SOURCE: Spoken Communications

Spoken Communications

May 15, 2014 10:47 ET

Spoken Communications Announces Spoken Smart IVR for 411

Award Winning Platform Releases Enhanced IVR Engine That Helps Call Center Agents Improve Accuracy and Customer Experience for Directory Assistance Calls

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwired - May 15, 2014) - Spoken Communications, provider of the leading cloud platform for contact center outsourcers, today announced the new Spoken Smart IVR for 411, an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system tailored to the needs of the directory assistance market.

The Spoken Smart IVR for 411 is a patented solution that utilizes pinpointed, real-time human intervention in the form of "Silent Guides" to increase the efficiency of IVR automation. When the automated speech recognition (ASR) engine doesn't understand a caller utterance, rather than asking the caller to repeat the response, the utterance is flagged for a Silent Guide to correct while the call flow continues for the caller without pause. As a result, directory assistance providers can answer more calls with fewer live agents while simultaneously improving accuracy and customer experience.

"We are pleased to announce this simple, cost-effective solution that increases the efficiency of the directory assistance call flow as well as the accuracy of response," says Charlie Anderson, President of Voice Discovery Services at Spoken Communications. "We've had several 411 providers using the Spoken Smart IVR for 411, and we are seeing more than a double digit increase in IVR automation efficiency, with more improvements on the horizon. More importantly, the customer experience has improved notably."

Historically, ASRs have been confined by limited grammars and problematic background noise, which can hinder the customer experience. 411 calls in particular are focused on a single task and ideally quite short. Therefore, every second of the interaction directly affects the customer experience. According to research, 89% of customers identified that "repeating-myself" syndrome is one of their biggest sources of irritation when calling into a call center. This presents a unique challenge to 411 IVR development: how can providers be assured of high first-time speech recognition levels and avoid the need for costly response repetition? With the Smart IVR's Silent Guides monitoring four to 10 calls simultaneously, the benefits of improving automation accuracy far outweigh the costs.

"Consumers have increasingly high expectations of automated speech interaction with IVR systems, due in part to publicity about mobile personal assistants and voice search," notes William Meisel, president of TMA Associates and editor of Speech Strategy News. "Meeting and sustaining those expectations can be difficult and expensive in a directory assistance environment. Spoken's solution of backing up the speech understanding with 'hidden' agents is an effective compromise that maintains caller confidence, while at the same time, identifying areas where the natural-language processing needs to be bolstered."

Following milestone growth in 2013, Spoken's cloud call center platform was honored by CUSTOMER magazine as Product of the Year and most recently received the publication's top honor for the CRM Excellence awards. Inspired by the need to improve agent performance and the customer experience in the call center, Spoken has developed a cloud-based platform that empowers enterprises and outsourcers to deploy the work-from-home model to create a more agile and cost-effective contact center. With global partnerships and steadily increasing year-over-year growth, Spoken's platform supports over 25,000 call center agents -- up from 9,000 in 2012 -- and helps customers save up to 15% in operating costs.

More information about the Spoken Smart IVR for 411, including a demo video, is available here.

About Spoken Communications

Spoken Communications, founded in 2005 and incorporated as Intellisist®, Inc., is a provider of a leading cloud platform for contact center outsourcers. The Spoken cloud platform supports cost productivity, enables big data streams and extends a flexible integration model to replace, extend or integrate with any legacy infrastructure and software. Currently supporting over 20 million contact center minutes per month on the platform, Spoken is a proven leader for a superior customer experience. For more information, contact Bailey Fox at, visit, call 1-206-428-6044, Twitter @spokencomm or subscribe to our blog.

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