Fluency Sits at the Heart of First Resort's Booking System

Fluency Voice Technology, the UK's provider of speech recognition technology, has launched a system with The First Resort, one of the UK's independent holiday retailers to provide an advanced speech recognition and call routing technology solution to its Manchester call center.

The Fluency solution addresses the travel industry-wide problem of low call conversion. Low call conversion means high labor costs per booking.

The First Resort's Fluency solution qualifies callers up front enabling reduced call handling time and therefore lower direct cost per booking. Rapid call handling is also important as the First Resort handles calls for the Sky television channel Sky Travel. Sky brings in calls in large peaks due to the nature of direct response television.

The Fluency solution can handle more than 500 calls per hour, capturing key information and routing them swiftly to the appropriate agent or into voicemail for later call-back. Intelligent queue management has reduced the average in-bound call time by over two minutes. This provides significant cost savings. The time saving comes from determining a customer's fundamental requirements such as numbers of passengers and airport origination and destination prior to them talking to a sales agent.

As part of the launch, Fluency carried out an in-depth survey of how people feel about speech recognition technology, with more than 2,000 calls analyzed and the callers interviewed. The results showed that 93 percent of calls were handled successfully and that there was little resistance to the introduction of speech recognition technology.

The key finding was that 85 percent of callers would be happy to use the system if it reduced queue times and put them through to the right person the first time.

David Wolfe, CEO of The First Resort commented, "Transforming calls into sales whilst maintaining a pleasant customer experience is a priority for The First Resort. There is nothing more infuriating for customers than waiting for their call to be answered. Combining the latest speech recognition technology with an advanced call prioritisation and routing systems is an essential part of our customer relationship management strategy."

Paul Barnes CEO of Fluency Voice Technology added, "Losing a customer is detrimental for any business today; especially for businesses such as The First Resort whose call centre sales are a fundamental part of the company's ongoing success. Working closely with The First Resort, we've designed a call handling system that is intelligent enough to prioritise revenue-generating customers and ensure other customers' needs are met with a fast and effective response. The First Resort expects 100 percent pay back in six months."

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