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Article : Why Speech Recognition Is Set To Make A Major Impact On The Financial Sector

Did you know that calls handled by speech recognition can cost up to 90% less than those handled by a live agent?

Increasingly, Australian companies are reaping the benefits that speech recognition can bring in terms of cost savings and enhanced customer service.

Already widely used by a variety of companies to allow customers to call a cab, find out what movies are showing or place bets over the phone, the technology is now set to have a significant effect on the financial sector. Instead of navigating their way through complex touchtone IVR menus, customers will simply be able to say what they need – from requesting a balance to buying and selling stocks and shares.

Based on a combination of software algorithms and hardware, speech recognition understands words and interprets them within the context of a phrase or sentence. It's often used with text-to-speech (TTS) technology, which produces synthetic speech from digitally stored text.

Australian companies have been quick to pick up on the benefits of the technology, often adopting it far earlier than neighbouring countries in the region.

One of the key benefits of speech recognition is that it allows a high proportion of customer requests to be handled without the intervention of an operator. As well as reducing the cost of call handling by up to 90%, it frees up contact centre staff so they can focus on more complex queries. Importantly, it can also reduce churn, by taking away the need for agents to repeat monotonous information, day in, day out.

Initially used as the basis for interactive voice response (IVR) systems, speech recognition provides a more flexible interface than fixed menus and allows customers to access the information they want, when they want it.

Using TTS, information can be readily updated in real time, presenting the customer with the most up to date data – perfect for stock quotes. In the fields of banking, insurance and share dealing, these new technologies enable over the phone transactions to be carried out with appropriate levels of identification and security.

About Aculab:
Through a customer focused approach to development, Aculab have produced a computer telephony (CT) product portfolio that satisfies the DSP resource and global digital connectivity requirements of developers and system integrators. CT applications utilising Aculab's components can handle real time telephony, through an extensive range of resources and signaling systems.

Today's Tip of the Day - Don’t Allow Scapegoats

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Published: Thursday, May 29, 2003

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