Voice recognition gaining customer support

UK and US residents are warming to the concept of customer self-service through interactive voice response (IVR) systems, according to a recent report from BT and Nortel.

The report shows that 69% of Americans and 66% of Britons would indeed prefer that companies use voice recognition to reduce costs if it meant lower prices for consumers.

Support for IVR varies according to the complexity of the service the technology is used to support.

While 71%-80% of consumers would be happy to receive automated messages to inform them of scheduling or delivery time changes, just 12% liked the idea of setting up payments through IVR.

IVR call centers are twice as popular in the US as in the UK, yet only 33% of US respondents said they delivered good or excellent service.

According to Doug Tavolacci, senior marketing manager of BT Global Services, while the survey concentrated on attitudes in the US and UK, Asian organizations should also be paying attention.

'Overall, these trends are very relevant to the Asian market, including the near-term challenges organizations will face in meeting increasing consumer expectations for multichannel contact,' he says.

Some 1,018 US and UK consumers were interviewed for the survey.