Speech recognition improves automatic customer service
Speech recognition guarantees service and efficiency
For humans, speaking is a natural form of communication. For this reason, telephone services based on speech recognition offer the opportunity for better, more cost-efficient automatic customer service. In Finland, speech recognition services have taken hold more slowly than elsewhere, due to the special features of the Finnish language. Many other countries use speech recognition on a broad basis, for instance in travel reservations, banking services, the channelling of customer calls and entering and searching registers data.
In search of natural ways for communicating with voice machines
User tests by Suomen Puheentunnistus Oy have made a significant contribution to the development of speech recognition-based telephone services for Finns. Members of the National Consumer Research Centre’s consumer panel participated in the trial. They used a health centre appointment system, demo, to seek natural ways of communicating with machines that recognise speech in Finnish. This enabled the creation of a script containing automatic dialogue suitable for Finns. User trial discussions were also utilised in the technical part of service development. A user survey analysed user experiences and operating situations. Guided group discussions enabled the product development staff of Suomen Puheentunnistus to interact directly with users.
From user trial to commercial service
The health centre demo also generated immediate commercial benefits. In many centres, health care appointment service systems have recently been modernised, by introducing a speech recognition service. Positive feedback has been received on the performance of the automatic service. Suomen Puheentunnistus Oy now plays a major role in providing appointment services for the health care sector. Speech recognition in automatic appointment services is used, among others, by the Lahti and Lohja City Dental Health Care Services and the private Diacor Health Care Service chain.