News : Optus Powers Up Self-service
March 12, 2012 -- Optus has signed up Nuance Communications to power its new and improved My Optus app that gives the telco’s customers greater control when it comes to keeping an eye on their account usage or paying bills on their smartphone.
The app runs on Nuance Mobile Care (NMC) software and also gives customers the option to get directly in touch with Optus and chat live with an agent. As Optus’ digital media director Austin Bryan puts it the app is designed to "keep pace with the rapidly changing needs and expectations of our customers".
It is currently available for the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S/SII and other selected handsets, including the Nokia E71, Nokia E63 and Huawei X1.
The idea of self service is starting to gain a lot of traction in Australia with a recent study by Nuance Communications stating that almost 76 per cent of Australians prefer not to deal with humans when it comes to transactions and support. One of the major drawcards for this push to self-service is the growth in smartphones and mobile technologies, with customers unlikely to put up with lengthy wait times and poorly designed contact centres.
Nuance’s Australia and New Zealand managing director Peter Chidiac says that while self-service applications have been around for a while today’s customers are a lot savvier when it comes to using them effectively.
According to Chidiac, that’s an opportunity for businesses, particularly in the telco space where the competition is fierce.
Optus has managed to get the jump on rival Telstra with the launch of the app, while Vodafone got the ball rolling on its "My Vodafone Australia" app, that lets post-paid customers view their usage, earlier this year. Telstra is reportedly working on its own app, so expect to hear something from the telco on that front pretty soon.
This is the first use of NMC in the Asia Pacific region and is unlikely to be last. The technology combined with the shift in customer behaviour towards self-service is likely to make it an attractive prospect for a number of sectors, such as financial services and insurance, and we could just be at the tip of the iceberg here.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Nuance Communications (NASDAQ: NUAN) is a provider of voice and language solutions for businesses and consumers around the world. Its technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with information and how they create, share and use documents. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance’s proven applications.
SingTel Optus Pty Limited is the second largest telecommunications company in Australia, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Telecommunications. The company primarily trades under the Optus brand, while maintaining several wholly owned subsidiary brands, such as Virgin Mobile Australia and Boost Mobile in the mobile telephony market, Uecomm in the network services market and Alphawest in the ICT services sector.
Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2012