• April 1, 2007
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Tech Solution: Speech-Enabled IVRs

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According to recent studies, when customers require personal assistance or are looking for specific information. Companies are investing in telephone-based self-service solutions to help manage CSRs' workloads. IVR allows agents to focus on pressing customer matters, thereby reducing costs, agent wait times, and customer frustration. The Web continues to gain in importance--vendors are focused on integrating Web self-service with speech by building solutions using open standards that leverage technology like VoiceXML, VoIP, and SOA standards.

Aspect Customer Self-Service (CSS)

Delivery Model: installed software

Price: Price starts at $1,000 per seat.

Business Benefits: Aspect CSS reduces costs by automating many routine customer interactions and provides customers with personalized customer service by integrating self-service applications with contact center and enterprise data sources. It provides CSRs with basic customer interaction data like contact information and account history, and can improve customer satisfaction with automated outbound applications.

Functionality: Aspect CSS uses an intuitive drag-and-drop design that synthesizes steps into a few guided directions and can deliver many kinds of information to customers automatically using text-to-speech. For security, CSS has voiceprint identification, eliminating the need for customers to enter PINs and other identification numbers. The platform is VoiceXML certified and integrates with front- and back-office databases, which include data lookup and retrieval by connecting with the Aspect Enterprise Contact Server. CSS also provides a bridge to VoIP by supporting traditional PSTN connectivity, as well as VoIP on the same platform.

Contact: Aspect at 978-952-0200; or visit www.aspect.com.

Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal

Delivery Model: installed software

Price: Per-port price is $750.

Business Benefits: Unified Customer Voice Portal (UCVP) helps companies align the contact center with their business strategy by ensuring personalized service to each customer via a voice self-service application. When agent assistance is required UCVP transfers information to the live agent-- companies can reduce customer frustration and leverage individual customer interactions to their fullest.

Functionality: The solution is standards-based and uses VoiceXML so companies can integrate the telephony channel with their Web self-service solutions to provide access to the same information over the phone as through a Web or microbrowser. Enhanced management and reporting software allows for centralized management of larger, distributed deployments and enhanced visibility into self-service performance against business metrics.

Contact: Cisco at 800-553-6387; or visit www.cisco.com.

VoiceObjects 6

Delivery Model: installed software

Price: Pricing begins at $500 per port.

Business Benefits: VoiceObjects 6 lets companies create personalized IVR interactions over the phone for each caller, reducing call waiting times and call center costs and improving CSR effectiveness. These caller-specific conversations provide opportunities to cross- and upsell. This phone-apps server is a scalable environment that can process millions of calls using open standards technology.

Functionality: VoiceObjects 6 supports VoiceXML, allowing customers to generate personalized dialogues for each caller. An application execution environment supports remote management and monitoring of multimodel apps, online application maintenance for alterations or rollbacks, and high availability.

Contact: VoiceObjects at 650-288-0299; or visit www.voiceobjects.com.

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