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IVR - Speech Technology in Today's Call Center Industry: Benefits, Consequences and Everything In-Between
August 13, 2012

Speech Technology in Today's Call Center Industry: Benefits, Consequences and Everything In-Between

By Allison Boccamazzo, TMCnet Web Editor

Last week, the hot topic was how to protect your call center with a combination of IVR and voice-activated systems such as voice biometrics and a PIN. It was concluded that while a self-service IVR system is complimentary to a running an optimally protected call center, it’s not the end-all solution. By combining IVR with voice biometrics and a PIN, it is guaranteed that customers are who they say they are, and likewise, their credit card transactions will remain secure via the IVR system. Now, it’s on to the next piece of the puzzle – the after-effects of implementing IVR and speech technology to the call center, including the benefits of doing so and the consequences of shrugging off the dire need for full protection.

 So how does integrating these three voice and speech technologies work to create the ultimate protected call center? I was able to speak with David Baker, VP of Sales, Servion, Inc., where he exclusively detailed the second half of this mystery to me.

By applying a self-service IVR system, the omission of a human agent will create better benefits. Baker said, “By implementing a self-service IVR system it takes away the human error factor when placing an order over the phone with a live agent and gives the caller more piece of mind when having to do a credit card transaction. It also frees up agents to handle the more pressing customer service calls like ‘I placed an order last week and the IVR told me it would be delivered yesterday but I have not received the item yet and it is my daughter’s birthday today.’”

The benefits of this IVR combination are clear, but what should you do when fraud still hits? No one system can be perfect, and so it’s always good to keep an open mind and stay informed by doing some research. Lucky for us, Baker has come prepared with some regarding the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the severe consequences which can ensue for not adhering to its established regulations.

FINRA stands as the largest independent securities regulator in the U.S. whose sole responsibility and goal is to protect investors by maintaining the fairness of the U.S. capital markets, as explained on the company’s website. Needless to say, it doesn’t seem too smart to get on these guys’ bad side.

“When someone breaks the rules, FINRA is there to help,” he explained. “They have put into strict enforcement programs to those individuals and brokers who have harmed investors.”

Just last year alone, FINRA successfully barred 329 individuals and suspended 475 brokers from association with FINRA-regulated firms. Even more, they handed out fines totaling more than $63 million, ordering $19 million in restitution to be paid to harmed investors.

“FINRA has also gotten tougher when it comes to fighting fraud,” Baker concluded. “They have implemented many programs to help uncover those individuals who are doing harm to the consumers. By creating the Office of the Whistleblower and the Office of Fraud Detection and Market Intelligence, FINRA is more prepared to determine those frauds which are potentially serious.”

The battle against fraud has been well underway, and it seems that consumers can take a deep breath knowing that the proper precautionary measures are being taken to ensure their safety and peace of mind – just one more way IVR ensures unparalleled success!

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Edited by Jamie Epstein

Technology Marketing Corporation

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