968 — Case-study: UK Royal Mail relies on speech recognition to track special delivery packages

Dec 2, 2003 | Conteúdos Em Ingles

United Kingdom’s Royal Mail announced has significantly reduced call handling costs for its Track & Trace (T&T) delivery tracking service by investing in a speech recognition solution. Aspect Customer Self-Service with speech recognition by Nuance automates the processing of 80,000 calls a month, putting it on track to handle approximately a million calls for Royal Mail during its first year of use – around half of all calls to the T&T service. Royal Mail expects that by offloading work from its customer service advisors, the self-service technology will reduce its T&T call handling costs by about 25 percent.

“We planned that about 40 percent of calls could be automated using a speech application, and the actual figure has been even higher. Aspect and Nuance worked hard to understand our business objectives and delivered the service efficiently and on time,” Andy Fergusson of Prism Alliance, which is managing the T&T service project on behalf of Royal Mail.

The technology from Aspect and Nuance has also allowed Royal Mail to bolster other areas of its customer service operation. By re-deploying one third of its T&T customer service advisors to other projects, Royal Mail has been able to increase the number of advisors handling more complex calls involving procedures such as re-routing deliveries, plus Royal Mail has set up a dedicated call handling team for postcode calls, and increased the number of advisors responding to e-mail questions (mainly received via its web site).

The company is transforming existing customer service centers into full multi-channel (live agent, web and automated speech) contact centers as needed. In the six months since the self-service technology deployment, the number of e-mailed customer service requests has more than doubled.

How it Works

The T&T service enables customers to track the delivery status of packages sent via Royal Mail’s Special Delivery services both domestically and internationally. Customers can check on whether items are processed, in transit or held for collection – as well as on the time and date of delivery.

“Automated speech options are the next natural step beyond live agents in the contact center. Self-service can make a huge, positive difference to the customer experience as well as to the return on contact center investment,” said Lynda Smith, Nuance’s chief marketing officer. ‘The benefits offered by speech-driven self-service, both to customers and to the business itself, are difficult to ignore. Companies running contact centers may find themselves left behind unless they move quickly to harness the power of speech recognition as part of their overall service strategies.’

Royal Mail first introduced T&T as a ‘live advisor’ service in 1993 and added a self-service web application in the late 1990s. Making use of the same database resources, Royal Mail added the self-service voice application from Aspect with speech recognition by Nuance on to its functioning T&T web servers.

Aspect designed and implemented Royal Mail’s speech application using version 6.0 of Aspect Customer Self-Service (CSS) software as well as Nuance’s speech recognition software. Aspect CSS enables customers to communicate with companies and complete transactions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without the need for live assistance. The software runs on open systems and links to other CRM databases and platforms for information retrieval.


Em Foco – Empresa