■ Voice Automation or Outsourcing? Make the Cost-Cutting Strategy Fit the Call
"Call center managers today are under enormous pressure to drive down costs. The two main weapons in their arsenal are outsourcing and voice automation... But choosing between them is not simply a matter of comparing return-on-investment. It turns out that the types of calls and transactions that are best suited for voice automation are not necessarily the same as those that make sense for outsourcing... So, when making decisions about automation or outsourcing (or not), it's instructive to take a look at them from the point of view of the types of calls you have to handle...“
■ Let’s Get Creative! Speech Applications Can Do More Than Impersonate Agents
Speech Technology Magazine, July/August 2003
“The prevailing concept of voice user-interface design today is to replicate, to the greatest extent possible, the experience of speaking with a friendly, helpful human agent. While the intent is fine, it misses a much greater potential made possible by new speech technologies: to transform the interactive voice response (IVR) system into a powerful new customer communications and branding medium. “
■ Voice XML and SALT. A three-part series giving real-world assessments of the hot new voice application standards.
Making Sense of Voice XML and SALT
An overview of the Voice XML and SALT standards: how their heritage in Web technology yields big plusses for voice applications and systems; downsides and pitfalls; what you need to know for successful design, development, and maintenance.
A Closer Look at Voice XML
A closer look at Voice XML: what it covers, application design and development issues, what skills are needed, what kinds of development tools are available.
SALT Sets the Standard for Web-Based Voice Applications
More in-depth coverage of SALT: the motives behind its design, requirements for multimodal applications, where it makes sense and where it doesn’t, its components and capabilities, design and development issues.
■ Voice Technologies Offer Higher Potential for Better Service, Lower Costs
Call Center Management Review, September 2002
A discussion of speech recognition, text-to-speech, and speaker authentication technologies and the best ways to put them to work.
■ Voice Technologies Complement Call Center Agents, Web Sites
A look at which kinds of applications benefit the most from speech recognition and text-to-speech technologies, and how they can be integrated most effectively with live agents and web contact methods.