Northern Ireland Electricity Powers Up Customer Service

VoiceObjects, a provider of adaptive self-service phone portals, and SpeechStorm, the provider of speech recognition solutions, have joined forces to deliver a speech-based self-service portal to all Northern Ireland Electricity Supply (NIE) customers. The service will provide automated, telephone-based customer service twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week, and ensure customers get direct access to services at a time that suits them.

NIE initially identified a number of key services for automation using the VoiceObjects-powered SpeechStorm solution, including account inquiries, payments, and the set-up of direct debits. Callers are now pre-identified by the system using their account number and, once authenticated, are presented with account details, such as current balance and last payment information.

Retaining customers is essential during difficult market conditions, and customer experience is business-critical for NIE, according to Jim Clendinning, NIE service development manager.

“It is imperative that we offer high-quality and efficient customer service by phone,” said Clendinning. “For many of our customers, the phone is the main way to contact us. The solution from VoiceObjects and SpeechStorm means we can offer a service which minimizes call waiting times and enables our customer service agents to deal with more complex inquiries. We also expect to see an increase in the efficiency with which calls are handled. I was impressed with the quality of the system from the team and the no-fuss approach brought to the project.”

A key component of SpeechStorm’s hosted platform and the NIE solution is the VoiceObjects Server – Network Edition, a phone application server that enables highly scalable, carrier-grade deployment and management of personalized, over-the-phone voice, video, text, and Web self-service applications, meeting the cluster management and multi-tenancy needs of service providers.