Voice recognition has been around for a long time and we’ve all experienced contact centres where dealing with the system has been a nightmare. Stephen Lewis, Salmat’s GM for business consulting, says a lot of damage was done by these early implementations, but it’s a very different story today.
Like many things, it’s not the technology that’s at fault, it’s how it is implemented. Sam Jakel, project director for the Voice Transformation Project at Westpac, said they started by rating customer interactions and quizzing customers about what they didn’t like about voice systems they had used. IVRs that repeated what you said were a particular pet hate.
Valerie Price, Assistance Manager for Contact Centres at the NZ Department of Inland Revenue, explains how they started the process with “Utterance Collection” — basically building the structure around the first things people ask for when they call the government department.
So ground work means everything for a successful implementation. Finally Steve Lewis talks us through where voice systems could be heading, including putting us in touch with contact centre agents who might match our background and perhaps even our mood.