The Balancing Act: Using Touch-tone And Speech

Kaiser, Lizanne
November 2004
Business Communications Review;Nov2004, Vol. 34 Issue 11, p58
Trade Publication
The article discusses speech recognition technology. Speech recognition technology is advancing rapidly, and today companies are looking toward speech to provide a higher level of customer service than traditional touch-tone phone systems can offer. The acceptance rate of speech recognition among consumers is also growing. In fact, 85 percent of people say that speech is easier to use than touch-tone, and 90 percent feel that speech adds value to phone-based transactions. Speech allows automated systems to leverage a caller's natural ability for language and conversation to provide a better, more natural customer experience. The intent is not to fool callers into thinking they're speaking with a real person, but to avoid "deal breakers" points where the dialogue flow becomes so awkward or unnatural that the caller begins focusing more on the system than on the interaction they need to accomplish. When creating a contact center system that will incorporate both speech and touch-tone inputs,companies need to design for speech first, and then incorporate touch-tone into the design as a secondary feature.


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