There was a lot of news in the interactive voice response (IVR) space this week – from tasty comparisons to announcements flying high. Let’s check out what’s new this week, shall we?
This week, we were given insight into customer service and how it compares to pizza – specifically, one Florida-based pizza place called Mellow Mushroom. When U.S. Major Shawn Fulker e-mailed his wife’s favorite pizza place from his base in Afghanistan to request that a pizza and gift card be sent to her and their five-year-old son for her birthday, the company collaborated to make it a special treat for them all, and at no cost.
This inspired Andy Hanselman, a leading figure in culture and customer relationships, to provide what he calls the six “ingredients of customer delight.” These include it producing a “wow” factor; it appearing spontaneous or unexpected; it has a personal touch; it makes the customer feel valued; it’s genuine; and it creates a ‘talking point.’ To read about the entire experience, check out the full story here.
In other news this week, one U.K.-based long-haul holiday company, Virgin Holidays, implemented IVR technology to improve its self-service customer experience. By providing its customers with an efficient automated payment option to complete such things as book holidays, add excursions and make future payments through its customer service department, the company saw a complete turn-around in customer satisfaction rates as well as overall efficiency.
“As the Virgin Holidays business grew, the organization decided to invest in new technology that could manage customer payments more efficiently and reduce the high cost associated with handling large volumes of credit and debit card payments manually in the contact center,” a statement explained.
Rounding out this week is news of CereProc, a text-to-speech (TTS) technology provider, who revealed this week its intention to further push the UK government to use TTS to improve public services in 2013, including such areas as education. “Challenged by the perceived stigma attached to using communication aids, together with the lack of engagement toward traditional synthetic voices that deliver speech using stark, unnatural and unfamiliar sounding accents, had resulted in a general unwillingness to make use of artificial voices and TTS technologies,” the statement explains.
“Put simply, accessibility is fundamental to the healthy existence and growth of the U.K. We would urge governing bodies to push forward accessibility as a key part of the public sector agenda and to support - or at the very least explore - text to speech and other advanced technologies as effective tools to improve accessibility to all public sector services and resources,” adds Chris Pidcock, chief voice engineer at CereProc.
That’s going to do it for this week’s IVR news, but be sure to check back in same time next week for all of the latest in the space. Have a great weekend!