Speech Technology Magazine

 

Ster-Kinekor Theater Chain Speech-Enables its Contact Center

TORONTO, CANADA and JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - VoiceGenie Technologies Inc. and Intelleca Voice & Mobile announced their latest technology implementation: Ster-Kinekor, a South African movie theater chain, has deployed their advanced speech recognition solution as part of their 360° CRM strategy.
Posted Oct 1, 2002
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TORONTO, CANADA and JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - VoiceGenie Technologies Inc., the provider of VoiceXML Gateway solutions, and Intelleca Voice & Mobile, South Africa's provider of advanced speech recognition telephony solutions, announced their latest technology implementation: Ster-Kinekor, a South African movie theater chain, has deployed their advanced speech recognition solution as part of their 360° CRM strategy. Recognizing the need for a change in mindset - away from interacting with anonymous callers to servicing customers' unique needs, desires and requests - Ster-Kinekor launched a new "Anywhere, Anytime, Anyhow" CRM strategy, broadening customers' access to movie information and services. By offering multiple contact channels (including Internet, call center, advanced speech recognition voice-response) customers are afforded flexibility in contact methods, helping build more personal relationships, and encouraging customers to utilize the most cost-effective channel. "We considered the frustrating user experience of traditional DTMF (touch-tone) IVR (Interactive Voice Response) as an unacceptable way of relationship building," said Odette Van Wyk, Marketing Executive at Ster-Kinekor. "The lengthy time required to proceed through IVR applications threatened the ease of use, convenience and service levels that we expect for our customers. At the same time, the cost of servicing every call via live agent was simply unfeasible." Ster-Kinekor selected VoiceGenie's SpeechGenie solution, sold by Intelleca Voice & Mobile, featuring VoiceGenie's VoiceXML Gateway and OpenSpeech Recognizer speech recognition engine and Speechify text-to-speech engine from SpeechWorks Internationa Inc. (Nasdaq: SPWX), developer of speech recognition and text-to-speech (TTS) technologies and services. The natural conversational interface retains the "human element" while meeting automation goals. In addition, the VoiceGenie solution addresses the requirements of navigation and input capability for selecting a single cinema (of more than 40 cinemas nationally) and a single movie (up to 20 movies per cinema). "A fully integrated platform was essential to achieve Ster-Kinekor's complex objectives," said Michael Renzon, Managing Director of Intelleca Voice & Mobile. "Apart from user-friendliness, rapid time to market, on-going roll-out of new services and low maintenance were some of the necessities we were required to fulfill. SpeechGenie met those requirements and more." The VoiceGenie VoiceXML Gateway, a Linux-based Voice Web solution, was chosen for its compliance to all aspects of the VoiceXML 2.0 standard and its mature integration of ASR, TTS and telephony signaling. "Our open standards-based Gateway gives enterprises freedom of choice throughout their speech technology implementation," says Bruce Eidsvik, VP of Sales at VoiceGenie. "It offers enterprises the option to start with basic DTMF and then gradually add ASR and TTS features at any stage of deployment. Also, VoiceGenie can be deployed as a hosted or premise-based solution - and scaling out as the application grows and more customers utilize the service is simple and economical." "With over 1 million Movie Club members, we are thrilled to deliver outstanding personalized and relevant experiences to our customers," explains Van Wyk at Ster-Kinekor. "CRM is certainly not a destination, but a journey - and, with our selection of flexible CRM technologies, one we are very excited to have embarked upon."
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