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Does Speech Technology Work?


Let’s travel back in time for a moment, way, way back to the year 2005. The Internet was beginning to recover from the bubble burst a few years before and IVR technology with automated speech recognition, while commonly used by the customer service departments of large corporations, was still something people were skeptical about. Many consumers preferred human interaction when dealing with billing departments or service specialists. Thinking along these lines, TMC President and blogger Rich Tehrani asked a fundamental question: Does Speech Technology Work? While still in its early adolescence, Tehrani believed that speech technology did, in fact, serve customers well and was the wave of the future. He voiced a level of agreement with an anti-speech technology article linked in his blog, but came to the conclusion that to ignore VoIP and speech technologies was akin to shunning the ATM when it first appeared.

Two years on, Tehrani’s pronouncements have proven to be more than true. Speech technologies not only save businesses money but expedite telephone processes. Less time waiting for an available operator means more time to go about your day–who can complain about that? Businesses have become smarter about designing their VUI and VoIP systems, anticipating areas where it’s wise to have a customer speak directly to a human, and considerate enough to know that some people will always want to speak to with a real, live customer representative. But make no mistake, speech technology works, and it’s changing the way people do business.