September 22, 2014
Nuance Introduces Human Element to Customer Service, Raises ROI for TalkTalk
By Miguel Leiva-Gomez
Customer service is often seen as a last resort for people who really have tried everything to solve their problems. Conversations with robots and being put on hold are two things that aren't exactly on everyone's “Things I Should Aspire to Today” list. The problem stems with how many steps people have to bear before actually getting to the solutions to their problems. Some companies have tried to address this by introducing robots that recognize speech. The success of these new intelligent systems vary from case to case—sometimes making things even more redundant.
Nuance (News - Alert) Communications, Inc. has addressed all of the issues above by introducing a robot that can understand natural speech. It's known as the Natural Language Call Steering solution. TalkTalk, one of the U.K.'s fastest-growing TV providers, was one of the most prominent companies to actually use this solution to try to make their customer service less of a hassle. The results have been pleasant, demonstrating not only a competent customer service experience that raises the bar significantly, but also one that manages to pay for itself.
Since becoming a customer of Nuance Communications (News - Alert), TalkTalk has managed to reduce misrouted calls by 16 percent and cut down on call time by an average of 26 seconds. This translates to savings of 3 million GBP (~ US$5 million). Calls were recognized much better, leading to a call recognition accuracy of 94 percent compared to their target of 70 percent. In terms of ROI, the solution paid for itself in roughly two and a half months.
TalkTalk's previous solution was unable to reach these targets mainly because customers had to jump through many hoops, having to listen to the options available to them before they could reply with their choices. Nuance's solution lets them speak with whatever words they choose. Its Call Steering robot will listen in and try to understand what each customer needs with a very special recognition engine.
Perhaps it's only a matter of time before robots will be able to intelligently comply with customer requests without needing an agent the majority of the time. Until then, Nuance Communications is steering us in the right direction.
Edited by Maurice Nagle