Nuance and Aspect Solution Benefits United Kingdom's Royal Mail
MENLO PARK, CA and SAN JOSE, CA - Nuance (Nasdaq:NUAN) and Aspect Communications Corporation (Nasdaq:ASPT) announced that the United Kingdom's Royal Mail has reduced call handling costs for its Track & Trace (T&T) delivery tracking service by investing in Aspect(R) Customer Self-Service with speech recognition by Nuance. The software automates the processing of 80,000 calls a month, putting it on track to handle approximately a million calls for Royal Mail during its first year of use -- around half of all calls to the T&T service. Royal Mail expects that by offloading work from its customer service advisors, the self-service technology will reduce its T&T call handling costs by about 25 percent. "It's been a huge success," said Andy Fergusson of Prism Alliance, which is managing the T&T service project on behalf of Royal Mail. "We planned that about 40 percent of calls could be automated using a speech application, and the actual figure has been even higher. Aspect and Nuance worked hard to understand our business objectives and delivered the service efficiently and on time." The T&T service enables customers to track the delivery status of packages sent via Royal Mail's Special Delivery services both domestically and internationally. Customers can check on whether items are processed, in transit or held for collection -- as well as on the time and date of delivery. Royal Mail first introduced T&T as a "live advisor" service in 1993 and added a self-service Web application in the late 1990s. Making use of the same database resources, Royal Mail added the self-service voice application from Aspect with speech recognition by Nuance on to its functioning T&T Web servers. "Our customers are always seeking ways to improve their contact center efficiency, particularly given the current economic climate," said Geoff Eagland, senior manager, Aspect Communication's UK operations. "Most of them recognize, however, that a balance exists between operational efficiency and reputation maintenance, brand and good customer service. Well-designed speech-driven solutions, such as the one recently implemented at Royal Mail, deliver this balance to the mutual benefit of the organization and its customers." "Automated speech options are the next natural step beyond live agents in the contact center," said Lynda Smith, Nuance's chief marketing officer. "Self-service can make a huge, positive difference to the customer experience as well as to the return on contact center investment. The benefits offered by speech-driven self-service, both to customers and to the business itself, are difficult to ignore. Companies running contact centers may find themselves left behind unless they move quickly to harness the power of speech recognition as part of their overall service strategies."