Smarter Voice Recognition Technology Will Cut Call Center Costs
Posted May 1, 2002

Dimension Data Holdings, a technology services company, is launching a new "smart" voice recognition technology to the UK marketplace that is able to interpret natural language sentences and provide intelligent responses to customer queries.

The new speech interaction software, called "Holly," can handle 40 percent of current contact centre applications at half the cost-per-call rate of employing a human agent. Driven by a market demand to reduce high-cost call center overheads, while maintaining customer service levels, Holly provides companies with a cost-efficient alternative to the human contact centre agent.

Holly provides a service that understands whole sentences and enables complex data to be read over the phone to customers. It can shorten call queues through interactive Holly Customer Service applications, which automate call center customer services such as bill payments, change of address, orders and account reporting. In addition, the Holly Content Portal provides speech-enabled phone access to a wide range of live-information feeds, such as stock market updates or weather updates.

Mike Cleugh, director of Customer Interactive Solutions at Dimension Data, commented: "Most companies are battling with trying to reduce costs without it having an impact on their customer retention and services. Touchtone technology has failed to enamor itself to callers, who are fed up with having to go through lengthy menu-based options to get simple information such as their bank balance. We believe the level of sophistication that Holly offers means that this technology will be embraced by the customer and will become a genuine contender for replacing the role of many human call centre agents."

Cleugh continues: "Growing demands on businesses, carriers and call centres make speech recognition the obvious choice to reduce costs, increase revenues and enhance customer services. I would go as far as to predict that contact centres as we know them today will be decimated within the next three to five years by the arrival of technology such as Holly."