Survey: Consumers Seven Times More Likely to Respond to Outbound Speech Than SMS


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London, UK – September 22nd , 2008 – SpeechStorm, ( , the specialist provider of speech self-service solutions for contact centres, has today revealed the results of an Environment Agency survey into proactive outbound notifications i.e. where a text message (SMS) or an automated phone call is used to proactively contact customers. The Environment Agency commissioned the survey to contact a selection of its small business customers and measure the effectiveness of SMS messaging versus outbound phone messaging to raise awareness of their Internet services.

Working in partnership with outsourced contact center provider Teleperformance and using SpeechStorm’s Proactive Notification Suite the Environment Agency surveyed a sample of 250 customers using automated voice technology by phone and 250 using text messages. In each case the customer was alerted about new legislation and given a ‘call to action’ to find out more information online. The survey found that consumers are seven times more likely to act in response to a speech rather than an SMS notification.

Proactive outbound notifications allow companies to contact their customers with relevant, timely information steering away inbound calls from the contact centre and boosting the customer experience. By proactively contacting customers with appointment reminders, repair status, urgent notifications or other matters, companies directly improve the service they are giving to their customers. Furthermore, notifications via a speech recognition channel can be highly interactive and can easily offer seamless transfer to live agents. So, for example an outbound call to notify someone of an insurance policy expiry could also offer an option to renew and transfer the customer direct to an agent to complete that transaction.

SpeechStorm is currently planning the introduction of proactive outbound notifications for a large telecommunications company that will offer issues resolutions, order tracking updates, customer satisfaction surveys and case closures.

But outbound voice communications not only benefit the company and customer they also reap benefits for the environment by helping to minimise the corporate and individual carbon footprint. The Environment Agency survey showed that only a handful of participants said they preferred paper. All others raised no concern or complaint around contact media.

SpeechStorm’s portfolio of inbound and outbound speech recognition applications provides a complete facility for contact centres looking to enhance build customer loyalty as well as reduce their carbon footprint. Outbound Notifier™ provides a complete facility to generate automated outbound calls to present important messages or ask vital questions of your customers. When combined with SpeechStorm’s Identification and Verification (ID&V) and bill payment applications, it provides a robust self serve to follow up on outstanding payments and allows your customer to complete payment without the intervention of an agent.

Oliver Lennon is CEO of SpeechStorm and comments, “Outbound Communications now play a key role in cost effective customer service enhancement strategies as they deliver a positive, personal and proactive service and increase goodwill among customers. The Environment Agency survey results show how positively consumers endorse speech based notifications and we are delighted to have been part of that success.”

About SpeechStorm
SpeechStorm provides speech self-service and voice biometrics solutions that work alongside the contact centre, enabling callers to get what they need, faster and at their own convenience. Using the SpeechStorm inbound and outbound speech solutions suite, contact centres across the world are transforming their phone based customer relationships, reducing costs and improving service levels.

Organisations including Irish telecoms giant, eircom, Dixons Stores Group International, SITA Suez and Northern Ireland Electricity rely on SpeechStorm solutions to underpin their contact centres and to improve the performance of their businesses. Backed by a professional services capability of more than 250 consultants, SpeechStorm is part of Kainos Software Limited, a leading IT consulting company. SpeechStorm has offices in the UK and Ireland.

For more information please visit the corporate website on .

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