customer interaction , whether a marketing or operation leader or any other customer facing executive are involved in the design and implementation of the solution.

Some practical examples
You can find today a large variety of solutions and applications that make good use of voice and speech technology. Some are uniquely powerful especially in times of economic downturn, here is a sample:

Speech Auto attendant – The system allows callers to be automatically transferred to a user’s or department extension without the intervention of a receptionist, just by saying the name. Usually the system will also be connected to your email system, allowing you to schedule meetings using voice commands and get the system read your emails to you. If you have multiple operators in your organization, answering phone calls both internally or from customers, you should look at this solution. This solution delivers new ways of saving money and can usually show a return on your investment in less than 6 months.

Automated outbound dialer (or Automated messaging system) – If you are still not using this solution, Please do!  The idea is very simple; connect the voice application to your CRM, ERP, your email system or any other customer data base and start communicating with your customers more frequently. Use it as part of your lead generation campaign to proactively reach out to thousands of potential customers and have them listen to your message and connect with an agent; remind people to show up for appointments;  send emergency notification  and much more. This is a very simple and usually very cost effective solution.

Voice Biometrics solutions –The solution offers a security level in the remote transactions over the phone, for businesses and their customers looking to increase their privacy with greater security measures or enhance customers’ experience, this is a very effective solution to qualify the speaker’s identity

Final Part next week.