Speech is Going Mainstream says Sabio

Sabio, the contact centre services and solutions company, believes that 2006 is seeing a major shift in the adoption and deployment of speech technology by UK contact centres. One of the key reasons for this shift, according to Sabio, is the growing number of UK organisations starting to deploy speech applications to support their core customer service processes. For many this is a fundamental change, as it involves moving beyond internal concerns such as potential cost savings or cutting the number of calls into the contact centre, and instead thinking about the suitability of a transaction for automation, and how likely customers might be to accept speech as an effective means of resolving their call.

“Every year for the last ten years, pundits have been busy predicting that the mainstream adoption of speech technology is just around the corner. This time, however, they’ve got it right! From our own project-based experience, we’re finding that more and more organisations are moving beyond initial speech trials to actually incorporating speech components into some of their core customer service processes,” commented Peter Galloway, Head of Sabio’s Voice Self-service Practice. “What’s making the difference here is that instead of just implementing the technology, the organisations who are getting it right are the ones who are addressing key customer service questions – such as ‘who are our customers’, ‘why are they calling us’, and ‘what’s the most appropriate way to handle this call?’

“At Sabio we’re one of the first solutions specialists to successfully help organisations address this change and, with major businesses such as Homeserve and Scottish & Southern Energy, we’re already helping them to extend their speech capabilities into other areas of their business after the success of their initial applications,” he continued.

Sabio is one of the few contact centre specialists to offer the three key elements essential for successful speech applications – a specialist speech design approach based on conversational techniques, the right persona and customer engagement strategies; business and systems integration skills, and the latest open standards-based technologies from organisations such as VoiceObjects, Nuance, Avaya and Genesys.

According to Peter Hauser, Sr Vice President and General Manager at Nuance International, a Sabio partner: “We’re focused on developing new and innovative speech solutions, and helping our customers realise the true value of this exciting technology. Every day, millions of users worldwide experience our solutions by calling directory enquiries, getting account information or dialling patient records. Our task, working in partnership with specialists such as Sabio, is to make each of these experiences as productive and compelling as possible.”

In addition to its specialist speech designers and business and systems integration capabilities, Sabio has strong partnerships with key speech technology providers across all the key speech components, including voice application management systems, IVR platforms, text-to-speech, automatic speech recognition and verification systems. It is this breadth of skills, coupled with in-depth support and consultancy skills, that ensures that Sabio is one of the few specialist Voice Self-service organisations to address speech solutions from an end-to-end perspective. Sabio has successfully implemented five major speech projects during the last year, with key customer service and business processes supported including meter reading, automated payment, call steering and managing field technicians.