Georgia Tourism Voicemails Transcribed to Emails

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The speech-to-text transcription is easy to understand and usually flawless. But, should she have a question, Perry can log in to the voicemail system and listen to the original voicemail message. Perry can also request manual transcription should she ever be dissatisfied with the results, though that need has never arisen, she says.

She deletes the individual voicemail messages and emailed transcriptions after she has returned calls.

30 Seconds to Answer

Of the 12 facilities that Georgia Tourism operates, only 11 actually receive calls. Staff members at the Visitor Information Center at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport don’t man the phones. “They have enough to do answering people’s questions at the airport,” Perry says.

The 11 centers that answer calls are each ranked within a three-tiered system according to size, call volume, and type of question. Perry’s Savannah, Ga., location and two others are designated as first-tier centers, making them the first to receive calls. Calls to the first-tier centers ring simultaneously.

If staff members at any of those three centers can’t answer within 10 seconds, the call rolls to the four centers in the second tier—where again the calls ring in at the same time. If all of the employees at those facilities are busy, calls go to the four centers in the third tier. Calls that can’t be answered within 30 sections automatically go to voicemail, which is transcribed to email and appears almost immediately in Perry’s inbox.

“We check on that and get right back to the caller,” she says.

The tiered rolling system allows staff members to answer questions without interruption and to quickly get back to callers who have left voicemail messages, she adds.

The Summit system also includes a reporting feature that depicts in a spreadsheet the number of calls logged daily, weekly, and monthly, as well as the time spent on each call. Also included is the number of after-hours voicemails-to-emails the center received.

Though the number of calls that come in each day varies, the spreadsheet feature allows Perry to look at call volume from week to week or month to month to find seasonal spikes or increased volumes associated with certain state events. Center representatives then know they’ll be busier at those times, she says.

Because the integrated voice response application is hosted in the cloud, Georgia Tourism also saves money because it doesn’t need a dedicated IT staff for system upkeep or maintenance.

If Georgia Tourism experiences spikes in call volumes, the Summit system allows leaders there to make changes to call routing in real time without any disruption to their business, says Mark Roberts, chief marketing officer at ShoreTel. Calls could automatically be routed to tier-two centers, bypassing the first tier, for example.

“With ShoreTel Summit, businesses of all types and sizes can create communications apps that enhance customer service and employee productivity,” Roberts said in a statement. “Summit brings together ShoreTel’s proven telephony expertise with developer-friendly tools, SMS and voice APIs, and built-in application hosting so it is fast, painless, and cost-effective for companies to build highly scalable apps.”

Georgia Tourism’s application lives directly on the Summit platform, which eliminates the time-consuming back and forth of HTTP requests, Roberts adds. Summit also offers APIs to support back-end integrations and other near-real-time activities.

But for now, Perry isn’t looking to add anything else. “We don’t plan to change anything with this new system because it’s working great for us,” she says. 

App at a Glance

Since implementing Shoretel Summit in its 11 call centers, Georgia Tourism has seen the following results:

  • calls not answered by tier-one facilities in the first 10 seconds are transferred to tier-two support automatically, and calls not answered by tier-two support in 10 seconds are automatically transferred to tier-three support;
  • all calls are answered within 30 seconds or they are automatically routed to voicemail;
  • 1,200 to 1,500 calls can be answered per month without outside help; and
  • huge savings have occurred by eliminating out-of-state back-up agents and IT support teams.

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