Magazine article CRM Magazine

Chatting Up Customers Down Under: A Telecommunications Company Combines Speech with CTI and Increases Customer Satisfaction, Agent Efficiency, and Self-Service Adoption as a Result

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Chatting Up Customers Down Under: A Telecommunications Company Combines Speech with CTI and Increases Customer Satisfaction, Agent Efficiency, and Self-Service Adoption as a Result

Article excerpt

It can be a logistical strain handling 24 million calls per year for a growing, yet complex base of products and services, especially when the company's frontline tool for customer service over the phone is no longer up to par. That was the issue facing Telecom New Zealand (TNZ). The telecom's portfolio features solutions

for several lines of business including residential, small enterprise, mobile, faults (trouble/repair), and broadband helpdesk. But by leveraging a homegrown touchtone app in efforts to provide support for complex solutions, customers had to navigate through an IVR maze. "We got to a point where we had a significant number of people choosing immediately to press zero to speak to an operator," says Jared Mortlock, speech implementation manager at TNZ. "We [saw] customer frustration as a key thing we [needed] to address."

To improve the customer experience, the telecom giant decided to inject speech into its contact center operations. Additionally, though, the company wanted a speech solution that would maximize its investment in Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories' CTI functionality. With the help of systems integrator and information communications technology specialist Gen-i (TNZ acquired Gen-i in 2004), the telecom tapped on-demand speech applications provider TuVox--more specifically, the TuVox Perfect Router, a natural language call-routing speech application.

The telecom outfit went live with its TuVox deployment in September 2006. The solution allows callers to say what they'd like to do and then routes them to the appropriate outlet, whether it's to the right agent or voice self-service module.

By incorporating speech into its call routing schema, Telecom New Zealand has realized notable returns. For starters, it bolstered customer satisfaction with its speech-driven call routing system threefold over that of its original touchtone routing solution: According to a survey of 400 customers who experienced speech immediately before speaking with an agent, 60 percent of customers revealed they were satisfied or very satisfied with speech, while only 16 percent had the same level of contentment from touch-tone IVR. …

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