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Speech recognition award for Standard Life

Fluency Voice Technology : 08 October, 2007  (Application Story)
Fluency Voice client picks up award for use of voice recognition technology in European call centre
Fluency Voice Technology has announced that its client, Standard Life Bank, has won the Best use of Technology award at the CCF European Call Centre Awards held at the Birmingham Metropole hotel on Wednesday 27th of September.

The CCF European Call Centre Awards recognise the best of the best in the modern call centre community and is an opportunity to gain recognition for the call centre within the business and across Europe. Standard Life Bank was shortlisted in the Best Use of Technology category for its Fluency speech recognition solution and triumphed over worthy competition from companies including Vodafone, Nationwide Building Society and Dudley Metropolitan Council to take the much coveted prize.

Standard Life Bank's virtual agent, nicknamed IVY, is the voice of the bank's savings department and was introduced to grow the savings customer base without needing to grow the savings contact centre. IVY welcomes the caller and, based on a series of questions, routes their call and using Fluency's VSAâ„¢ product suite can quickly identify and verify callers before allowing them access to savings account information.

Standard Life Bank has made a positive impact on its business and its customer service with the new system but significantly, it has also made a positive impression on its call centre culture and the Customer Services Representatives (CSRs). It is this unique aspect of the technology story that caught the judges' eye.

Standard Life Bank's CSRs were understandably sceptical about the introduction of the new technology. In an effort to reassure them and to involve them in the new service, they were invited to create an identity for the Standard Life Bank virtual agent, which had hitherto been nick-named IVY. Two of the CSRs created a papier-mache incarnation of IVY, based on the cartoon character of Rosemary from Hong Kong Phooey. At approximately 4ft tall, blonde and sporting glasses, IVY resides in a chair next to the savings department manager's desk and is very much one of the team.

"This award is testament to the efforts of the savings department team who have worked tirelessly to make the speech recognition system a real success for our business and for our customers," said Julian Cook, Change Management Director, Standard Life. "It is very rewarding to have had our call centre scrutinised so rigorously and showcased against some outstanding uses of technology and to emerge as the winner."

Steve Feeney, VP EMEA, Sales & Marketing at Fluency Voice was amongst the first to congratulate the Standard Life Bank team on its award. "This is a justly deserved recognition of service excellence through technology application. Applied appropriately, speech recognition applications can transform a customer service operation and that is exactly what Standard Life Bank has achieved with IVY. To receive UK and European wide recognition amongst their industry peers for this work must be very gratifying indeed."
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