Speech Technology Magazine

 

Who Are You Talking To?

LONDON - A new service offering companies the chance to identify the voice of an agent that best suits their business is launched by Fluency.
Posted Dec 1, 2004
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LONDON - A new service offering companies the chance to identify the voice of an agent that best suits their business is launched by Fluency.  The "Persona Survey" allows companies to get an insight into this service by matching their organizations' profiles to a sample of agent voices.

The survey is used by Fluency to demonstrate the complex process involved in selecting these virtual agents and includes virtual people such as: Patsy Taylor; Andrew Warner; Brian Jones; Caroline Wilson; and Jessica Long.

Fluency believes the whole area of voice branding has been a blind spot for many years - names, logos, and visual brand presentation are very well established but many companies have yet to consider the brand impact that the personality or "persona" of an automated voice system can have on their business.

The virtual agent that best suits a company depends on what type of customers the business is targeting covering age, gender, and location; and the image they wish to promote such as: warm and caring; efficient and reliable; progressive and dynamic; fun and boisterous; and young and fresh.

By answering a few questions the Persona Survey helps companies identify a suitable persona from a small sample of the hundreds available from Fluency's catalogue.

Virtual agents provide a vital point of contact between companies and their customers and as such have the potential to either support or undermine that company's brand.

The last part of the process involves making the conversations seem as real as possible by introducing Earcons or non-speech audio.  These sounds communicate to the caller by giving them clear signals as to what is happening, such as a keyboard tapping sound when their information is being entered in a system.  This also allows brand reinforcement through audio "logos," music and other relevant sounds.

Successful speech applications allow callers to complete their transaction in the system, or transfer callers to a live agent as appropriate.

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