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Voice recognition enables improved Pizza deliveries.

Fluency Voice Technology : 30 May, 2007  (Application Story)
Pizza Hut have deployed Fluency location finder application as part of the speech recognition suite to enable call centre callers to be automatically directed to local outlet.
Fluency Voice Technology has announced that its Locator application, which forms part of Fluency's Virtual Speech Agent (VSA) Suite, is behind the national One-Number for Pizza Hut which allows callers to say their postcode, identifies their location and then connects them to their nearest Hut to order take-away and delivery pizzas. The service is offered through Confero, an established and respected outsourced call centre business that provides bespoke call centre services using a blend of live agents and automated response services.

David Freedman, managing director of Confero, spearheaded the task to find a suitable speech recognition partner to underpin the Pizza Hut service. "Speech recognition is a critical component of this service which relies in the first instance on identifying the callers post code and in the exceptional cases where the caller doesn't know their post code, say for example, because they are calling from a hotel or a friends house, then we simply route them to a live agent to complete the call. " David continues, "The automated service was first launched in October 2004 when the national number was marketed through successful TV programmes such as The Simpsons and around televised live football events. This kind of campaign was previously unimaginable given the volume of call centre staff that would have to be on hand to handle the demand."

Two years down the line and the Pizza Hut One-Number service is taking an average of 20,000 calls per month, with the number published on all Hut take away boxes and restaurant menus.

Julian O'Neill, IT Director at Pizza Hut adds, "Our customers can quickly identify their nearest Hut without the frustration of waiting to speak to someone, which improves their Pizza Hut experience and increases our competitiveness."

First time callers to the Pizza Hut One-Number service who are using a landline are asked for their postcode by the virtual agent and then given a choice of their nearest Hut and transferred to place their order. The system also recognises if the caller is a return landline caller and automatically routes them to their nearest Hut without asking for a postcode. If the caller is using a mobile phone, the system identifies the postcode they would like their delivery to be sent to.

"This is a great example of where speech recognition technology has been applied to a high volume, repeatable process and provides immediate and very visible benefits," commented Philip Padfield, CEO of Fluency Voice. "Consumers are growing in awareness and confidence when using speech recognition and it is fast becoming the option of choice for household named companies launching high volume, 24x7 services."
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