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News

Successful speech recognition trial for blood transfusion service

SpeechStorm : 19 August, 2008  (Application Story)
The National Blood Service completes successful testing of speech recognition software from SpeechStorm for use with its blood donors
SpeechStorm has revealed that the National Blood Service (NBS) has successfully trialled its automated speech recognition solution efficiently guiding thousands of blood donors to make an appointment or handle a general enquiry.

Partnering with outsourced contact centre provider, Teleperformance, SpeechStorm implemented its call routing product (Information Line) and Questionnaire Builder to randomly select callers across the National Blood Service's hundreds of thousands of donors to gather their views and opinions of the new speech recognition service. Callers were also offered an opportunity to participate in a short, automated speech-based, survey to give feedback on their experience of the speech service. The survey produced very positive results, highly significant given the random selection of participants. 89% confirmed that they found the system easy to use and a very impressive 90% said they would be confident to use the speech recognition service again.

Ian Hamerton is the National Blood Service's Contact Centre Manager and spearheaded the project to trial speech recognition as a service enhancement for his customers. "I was sceptical for some time about speech recognition and its appropriateness for our service but as standards improved and consumers became more accepting of using speech, I decided that it was time to offer the service to our customers in a continuing attempt to improve customer service levels," Ian explained. "Offering speech to a random cross section of our customer base and then checking their satisfaction levels is a very independent and true yard-stick by which to measure its success and we have been delighted by the overwhelmingly positive feedback our customers have given to the new service."

Ian's objective is to continuously improve service to his customers and he ardently believes that service is about offering choice and letting the customer choose what is most appropriate for them. "Any speech service must give the customer the option to 'opt out' to a live person when they need to and to detect if they are having problems with the system and prioritise them through to a live agent. Speech recognition is a very powerful tool and service enhancement when used appropriately for the right processes. This experience with SpeechStorm has convinced me that this is a viable and appropriate option for our donors and one that I am keen to introduce and explore further."

Oliver Lennon is CEO of SpeechStorm and delighted with the very positive endorsement that the NBS project has received from donors across the UK. "The real success of speech projects depends entirely on how well customers respond to and use the service. The National Blood Service has cleverly used speech not only on the front door of their business but they have also combined this with a random automated survey to get instant feedback from the caller while the experience is fresh in their mind." Oliver adds, "We are delighted that SpeechStorm was chosen as the technology to underpin this highly successful project and we look forward to working closely with Teleperformance and the NBS to further extend their use of speech in response to this very visible consumer endorsement."
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