Article : Tips When Choosing Speech Technology
The potential applications of speech technologies and their ability to revolutionize the contact center industry is intriguing many managers as they pursue the ‘next big thing’ to keep their services at state-of-the-art levels. But how do you decide what is right for you and your center? Find out by reading these valuable tips from other contact center leaders and technology developers!
|"Be aware of the upfront time to design the dialog tree. TEST TEST TEST" < br > < br > - Lee Reinecke, Director, Sutherland, United States|
|"Ensure you have established you whole contact strategy. The technology is proven and in itself is not a differentiator. It is how you use the technology to enhance the expereince that really counts." < br > < br > - Howard Smith, Head of Technology Strategy for Customer Service, O2 UK, United Kingdom|
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|"Engage a good consultant who can provide an independent perspective. This technology is not widely used yet and it can be difficult to understand, which can detract from a customer and vendor forming a good partnership." < br > < br > - Steve Pels, Director, Contact Centre Action, Australia|
|"Choose a recognition solution that offers on the fly tuning and testing. Ensure there are options for IVR callers that cannot effectively navigate the speech recognition solution, due to accents, etc." < br > < br > - Scott Godin, Director of Research and Development, Computer Talk Technology (CTT), Canada|
|"Use checksums or similar redundancy to improve speech recognition performance" < br > < br > - Nigel Sedgwick, Director, Cambridge Algorithmica Limited, United Kingdom|
|"Unlike most other computerized technologies that deal with structured data Speech technology deals with unstructured data and human language which is ambiguous by nature. As with communication between humans, there can be many misunderstandings, but spoken language is still probably the most effective communication form, and speech technology, although not perfect, can add a tremendous amount of value and impact if applied and understood correctly." < br > < br > - D. Daniel Ziv, VP Voice of the Customer Analytics, Verint, United States|
|"Start with the end in mind. You really need to set some goals, both in terms of the cost-saving benefits (such as operational efficiency gains) and in terms of the customer experience gains. The customer experience will dictate the rate of adoption, acceptance and ongoing utilization, which will fuel the return on investment. So, focus on an initial assessment and ongoing measurement of the customer experience (not just the potential for cost-saving through a theoretical shortening of call duration or displacement of calls from agents) and make sure that the introduction of Speech will provide a suatainable benefit. In these difficult economic times, smart organisations will focus on customer retention - not just cost saving - and the great news is that Speech can help both." < br > < br > - Marlon Bowser, Managing Director, HTK, United Kingdom|
|"Buy a product where you can start by doing simple analysis and then advance as you get more familiar with the product’s capabilities." < br > < br > - Richard Snow, VP and Research Director, Ventana Research, United Kingdom|
|"Check available bandwidth for better quality and make sure QoS is implemented for VoIP" < br > < br > - Rupert Utteridge, Director - Sales & Marketing, Digital Techniques, Australia|
|"Find a good outsourced vendor, like Prosodie Interactive, who write hundreds of speech related applications. Companies like these have the experience and can cut the time to market and development costs to levels that are affordable as well as skim "trial and error" off the top of the development process." < br > < br > - Ross Krisel, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, IntelePeer, Inc., United States|
|"Be selective on which types of services you would like speech tehcnology to be enabled. The ROI of this type of investment needs to be clearly understood. < br > < br > Language applications are still not as robust as the english versions of these technologies. Although the learning systems work well, they still require a lot of manual intervention to fine tune which can be costly. < br > < br > Start off with English as a perferred language and build form there. < br > < br > Leverage of existing speech roll outs from other companies that could fast track the solution." < br > < br > - Chris Mills, Operations Director, Rewardsco Contact Centres, South Africa|
|"Very Important is to select an application which is scalable - it should be able to grow with the business, the ease of understanding and the ease of maintainance coupled with proper documented training modules which will complement a thorough understanding of the product." < br > < br > - Karl Graham, Vice President - regional and Telecommunications Markets, Xerox, Jamaica|
|"Understand the difference between speech recognition and voice recognition. Different vendors are better for each." < br > < br > - Harry Clarke, Business Development Director, CTL, United Kingdom|
|"Decide whether your requirements are tactical or startegic, different solutions will deliver results when deployed in different areas of the enterprise. Be very clear about how much time, effort and resource you are willing to commit to the project both before during and after deployment. Some speech technologies will "run themselves" but require a great deal of set-up and customisation, others require less effort initially but will require constant manpower to derive meaningful results." < br > < br > - Neil Barnes, Director, Io Speech Analytics Ltd, United Kingdom|
|"Ensure that you purchase a modular solution that meets the requirements of your organisation currently but that can be easily expanded when required and is easy and cost effective to upgrade or integrate with current and future equipment." < br > < br > - Sarah-Jane Heber-Hall, Operations Director, Computertel Ltd., United Kingdom|
|"Get it hosted...don't do premise based equipment...way too expensive. Start small and grow into it." < br > < br > - Greg Smart, Director of Product Development, NICE inContact, United States|
|"Some tips for managers are: < br > • Clearly define the mission of the contact center (e.g. Are you trying to drive a specific customer interaction, or improve a business process?). < br > • Have your speech analytics system handle tasks without your needing to know to ask the system to perform them. For example, an effective system could categorize calls to drive real business intelligence to help the manager make decisions in areas for which he did not know to look. < br > • Find a speech analytics system that can handle unstructured audio, in different languages, from different recorders. < br > • Choose a speech analytics system that can handle the capacity you need, at the speed you need voice content processed, for the lowest total cost of ownership with the highest return on investment." < br > < br > - Jeff Schlueter, VP, Marketing & Business Development, Nexidia, United States|
|""Try not to make a decision based on technology. If you are deciding which ‘engine’ is best for your deployment then you are probably missing the key factors that are likely to have the biggest influence on success. Instead you need to look at whether the supplier is experienced in successfully providing similar applications to the one you are looking to deploy. You also need to consider the full business impact of the solution, what agent and staff training is required and what appropriate business processes will be required to support it once it goes live. The speech application should be seen as only one part of the whole solution that is your contact centre. It should not be viewed as a ‘deploy and forget’ box that reduces call volume."" < br > < br > - Brett Feldon, General Manager, EMEA, Salmat, United Kingdom|
|"Always provide choice so a mix of quality well thought out voice applications supported by high quality live agents. Make sure the process works before attmpting to use speech automation" < br > < br > - Trevor Geraghty, Business Development Director, Difference Corporation, United Kingdom|
|"Keep it simple and shorten menu selection to an absolute minimum." < br > < br > - Andrew Kay, Director, Jersey|
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Published: Thursday, November 12, 2009
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