Study Shows Speech Satisfies a Broad Consumer Market

MENLO PARK, CA - Nuance (Nasdaq:NUAN) unveiled the results of a groundbreaking survey focused on consumer use and satisfaction with speech solutions. Commissioned by Nuance, and conducted by Harris Interactive (Nasdaq:HPOL), a worldwide market research and consulting firm, the survey confirms that speech systems are playing an important role in the everyday lives of consumers. In fact, 41 percent of U.S. consumers reported using a speech system such as a voice-enabled bill pay or flight information line within the past three months. Among this group, 66 percent said they encounter speech systems on a regular basis. Additionally, 61 percent rated their most recent speech encounter as "highly satisfying," with more than 70 percent describing speech as "easy to use and understand, convenient and accessible." "This Harris Interactive study shows how important speech has become to consumers as a way of accessing information, and to companies looking to improve customer service," said Chuck Berger, president and CEO of Nuance. "One of the most interesting aspects of the study is how people viewed the companies that employ speech systems. 'Progressive,' 'innovative,' 'creative,' and 'reliable' were just a few of the overwhelmingly positive words chosen to describe the enterprises and telecommunications service providers that use speech recognition." The survey also revealed that nine out of 10 consumers view speech recognition as a preferable automation solution to touch-tone, with 93 percent saying they merely "tolerate" or even "hate" touch-tone systems. It's no surprise, then, that more and more corporations are turning to voice-driven self-service solutions to manage their enormous volumes of customer interactions without compromising customer satisfaction. From the most frequently engaged telecommunications and financial services speech systems, to applications deployed by utilities, healthcare, retail and travel industries, speech self-service solutions have become relatively commonplace. "Since this survey drew responses from among the total population, and not merely from among users of specific speech systems, it presents a broad and more objective picture of consumers' experiences with voice-driven systems," said Gordon Black, chairman and CEO of Harris Interactive. The survey was conducted online within the U.S. in March 2003 among a nationwide cross section of 326 adults ages 18 and over who had completed a transaction using a words/phrases speech recognition program within the past three months. Figures for age, sex, race, income, education and region were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. In theory, with probability samples of this size, one could say with 95 percent certainty that the results have a statistical precision of plus or minus five percentage points of what they would be if the entire adult population had been polled with complete accuracy. This online survey is not a probability sample. Click below to see Nuance's study ... Complete Document

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