Customer Service Reborn – Maintaining the Customer Connection

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A major change in customer service is one of the major trends driving the topics at the just-announced fifth annual Mobile Voice Conference, to be held in San Jose, California, April 20-21, 2015.

“Customer Service” in practice has too often come to mean reducing the cost of serving the customer rather than serving the customer. Too often, companies alienate customers by forcing them through layers of confusing prompts in an IVR system, evaluating the interaction by how fast they can get rid of the customer.

In contrast, the marketing departments of these same organizations are attempting to engage the customer. “When a customer contacts a company, should the objective really be to get rid of them as soon as possible?” asks William Meisel, a technology analyst and president, TMA Associates. “The key is automating the customer interaction so that it feels like talking to a friendly robot,” he claimed. “Customer Service should simply become Customer Connection, with any engagement with the customer serving multiple objectives, including branding and marketing.”

The Wall Street Journal recently coined the term “chatvertising,” highlighting the possibility of engaging the customer with an interactive ad using natural language interaction, much as personal assistants like Apple’s Siri, Google’s Google Now, and Microsoft’s Cortana engage users on much broader topics. The author of the WSJ article, Christopher Mims, speculated that the same assistant could perform customer service operations.

K. W. 'Bill' Scholz, president of the Applied Voice Input Output Society (AVIOS) and president, NewSpeech, noted, “The technologies of speech recognition, natural language interpretation, and dialog management have matured past the ‘tipping point’ and continue to get better, supporting a major movement toward the personal assistant model of user interaction. The technology supporting a friendly, natural interaction is available today.”

The Mobile Voice Conference is organized by the Applied Voice Input Output Society (http://www.AVIOS.org) and Meisel’s TMA Associates (http://www.tmaa.com), publisher of Speech Strategy News.

About the Mobile Voice Conference
The Mobile Voice Conference is dedicated to helping companies understand how they can best improve internal efficiencies and/or engage customers using natural language interactions, with mobile devices increasingly being the way customers reach companies and the Web. Major conference themes include the current state of speech recognition, speech synthesis, natural language understanding, and dialog management technology; enterprise virtual assistants supporting employees within the company; company-specific personal assistants that face the customer; what has been learned from deployments; supporting technologies such as wake-up words and biometric speaker authentication, and more. The theme of the conference is “Intelligent Agents and More!”

For information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Peggie(at)avios(dot)org.

See more about the conference and speaking opportunities at http://www.mobilevoiceconference.com.

AVIOS thanks the sponsors who have already committed to support the conference:
Primary sponsors:
Openstream (http://www.openstream.com)
Openstream’s Enterprise Virtual Assistant (EVA) is new way to deliver apps and content for the Enterprise Knowledge Worker. EVA is a personalized-off-the-shelf solution that addresses many of the key requirements and challenges of enterprise Line of Businesses (LoBs) and IT Departments in implementing their mobile strategy and solutions. As an assistant, EVA monitors a company’s enterprise applications and content sources and helps an employee to quickly complete tasks, reducing information overload and data chaos.

Supporting sponsors:
Cepstral (http://www.cepstral.com) licenses cost-effective, high-quality text-to-speech technology, with options for lively personalities and custom voices well beyond the norm.
Sensory, Inc. (http://www.sensoryinc.com) is the leader in user experience technologies for consumer products, offering a complete line of IC and software-only solutions for speech recognition, speech synthesis, speaker verification, vision and more.

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Peggie Johnson
AVIOS
+1 (408) 323-1783
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