SOURCE: Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

January 09, 2008 10:00 ET

Talk Your Way Into Getting the Answers You Want

Speech Self-Service in the Contact Center

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - January 9, 2008) - The number one strategic action within the next year for Best-in-Class companies is the implementation of a speech self-service solution, according the latest benchmark report titled "Speech Self-Service - Say 'Yes' to Reduce Costs and Improve Customer Satisfaction" by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS). This is in contrast to the previous year when surveying customers and monitoring agents and calls ranked higher.

Best-in-Class companies are clearly prepared for this strategic shift, with 63% seeing an increase in their 2008 fiscal year budgets, compared to only 47% for Industry Average companies and 36% of Laggard companies. Aberdeen's research indicates that this is a result of the top pressures that Best-in-Class face, namely competition (38%) and increasing operational costs (37%). However, even budget increases don't guarantee mitigation of challenges to implementing a self-service solution such as speech, according to Aberdeen. Limited resources and deployment complexity are just two of many challenges that Best-in-Class firms must overcome to realize the advantages of a speech self-service solution -- advantages that can include lower costs and improved customer satisfaction.

Furthermore, it is important to realize that even among Best-in-Class firms (27%), speech self-service is still in its nascent stage of adoption. Part of this is because not all firms, whether Best-in-Class or not, have yet to implement key speech self-service technologies that allow for implementation and optimization of a speech self-service solution. Such technologies include: call recording, VoIP, CTI and speech recognition.

"Ultimately, implementing a speech self-service will be a requirement for any company with a contact center. The continued differentiation between Best-in-Class and all other firms will be derived from other technologies such as natural language understanding, which enhances the usage of speech self-service and, as a result, improves customer satisfaction," says Alan W. Hubbard, Senior Vice President, Customer Service and Support.

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Aspect Software, Nuance Communications and Voxeo Corporation. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=4520.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

© 2008 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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