Does Every Business Need Speech?

Communication is the one thing every business hinges on. Just think about it. To open a business, the first thing you do is order a telephone number from the local telephone company. Then, as soon as you’re open for business, answering incoming calls becomes critical to your success. Answering the phones is just the beginning. You buy a voice mail system to take messages when employees are away from the office. You buy a fax machine so they don’t need to wait for the postal service. The next requirement is an email server so they can communicate anytime. As you begin to communicate (answering calls, making calls, leaving messages, returning calls, sending and receiving emails and faxes), you begin to loose track–so you finally buy a CRM package. You then keep all your important contacts inside a database including all the “communication details” such as name, title, telephone number, mobile number, fax number, email address, etc. The problem is that most business owners, especially small business owners bought each piece of technology (telephone system, voice mail, fax machine, email server and customer relationship (CRM) package) without any view towards how these devices work together. Yet, all of the devices were purchased for one common reason–to communicate. Communication becomes the lifeblood of your business. Your clients must be able to communicate with you and your staff and you must be able to respond immediately. The better your communication, the more profit you will make. Herein lies the great opportunity for speech recognition. Every business needs speech recognition to facilitate “better communication”. So how can speech technology improve communication for business? These are the five basic communication needs of any successful business, and speech technology can assist will all of them. This is where the rubber meets the road-the basic communication tasks that must be accomplished everyday, no matter what. 1st – Receiving Calls
Speech recognition can be used as a virtual receptionist to answer incoming callers in a friendly human voice. Callers merely say the name of the person or department they wish to speak with to get connected immediately. Speech-activated call processing solutions sound and work just like a real human operator, which allows you to utilize workers in more productive tasks. 2nd – Making Calls
Speech recognition can be used as a virtual phone book. Simply call your own number, enter your password and then say the name of the person you want to call. Your speech-activated virtual secretary can look up the number and dial it for you immediately. You no longer need an address book or a calling card. 3rd – Managing Messages
Speech recognition can be used to organize all your messages including voice mail, fax and email. Just call your voice-activated secretary and say, “check for new messages.” You can pick up your voice mail, read your email, send replies, and redirect faxes and more–all by simple voice commands. 4th – Accessing Data
Speech recognition can be used to access corporate data via phone. Call your own number, enter your password, and tell your virtual secretary what information you need. You can look up a contact record, get a street address, dial a telephone number, check your calendar, and schedule an appointment and more. Best of all, you can do it from your mobile phone. No laptop required. 5th – Collaborating with others
Speech recognition can link all your contacts, messages and information together into a single voice loop. Now, you can copy any message you receive (voice mail, fax or email) to anyone you know–just by saying their name. You can share information, collaborate with staff members, schedule meetings or speak live. Speech Recognition is the key to unlock the door to better communication. Michael D. Metcalf is the CEO and founder of Sound Advantage. He can be reached at metcalf@soundadvantage.com.
SpeechTek Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues