Nuance Powers Turkish Airline Applications

As further indication of how speech technologies in general, and interactive voice response (IVR) systems in particular, are becoming ubiquitous, Pegasus this week became the first Turkish airline to adopt a speech application for handling flight information calls. The airline will power its new Customer Information Portal with Nuance Communications’ advanced speech recognition and text-to-speech technology

Working with VIASES, a Turkish-language IVR service, the system currently provides basic flight information for callers. Callers state their destination, departure point, and date of flight to quickly access their flight information. This allows Pegasus to free up human agents for more complicated queries, such as purchasing tickets, reservations, and travel advice, all services which are expected to be added into the IVR’s capabilities within the next year or so.

The system was developed by Speechouse, using Nuance’s speech recognition and synthesis engines.  Speechouse, guided by Nuance, oversaw the project and developed the applications. To build an effective IVR, Speechouse first analyzed call volumes and recorded calls over a four-month period.  

On average, the call center handles roughly 8,000 to 9,000 calls per day, yet productivity is hindered due to a dynamic and unpredictable call volume. "By pre-qualifying the calls made to the call center a significant proportion of them are now handled by speech-enabled IVR," Güliz Öztürk, operations manager of Pegasus Airlines, said in a statement.  "The voice solution has enabled Pegasus Airlines to increase its productivity and boost customer satisfaction, while at the same time optimizing costs."

Caller satisfaction levels have so far been high, with end-customers able to retrieve their information quickly and without being placed on hold.  "The application of IVR proves the business benefit of speech technology, and the value it can return back to the business in a very short time-frame," says Steve Miller, senior vice president and general manager of Nuance International.

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