August 20, 2012
Interactions Corporation Empowers Customers to Speak in Their Own Words
By Rich Steeves
TMCnet Managing Editor
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: you call a contact center and its IVR picks up. It gives you a list of words or phrases you can say. You find yourself shouting them at the phone; over and over again, hoping the software will understand you. Well, if this frustration sounds familiar to you, then you will be happy to hear about Interactions Corporation, a company that allows customers to speak in their own words.
The company was incorporated in 2004 and then restructured in 2008. It brought on its first Fortune-class customer in 2009 and now boasts 15 Fortune 500 customers and a 100 percent retention rate. The company is experiencing tremendous growth, with its customer base growing by 100 percent and revenue by 150 percent, staff doubling and the office size tripling.
The secret to this growth is in the quality of the company’s solution and its business model. According to company officials, Interactions’ conversation systems improve customer experience and business economics, delivering on the promise of IVR. It allows customers to speak in their own words freeing them from having to change the way they speak.
The dynamic, proprietary, patented technology strives for “real-time human understanding” and boasts a high-90 percent accuracy rate. The platform is open-ended, allowing for multiple inquiries in one statement. It is also resilient to verbal disfluency, background noise and accents. It can also recognize alphanumeric codes such as e-mail addresses and account numbers.
Of course, the value proposition for this technology is in customer loyalty and increases to net promoter scores. The solution can bring an “all-knowing agent experience at the cost of technology.” By adjusting the ration of customer effort to customer engagement, Interactions can achieve a higher engagement index, which is good for companies and customers.
Another interesting feature of the Interactions platform is the ability to customize a different persona for each customer. A gaming company might want a hip, young voice, while a family entertainment company might want something friendly and a hotel chain might desire a virtual concierge.
But perhaps the most intriguing fact about Interactions Corp. has to do with its business model. With each company, it develops a set of criteria that represent a successful call, and then Interactions gets a fee for each success. This means that it is in Interactions’ best interest to fine tune its solution, forcing it to strive for a better product to achieve more success for the client, and therefore more money for itself. And in the end, that allows everyone from the end-user on up to be satisfied.
Not a bad goal, and a far cry from yelling in frustration at a typical IVR.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein