Speech Recognition Research Reveals Improved Customer Satisfaction


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Speech recognition research reveals improved customer satisfaction and future trends for its use
Independent survey results indicate that it’s not just Generation Y who are embracing speech recognition technology for their customer service requirements

SYDNEY, Australia, 27 February 2008 – Nuance Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: NUAN), a leading provider of speech and imaging solutions, today announced the results of an independent survey into speech recognition customer experience and identified key future trends for the technology.

The key findings from the research included:
• Customer satisfaction levels with using a speech recognition system are high and the satisfaction level is statistically significantly higher than in 2005
• The majority of customers would rather use a speech recognition system than wait on hold for more than 30 seconds to speak to a customer service representative
• The majority of customers would rather use speech recognition to contact customer service than use web chat, SMS, email, the internet or a traditional IVR system
• Those who choose to use a speech recognition system do so because they find speech is easy to use and understand and it provides a quick transaction process
• The majority of customers stated that the speech recognition system they used required no improvements and they were happy with it as it currently operated.

The research was conducted in Q3 2007 by independent research firm, callcentres.net who collected data from 262 Australian end users of speech recognition technology. Customers were asked to comment on a specific speech recognition application that they had recently used. The outcomes identified that overall customers are statistically significantly more satisfied with their experience when using speech recognition in 2007 than they were in 2005. Nearly three out of five customers were ‘very satisfied’ or ‘extremely satisfied’, which is an 11 percent increase on research conducted in 2005.

The research also validated that speech recognition was the most preferred self-service channel overall, with 66% of respondents preferring speech over the internet and 59% preferring speech to touch-tone IVR. Another interesting result was that since 2005 there has been a distinct reduction in the length of time that a customer is willing to be on hold prior to talking to a customer service representative, before their channel choice switches to self service option. In 2005, on average, customers were willing to wait on hold for up to two minutes before their channel preference changed to speech recognition, compared to results in 2007 where the length of time on hold to a CSR was only 30 seconds before customer preferences changed to speech.

In addition to improved customer satisfaction the callcentres.net research revealed a number of trends relating to customer use and interaction with speech recognition services between the generations and genders. Speaking to these trends at a recent Nuance seminar, Dr. Catriona Wallace, Director, callcentres.net said, “Confidence has emerged as a key factor influencing satisfaction with speech recognition. The research shows that frequent users of speech technology have a statistically significantly higher level of satisfaction with the experience than new or inexperienced users. It’s also interesting to note that while men are more willing to try speech recognition, its women who are more likely to become real advocates of the experience once they’ve used it.”

“Another, perhaps surprising trend, is that Generation X (30-40 years of age) are more likely than Generation Y (Under 30 years) and Baby Boomers (41-62 years of age) to use speech recognition to handle their entire transaction, without speaking to a customer service representative (CSR). Less surprising is that Baby Boomers are statistically significantly more likely than other generations to use a speech recognition system to have their call directed to a customer service representative,” said Dr. Wallace

Dr. Wallace continued, “Generation Y is very important for businesses to consider as they are the most powerful and influential consumer group there has been to-date. They also want to interact with businesses in different ways to older generations. Gen Y are driven by convenience and speed and are more than happy to use technology channels to access a company or service. It is this group who have the highest level of preference for speech recognition as their first channel of choice.”

Peter Chidiac, Managing Director, Nuance Communications, Australia and New Zealand, commented, “In today’s environment where consumers consider great customer service as an entitlement, rather than a nice surprise; there is no question that customers want interactions to be quick, convenient and positive. We’re understandably very pleased with the research that validates the fact that speech recognition meets these consumer demands and drives improved customer satisfaction. The technology itself around speech recognition also continues to improve quickly and Nuance is well placed to offer businesses the full spectrum of solutions, from simple call steering through to open recognition/dialogue capabilities and adaptive speech applications.”

About Nuance Communications, Inc.

Nuance is the leading provider of speech and imaging solutions for businesses and consumers around the world. Our technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with information and how they create, share and use documents. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance by calling directory assistance, requesting account information, dictating patient records, searching the mobile web by voice, telling a navigation system their destination, or digitally reproducing documents that can be shared and searched. Making each of those experiences productive and compelling is what Nuance is all about. For more information go to www.nuance.com


Trademark reference: Nuance and the Nuance logo, are registered trademarks or trademarks of Nuance Communications, Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners.

About callcentres.net

callcentres.net is an Asia-Pacific contact centre and outsourcing sector research and analyst organisation. Based in Sydney and Singapore, callcentres.net is the leading provider of research, news and information to the industry. Visit www.callcentres.net

Media contact:

Polly Johnson
Kinetics Pty Ltd
Ph: 02 9212 3848
Email: [email protected]

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