Voice recognition technology may already be helping the typing-impaired at your company, but now it can connect customers to the proper extension.
The whole application is software, says Walt Nawrocki, president and CEO of Registry Magic, a manufacturer of speech recognition technologies. It allows the user to either displace an operator or have an operator or person answering the phones work on something else. The software can take on almost all of the calls though we never recommend completely getting rid of humans.
When a call is picked up by the software, it asks the person to state the name of the person or department they want to talk to. If it doesnt understand, it will ask again. The system sometimes does not recognize heavy accents, and there are always times when callers do not know which person or department they need to talk to. In those cases, the call is deferred to a human operator.
The pronunciation can be reasonably far off and still have it hit by the software, says Nawrocki. The software has different dialects built into it: Texas, Georgia, Boston and Midwestern. Because people from these regions pronounce names differently, and because the system has all four dialects built in, it can take the phonetics from all and pick up on mispronounced names.
Common versions of mispronounced names can be entered into the system to give the software a better chance of matching the name, and the computer will read back names entered to show you what it is listening for.
It really works much better than the numeric systems, says Nawrocki. Everyone is tired of the touch tone business. You generally know who it is you want to talk to. If you dont know their extension, and many times you cant spell their name, there is a lot of potential frustration there.
The system can also be used internally. The caller picks up the phone, presses one button, then says the name of the person they want to reach, even if that person works in another location. It can also be configured to offer multiple choices for one person, such as desk phone, pager or cellular phone.
Costs run between $10,000 and $13,000 for a turnkey solution that runs on a standard PC, which is included in the price.
How to reach: call (888) 762-4428, or go to www.registrymagic.com.
Todd Shryock (firstname.lastname@example.org) is SBNs special reports editor.