SOURCE: VoiceObjects

October 02, 2007 03:00 ET

Northern Ireland Electricity Powers Up Customer Service

Arrival of Competition in the Energy Market Drives Adoption of Market-Leading Speech-Based Voice Self-Service Portal

SAN MATEO, CA and BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND--(Marketwire - October 2, 2007) - VoiceObjects, the leading provider of adaptive self-service phone portals, and SpeechStorm™, a leading provider of advanced speech recognition solutions, have joined forces to deliver a speech-based self-service portal to all Northern Ireland Electricity Supply (NIE) customers. The service will provide automated, telephone-based customer service twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week, and ensure customers get direct access to services at a time that suits them.

NIE initially identified a number of key services for automation using the VoiceObjects-powered SpeechStorm solution, including account inquiries, payments, and the set-up of direct debits. Callers are now pre-identified by the system using their account number and, once authenticated, are presented with account details, such as current balance and last payment information.

Retaining customers is essential during difficult market conditions, and customer experience is business-critical for NIE, according to Jim Clendinning, NIE service development manager.

"It is imperative that we offer high-quality and efficient customer service by phone," said Clendinning. "For many of our customers, the phone is the main way to contact us. The solution from VoiceObjects and SpeechStorm means we can offer a service which minimizes call waiting times and enables our customer service agents to deal with more complex inquiries. We also expect to see an increase in the efficiency with which calls are handled. I was impressed with the quality of the system from the team and the no-fuss approach brought to the project."

A key component of SpeechStorm's hosted platform and the NIE solution is the VoiceObjects Server - Network Edition, a phone application server that enables highly scalable, carrier-grade deployment and management of personalized, over-the-phone voice, video, text, and Web self-service applications, meeting the cluster management and multi-tenancy needs of service providers.

About SpeechStorm

SpeechStorm is a trading division of Kainos and is a leading provider of advanced speech recognition solutions. Our assistOnDemand solution is leading the way in assisting organisations with high quality consistent customer service, by simplifying the use of speech recognition technology. Our solutions help organisations to realise real business benefits, reduce costs and achieve a fast return on investment. SpeechStorm's customers include eircom, Dixons, SITA, Stirling Council, Northern Ireland Electricity, and the Department of Finance and Personnel. For further information visit: www.speechstorm.com.

About VoiceObjects

VoiceObjects is redefining over-the-phone customer service for global enterprises and carriers. By delivering adaptive, cost-effective self-service phone portals, VoiceObjects enables organizations to personalize each caller's experience, to integrate phone self-service into comprehensive customer experience strategies, and to manage the complexity of the world's most sophisticated phone applications. VoiceObjects' award-winning phone application server software is used by leading companies, including Adobe, T-Mobile, and Volkswagen Financial Services and provides personalized customer service experiences to more than 500 million callers each year. VoiceObjects is privately held and headquartered in San Mateo, Calif. For more information, please contact (650) 288-0299 or visit www.voiceobjects.com.

About NIE

Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) is the largest company within the Viridian Group PLC (the holding company). We employ some 1,260 people and service over 688,000 customers throughout Northern Ireland. As an organisation, we are responsible for the regulated procurement, transmission and distribution of electricity to both domestic and business users across the Province. For further information see, www.nie.co.uk, then click on NIE Supply.

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