Quarter of a Million Comet Customers Comfortable Using SpeechStorm’s Automated Self-Service Solution for Delivery Checking


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- Comet’s decision to boost customer choice with an optional phone self-service solution pays dividends –

Belfast & London – July 14th, 2009 – SpeechStorm, (www.speechstorm.com), the specialist provider of phone self-service solutions, has today announced that Comet, one of the UK’s largest electrical retailers has boosted customer choice with the successful introduction of an automated self-service system to handle delivery enquiries. So far, the system has been used by close to 250,000 of its customers, delivering operational improvements, improved customer choice and freeing up agents to handle more time consuming calls.

Comet took its place amongst the Top 50 Call Centres for Customer Service late last year, a campaign that was created to highlight customer service excellence and transform the public perception of the contact centre industry. Keeping a close eye on the needs of its customers was foremost in Comet’s mind when it chose SpeechStorm’s phone self service solution to handle customer delivery and store locator enquiries. Far from a desire to reduce choice and direct calls away from its call centre, the system was installed to enable those customers who want to self-serve, the option to do so and enjoy the resulting benefits of speed and 24-hour service.

Simon Parkinson, General Manager, Customer Information Centre at Comet spearheaded the drive to implement a phone self-service solution to help deliver a broad-based customer service improvement programme leveraging speech self service solutions. “We are delighted with the success and customer take up of the phone self service solution, particularly for delivery enquiries where over 80% are now handled by the automated service. We have been very careful and tactical in our use of automation. It is always implemented as choice and never mandatory and used that way, it genuinely gives the customer the option to choose it if they want to. The 250,000 callers that have chosen automation are using it with ease and our surveys tell us they enjoy and like it.”

Comet made the decision to standardise on SpeechStorm late in 2008. “From our first meeting we knew that we could partner with SpeechStorm. Quite simply they knew what they were talking about and were frank and open and were able to support all of our requirements both now and in the future,” recalls Simon. “That early synergy is vital if the partnership is to work long term and SpeechStorm has demonstrated that same focus on a strategic partnership.”

Comet now plans to extend its use of SpeechStorm’s voice self-service solutions to other parts of the business to create further choice and improve service levels for its customers. “We will continue to use IT cleverly and tactically and if the customer doesn’t want to use an automated service they simply speak to a live agent as they always have done. This is not about reducing costs and diverting calls from the call centre; it is about extending customer choice.”

“Comet’s focus on providing first class customer service has certainly paid off in its approach to phone self service solutions,” commented Roger Chidwick, sales & marketing director of SpeechStorm. “Agents are freed to handle more complex customer queries and those who are comfortable with self-service are getting all the information they need while enjoying a reduced call time. All callers have the option to breakout to an agent if required but very few are taking this option, satisfied instead with their automated enquiry experience. We now look forward to replicating that customer care success across other parts of the business with our comprehensive portfolio of phone self service solutions.”

About Comet
Comet, a leading specialist electrical retailer, has more than 250 stores throughout the UK, offering a wide range of electrical products. Thousands of competitor prices are checked every week to ensure that Comet’s prices are competitive.
The Comet website – Comet.co.uk – offers easy, convenient shopping and with Comet’s click and collect service you can reserve online and collect in store an hour later. Additionally, customers can shop by phone on 0844 800 95 95. Calls usually cost no more than 5 pence per minute from landlines; calls made from mobiles usually cost more.
Comet offers a unique all-round shopping experience with a range of services including home delivery, full installation of products such as televisions & computers, take back facilities for large products, and comprehensive after sales service.

About SpeechStorm
SpeechStorm specialises in self-service solutions that manage customer interactions over the phone.

The SpeechStorm portfolio provides a combination of best-fit solutions that give customers the service they want; whether touchtone, SMS, Video or Voice. SpeechStorm transforms the simple phone into a rich interactive tool for accessing content, finding information and interacting with an organisation to fulfil customer requests and optimise customer care goals.
Organisations including Comet, CPP, Dixons Stores Group International (DSGI), SITA Suez, eircom, Meteor and Northern Ireland Electricity rely on SpeechStorm solutions to underpin their business performance and improve the overall customer experience.

Backed by a professional services capability of more than 250 consultants, SpeechStorm is part of Kainos, a leading IT consulting and Systems Integrator. For over 20 years Kainos has been deploying critical customer interaction solutions giving SpeechStorm distinctive edge over most phone self-service specialists. SpeechStorm has offices in the UK and Ireland.

For more information please visit the corporate website on www.speechstorm.com .

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