• October 1, 2002
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

Personable Voice Messaging

Automated voice messaging for sales, marketing, and customer service campaigns do not have to be so impersonal. At least that is what SoundBite Communications Inc., based in Burlington, Mass., maintains. Today, SoundBite, maker of automated voice messaging solutions finalized a deal with its first call center partner, InBusiness TeleServices Inc, based in Batavia, Ill. The SoundBite solution can provide as many as 3,000 voice messages simultaneously for sales, marketing, and customer support campaigns -- a benefit that most interests Barbara Porter, president of InBusiness, which employs over 150 agents serving the energy industry. With the SoundBite voice messaging solution, InBusiness can perform such customer service functions as send out friendly payment reminders to customers and send telephone blasts to residents affected by power outages. "By being proactive and reaching out to customers in such a short time, it reduces the number of calls into your contact center," says Barbara Porter, president of InBusiness. The announcement comes on the heels of SoundBite's release of its SoundBite 3.0, released last month, which includes enhanced interactive voice messaging services for direct marketing and customer service campaigns. SoundBite 3.0 can verify and capture customer names, street addresses, and email addresses through voice recognition and speech-to-text technology. The information obtained can be sorted, analyzed, and processed for sales, marketing, and customer support campaigns. Additionally, the SoundBite solution can identify the difference between a live respondent and an answering machine and can quickly switch to the appropriate customized message. "We can offer best practices advice to our clients, which can answer the following questions: What voice works best? How long should the call be? (You have to get to the point in 15 seconds, because people don't want to listen if the message is too long.) We also have a hang up report and we'll stop a campaign midstream if we see a high hang up rate," says John McDonough, president and CEO of SoundBite. Moving forward, SoundBite executives expect to partner with an analytics company to "get a better sense of how customers respond to marketing campaigns," says Tom Gregory, vice president of marketing at SoundBite.
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