Vocalabs Newsletter: Quality Times


In This Issue:

Get A Free One Hour Assessment at SpeechTEK West

By Rick Rappe

As we've done at some events in the past, this year VocaLabs is going to be performing live demonstrations of the One Hour Assessment on the show floor at SpeechTEK West.

We're looking for companies interested in a free performance review of their call center, IVR, or speech application; in exchange for being part of our live demos. We'll have live callers try out your application or call center and offer feedback. Survey answers and call recordings will be tabulated and correlated together to provide a complete picture of customer service performance.

If you participate, we'll schedule your Assessment for a block of time during the show. While the test is in progress, you'll be able to view the data in our booth (#121) in real time. Afterwards, we'll make all the data available to you for as long as you need it.

We can test any call center, speech application, or tone-based IVR; from a prototype with a couple phone lines to a fully operational system in the field. No hardware or software changes are required.

This is an outstanding chance to gather real-world performance data and call recordings of your customer service operation. Even if you're not planning to attend SpeechTEK West, you can still participate, since we can make the data available to you through a secure web interface.

For more information, or to schedule your One Hour Assessment, please contact me at rrappe@vocalabs.com, or 952-94-6580x205.

Now Available: Gourmet Customer Service

By Jessica Ament

VocaLabs is proud to announce the availability of Gourmet Customer Service: A Scientific Approach to Improving the Caller Experience, by Peter Leppik and David Leppik.

This highly readable book takes a look at the reasons why customer service often fails to live up to its potential. The solution is a program of continuous measurement and improvement, using scientific techniques and careful data collection.

Call center managers, corporate executives, marketing managers, VUI designers, IVR programmers, and call center consultants will all find this book a valuable introduction to the basics of why bad service happens, and how to design a test regimen appropriate in a given situation.

Jim Larson, of Intel Corp. and co-chair of the W3C Voice Browser Working group, says that Gourmet Customer Service "will have a significant impact on the call center industry." Richard Rosinski, VP of Professional Services at VoiceGenie, has written that "The breezy, highly readable style is especially welcome in an industry that is overloaded with jargon and cant."

And Richard Sachs, a Voice User Interface consultant with over 25 years experience testing customer service says: "I've used the rapid assessment and large-scale testing methodologies described in 'Gourmet Customer Service' routinely as part of our regular self-service project development lifecycle to test and tune applications. These methods not only tells you how your project is doing but, more important, give a road map to significantly enhance caller satisfaction. This testing process gave my customers the confidence they needed to go into production."

Gourmet Customer Service is available from Amazon.com and directly from VocaLabs. To order from VocaLabs or read sample chapters, go to www.vocalabs.com/gcs/.

T-Mobile Takes the Customer Service Lead

By Jessica Ament

VocaLabs' most recent SectorPulse Mobile report shows T-Mobile taking a decisive lead among the largest mobile phone providers in customer service quality, with Verizon dropping to tie for second with Cingular.

This report used data gathered from customer service interactions between September 2004 and December 31st, 2004 to measure the satisfaction and performance of the customer service operations of T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, Cingular, AT&T Wireless (now part of Cingular), and SprintPCS.

T-Mobile's grades were unchanged from the prior quarter, with an "A" for Caller Satisfaction, and a "B" for Call Completion.

Verizon Wireless dropped to a "B" in Satisfaction from an "A" in the prior quarter; and to a "C" from a "B" in Completion. This put Verizon Wireless in a tie for second place with Cingular: Cingular climbed to a "B" from a "C" in Satisfaction, and to a "C" from a "D" in completion.

Grades for the former AT&T Wireless were calculated separately from Cingular, as the customer service operations of the two companies are not yet fully integrated. Customer Satisfaction at the former AT&T Wireless dropped to a "D" from a "C" last quarter, while Completion climbed to a "B" from a "C".

SprintPCS dropped to a "D" for Caller Satisfaction from a "C" last quarter, and its Completion grade was unchanged at "C".

Additional data is in the SectorPulse Mobile Executive Summary, which is now available to SectorPulse Mobile subscribers. Please contact Rick Rappe at rrappe@vocalabs.com or 952-941-6580x205 for more information.

See us at SpeechTEK West

By Jessica Ament

  • Visit us at Booth #121 during exposition hours to see a live demonstration of the One Hour Assessment and check out Gourmet Customer Service.
  • On Monday VocaLabs cofounder and CEO Peter Leppik will be participating in a tutorial about tools for building and deploying speech applications.
  • On Wednesday, Peter will be speaking about experience in VUI design and customer satisfaction.

For more information, or to schedule a meeting with Peter, Rick, or myself, please contact me at jament@vocalabs.com or 952-941-6580x202.

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