by John Hernandez, vice president and general manager, Cisco Customer Contact Business Unit
A well thought-out speech self service strategy can offload work from live agents, thereby lowering costs, and even increase customer and agent satisfaction. The concept—and technology—have been around for a number of years and usage is growing.
Customers calling from mobile phones in moving cars, where one is not supposed to be pressing buttons, for example, offer a great opportunity for use of this technology. Address changes are another scenario where pressing buttons just won’t work. It also helps eliminate issues like customer key entry inaccuracies.
Consumers need more convincing, but these and other recent numbers show users find more and more value in this technology. A recent study by Forrester Consulting shows that consumers actually prefer speech self service for activities such as prescription refills (where 66 percent gave it a high rating, compared with 52 percent for a live agent); checking flight status from a cell phone (61 percent versus 49 percent); checking account balances (59 percent versus 36 percent); store information requests (55 percent versus 37 percent), and tracking shipments (53 percent versus 47 percent).
Speech self service is also more affordable and accessible than ever before. This tool is easier to implement, has greatly improved functionality and requires fewer resources to set up—than even five years ago. It can bring considerable value to a business.
More detailed updates on where this technology is headed can be found in the Cisco sessions and booth at VoiceCon next week. I’d also love to hear your thoughts on speech self service here on this blog.