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News

Voice recognition for Thomas Cook

Fluency Voice Technology : 20 November, 2007  (Application Story)
Thomas Cook holiday company deploys voice recognition system to help reduce delays in receiving payment backlogs.
Fluency Voice Technology has announced that Thomas Cook has deployed the Fluency VSA speech recognition application suite to provide an automated service that enables its holiday customers to pay the outstanding balances on their holiday at any time of the day.

Holiday balance payment calls were identified as straight forward transactions that could be automated using speech recognition technology, freeing up agents with more complex, time consuming enquiries. Furthermore customers simply dialing in to pay their outstanding holiday balances can do so at any time of the day, without any delay.

Thomas Cook selected Fluency's VSA suite as its hosted speech recognition system and following some early trials, the system went live in August 2007. "This has been a very successful technology implementation" comments Jo Stamper, Thomas Cook's sales centre manager. "At peak times we take up to 70 holiday balance payment calls per day and using Fluency's payment capture application our customers can self-serve and complete the transaction by phone. This has immediate speed benefits to the customer paying their holiday balance and enables our call centre staff to spend more time with other holiday customers who have more complex queries such as amending bookings." Jo continues, "We have monitored the service to gauge its success and we are delighted with the number of completed calls that we are achieving with the Fluency system."

Thomas Cook is now looking at how else it can use the technology.

Steve Feeney is Fluency's VP EMEA sales and marketing and says, "The tide is turning in favour of automated speech recognition services to handle simple, repeatable tasks. Consumers are used to paying bills and getting hold of information at any time of the day and by using speech recognition for these transactions call centres can dedicate their time to increasing service levels for those customers who need to speak to a live agent. As consumers we dislike queuing so the option to self serve on straightforward transactions is appealing." Steve adds, "We are delighted to have achieved such visible success in a short time with Thomas Cook and we look forward to replicating that success in the next and future application of our technology within their business."

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