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Companies Readying For The Leap To Speech

May 13, 2005

Speech technology is a funny thing...its potential is great, it certainly hasn't suffered from a lack of hype, but many companies are STILL dragging their feet when it comes to even experimenting with speech. According to Benchmark Portal, these companies may have reached the end of their dithering and are ready to make a commitment: According to their research, fifty percent of companies currently not using speech are considering implementing it within the next year. We're looking forward to see the market heating up.



Preliminary Results Indicate that Fifty Percent of Call Centers Not Currently Speech-Enabled Plan on Implementing Speech within the Next Year

SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 11, 2005 -- Edify® Corporation, a leading global supplier of voice and speech solutions, today announced it has joined forces with Purdue University’s Center for Customer-Driven Quality to determine best practices for deploying speech recognition systems. Dr. Jon Anton, Purdue University’s director of benchmark research and world’s leading expert in call center performance and best practices, is leading the study that will analyze the impact of speech recognition on customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and effectiveness in comparison to pure touch-tone operations. The study will determine speech recognition best practices by evaluating results of this exciting self-service technology on customer acceptance rates, satisfaction and cost benefits for touch-tone and speech recognition solutions.
As the adoption of speech-enabled self-service and open-based standards and technologies such as VoiceXML, SALT, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) continue to rise, it is imperative to gauge their impact on the industry. Equally as important from an industry perspective, is gaining an understanding of touch-tone based call centers and if the move to speech is part of their organizational plans, and if not, identifying their perceptions and barriers of speech in meeting their customer service goals.
"Speech is everywhere and call center professionals today are absorbing an ever-increasing amount of new information on how speech recognition can enhance customer service and reduce costs through self-service automation," said Dr. Jon Anton. "While offering a great perspective, organizations must glean from everyday real-world scenarios to fully understand the benefits of a well-designed speech solution and effectively benchmark their operational goals and metrics in either making their move to speech or enhancing their current speech solution."
BenchmarkPortal, Inc., in conjunction with its academic partner, the Center for Customer-Driven Quality at Purdue University, fielded the speech recognition survey to its International Benchmarking Community of thousands of call center professionals in 43 different industries worldwide. In 2005, BenchmarkPortal, Inc. received a U.S. Patent for its unique methodology of call center performance evaluation through metric gap analysis. After an initial set of questions to qualify the size of the organization and its call center volume, participants were guided into survey branches that included: 1) speech-enabled call centers, 2) touch-tone based call centers that plan on implementing speech within 12 months, and 3) touch-tone based call centers that do not have current plans to implement speech. All respondents were asked to report on key findings such as call usage and success rates, marketing and survey efforts, criteria for key solution selection as well as the impact on customer satisfaction, plus bottom-line costs and operational gains. At the end, they were asked to articulate the planned next steps in meeting their organizational goals.
"Establishing best practices is very important to further the adoption of speech and ensure companies get the most out of their speech and voice deployment," said Marie Jackson, vice president of marketing at Edify. "This benchmark report demonstrates that there is significant value in speech for companies of all sizes in all industries."
Dr. Jon Anton has also worked with Edify on his recently published book, "Enabling IVR Self-Service with Speech Recognition." Christopher "Blade" Kotelly, chief VUI designer and director of Edify Design Collaborative, wrote the foreword for the book focusing on best practices for designing voice user interfaces. Edify and Dr. Jon Anton will host a Web cast and report on the survey findings on May 18, 2005 at 9:00 a.m. Pacific. All participants will receive the full published report. To register visit
About BenchmarkPortal
BenchmarkPortal is the custodian of the Purdue University Center for Customer-Driven Quality database of contact center metrics, the largest in the world. It provides reports, products and services for contact centers in the areas of operational metrics, customer satisfaction measurement and agent satisfaction measurement. BenchmarkPortal's Web site can be found at: 

For additional information contact:
Susan Hampton
BenchmarkPortal, Inc.
(805) 614-0123 ext. 36

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