Customers Expect More: Deliver with Speech Recognition

The challenge these days is continuing to find ways to meet rising customer expectations of their experience with your brand while not breaking the bank in the process.  Advances in technology, both in terms of the available options and the number of channels combined with a broad trend to more personalization and proactive engagement continues to raise the bar of customer expectations. Addressing those expectations in affordable and manageable ways is an absolute requirement if you want to remain relevant to your customers since both choices and competitors abound.

How can you address this challenge?

One way to accomplish this is to leverage existing assets that you already have.  For example, do you already have an Interactive Voice Response Platform (IVR) in place, like Genesys Pure Engage GVP?  Almost any IVR can benefit from the addition of speech recognition technology.  There are finite limits to what can be done in terms of logic, menus and the complexity of information that a caller can be expected to enter when limited to DTMF (Touchtone) when compared to the flexibility gained when using speech recognition. With the growing popularity of personal digital assistants like Amazon’s Echo or Google Home, speech recognition has become a ubiquitous and well-accepted form of interface with customers.

If you already have an IVR, then adding speech recognition technology and extending the applications to use speech is easy and cost-effective. Automating select tasks with speech recognition can dramatically improve containment within your self-service environment, and more importantly improve the customer’s experience whether the call is contained in the IVR or gets transferred to an agent. Self-Service also lets a contact center extended its available support hours for those transactions supported by self-service.

The addition of speech recognition capabilities can greatly increase the utility of your existing IVR and since you’ve already invested in that core technology, extending its usefulness by adding speech-based self-service can have a very high return on investment, since the IVR investment is already accounted.

The next question that follows is: What transactions do I automate using speech recognition? Not all transactions are equally well suited for automating with self-service. Fortunately identifying the right tasks can be very straight-forward.

Do you have transactions where callers to your contact center interact with an agent who types information from the caller into a backend system (like account numbers), then the system returns the relevant information such as account balance, order or claim status, or other simple response and the contact center agent then reads that information from their screen to the caller?  If you have transactions that look like that then you’ve very likely got a great candidate for speech-based self-service.  When comparing possible transactions remember that the fewer discrete pieces of information the callers need to provide, the more likely the request is well suited to self-service.

Part of customer’s expectations today is that you’ll “know them” when they call. To that end, in today’s world cell phone numbers are becoming an excellent proxy to individual customer identity.  If you can look up the customer using the Automatic Number Identification (ANI) information when they call into your IVR that’s even better.  You can identify or confirm who the caller is quickly and simply, then get them the information that they need with equal speed and brevity.

Why leverage speech recognition?

Speech recognition helps reduce Agent Handling Time, regardless of the industry or transaction type.

From a cost savings perspective, an automated interaction typically costs 25% or less when compared to agent handled interactions on a per minute basis.  If agent handled interactions cost between $1 and $3 dollars per minute, a five-minute call costs between $5 and $15.  Typical automated call handling costs between .25 & .50 per minute or between $1.25 and $2.15 per call.

This means you can save between .75 and $2.50 per minute on every minute of Agent Handling time saved by moving part or all or part of the call to speech recognition-based self-service.

Meanwhile, callers can get a quick and efficient experience, improving their satisfaction with the brand and no agent was harmed (or talked to) in the process.

If you want to learn more about how speech recognition can be used in your contact center look at our pre-recorded webinar, Using Speech Recognition to Improve Customer Experience and Reduce Costs.   We’ll discuss more how to identify the best use cases for speech-enabled self-service in your contact center. You’ll learn how you can take advantage of speech related technologies to improve your customer experience, make your agents happier while at the same time reducing costs. You can also visit our listing on the Genesys AppFoundry Marketplace.

This post was co-authored by Jeff Hopper. As LumenVox’ VP Client Services Jeff manages technical support, training, partner certification and Sales Engineering. He brings more than 20 years of expertise in speech recognition and other contact center technologies.