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  1. Dialogue Solutions for Customer Care, DA and Voice Portals Claudia A. Demetz Group Manager Applications

  2. Overview • Introduction • Who we are • Our Products • Applications • Voice Portals • Customer Care • Directory Assistance • Trends

  3. Introduction Who We Are

  4. Philips: Global Technology Company • A Leading Global Company • Founded 1891 • Sales 1998 : US$ 34 Billion • Employees: 230,000 Worldwide • Operations in 150 Countries • A Leader in Technology Innovation • 3000 Researchers in 6 Countries & 3 Continents • R&D Expenditures 6% of Sales • More than 68,000 Patents; 30,000 Trademarks • Innovations Such as Audio Cassette,VCR, CD

  5. Philips Speech Processing • 1953 - Foundation of Business Unit • 1954 - First dictation machine • 1957 - First cassette-based dictation machine • 1966 - Invention of the mini-cassette • 1990 - 10,000,000th dictation unit made • 1991 - Digital dictation systems • 1993 - Natural speech recognition systems on the market • 1995 - Natural language dialogue systems on the market • 1996 - Digital Speech Standard • 1998 - Internet Speech Recognition • 1999 - First Multi-domain SpeechPortal • 2001 - First fully automated directory assistance service in Europe and the story goes on...

  6. Worldwide Sales & Support Organization Colchester Aachen Paris Vienna Beijing Barcelona Milan Dallas Taipei Sydney

  7. Global Deployments Ameritech AT&T Long-Distance AT&T Wireless BellAtlantic BellMobility (Canada) BellSouth BT (United Kingdom) Cegetel (France) Comcast Metrophone CRT (Brazil) DDI (Japan) Deutsche Telekom (Germany) DSQWorld (India) DT Mobil (Germany) GTE Sprint StarTel (Chile) Stet Hellas (Greece) TDP (Japan) Telia (Sweden) Telstra (Australia) US Cellular And Many Others... Hutchinson (Hong Kong) KGT (Taiwan) KMT (Korea) KPN (the Netherlands) Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) Libencell (Lebanon) MCI Miniphone (Argentina) Movistar (Argentina) MTN (South Africa) Omnitel (Italy) Rogers Cantel (Canada) SK Telecom (Korea) Southwestern Bell

  8. Introduction Our Products

  9. SpeechMania SpeechPearl SpeechWave Product Portfolio Engines Application Creation Environment: SpeechKit Platform Components Language Resources SpeechBlocks SpeechPath Application Products/ Components SpeechFinder SpeechAttendant PureRequest Voice Portals Customer Care Speech enabled IVR applications Directory Assistance Centrex Based Auto Attendant Call Completion DA Call Completion Voice Mail Control Basic Network Commands Voice Dialing

  10. What is SpeechPearl? • Continuous speech recognition and natural language understanding engine for telephony applications • Software only system architecture • For integration into voice platforms • Dynamic configuration possibilities • Product family to support application development, integration, specific applications • SpeechPearl covers complete range of speech applications

  11. SpeechMania • SpeechMania® state-of-the-art speech recognition software enables a conversation to be conducted almost in the same manner as between human beings • Software based speech recognition platform complete with speech understanding and dialog control • Powerful Multi-Channel Online System • Various Telephony Interfaces • Open Transaction Interface • High Quality Pre-recorded Speech Output • Mixed-Initiative Natural Language Understanding Paradigm • Application Creation Environment Tool Setthat allows to develop, deploy and run automatic natural language based telephone services

  12. Caller 1 System: “From where to where would you like to travel?” Caller: “From London to Newcastle.” System:“At what day do you want to travel from London to Newcastle?” Caller: “Next Monday.” System: “At what time do you want to travel on Monday, October 26th?” Caller: “I’d like to leave at 8.” System: “So you want to travel at 8 a.m.?” Caller: “No, I mean 8 p.m.” System: “So you want to travel at 8 p.m.“ Caller: “Yes that’s correct” System: “I have the following available ...” SpeechMania® Natural Dialog System Caller 2 System: “From where to where would you like to travel?” Caller:“ Next Monday.” System:“At what time do you want to travel on Monday, October 26th?” Caller:“I want to go from London to York.” System: “At what time do you want to travel from London to York?” Caller:“ 8 in the evening.” System: “So you want to travel at 8 p.m.?” Caller:“That's right.” System: “I have the following available...”

  13. Applications Voice Portals

  14. Content Portals: Infotainment The Concept: One Number for all your Information Needs Example: • Omnitel 2000 (Italy)

  15. The Omnitel 2000 Experience • Usage not as expected: • People have to get used to Speech Recognition • initially in the first weeks 60% of the callers did not say a word • People do use only a limited amount of services • 7 services (out of 128) make up 90% of the calls

  16. Distribution of Service Usage

  17. Other similar Portals • DSQWorld.com - India • killer application is stock trading • SpeechMania solution • 365 / Guardian Angel - UK • the most complete portal in the world • collaboration between PSP, 365 and BrookSoft on BrookTrout • Ms.600 / KGT -Taiwan • 18 services: killer application is top ten • first Mandarin voice portal • SpeechMania solution in collaboration with Intecs

  18. Experiences with Voice Portals • Although technically feasible, not all features of natural dialogues are used by callers! • Business case / marketing and good dialogue design are as important as the technical implementation!

  19. Voice Portals: A Solution in Search of a Problem? • Marketing Strategies: • Omnitel2000 advertisement people do not speak no sample dialogue the need is an exception (e.g. restaurant closed) and not compelling

  20. Voice Portals: A Solution in Search of a Problem? (2) • KGT advertisement people call because a they have a immediate need you have to speak with the portal it reacts like a human being

  21. Experiences with Voice Portal Dialogues • You have to show people that they can talk naturally! • Mixed-initiative dialogue seldom used • Menu structure critical when too many services (good feed-back needed to guide caller through the application: different voices and background music used for Omnitel20000 initially - high effort to maintain) • Human Factors experts guidance needed!

  22. Applications Customer Care

  23. Content Portals: Customer Care The Concept: Automate the answering of Frequently Asked Questions Example: • Omnitel 190 (collaboration between Nortel and PSP)

  24. Customer Care Services Automation:Example of Services Portfolio Customer Care Centre Agent: Troubleshooting Complaints Pre Paid Cards Info Tariff Plan Info Voice Mail Info SMS Info WAP Info Credit Queries Analog Tariff Plan Accessing Messages Accessing SMS Accessing WAP Where to buy Business Tariff Plan Deleting Messages How to register How to register Types available Residential Tariff Plan Charge Info Message Delivery Information Services Finding your number How to register Using VM abroad Deleting Messages WAP phones Current Account Info Message Delivery/ Alert Charge Information Charge Information Mobile phone settings

  25. The Omnitel 190 Success • Handles 250,000 calls per day • Peak rates of 540,000 calls per day • 92 % Dialogue Success Rate • Shorter wait times for Customers • There is a real value proposition for the caller: • Able to handle many categories of questions • Else too many menu layers • Able to handle fuzzy questions • Too difficult to catch all questions • Speech preferred over DTMF (9% still preferred DTMF) • DTMF input cumbersome on GSM

  26. Experiences with Customer Care • People call because they need to, good business case • Although it seems simpler than voice portals, dialogue design is as critical

  27. Drivers • Growth of subscribers cannot be matched with call centre growth • IVR/DTMF automation not satisfactory • Cost saving on operators having to intervene • Pre-paid users do not justify high expenses • Agent migration to High Value services

  28. Experiences with Customer Care Dialogues • More mixed initiative should be allowed because caller has a specific issue • Complex recognition task: concept spotting is crucial • Customers’ departments more used to IVR systems (whilst voice portals not so biased) often replacing the DTMF dialogue only by inserting recognition • Human Factors experts guidance needed!

  29. Applications Directory Assistance

  30. Directory Assistance Market Segments Directory Enquiries White Pages (addressed by name) Yellow Pages (addressed by content) Residential Listings Company Listings (“Pink Pages”)

  31. Example:Telia Telia has positioned the new automated white pages service in addition to call center and internet at a lower price The system has gone live in 02/2001, 90% success rate Results from Field Trial done for Stockholm: A “complete” Service Portfolio Price 56 % of the customers very satisfied or satisfied 90 % thought the application was easy to use 62 % thought that the search was fast and efficient 33 % felt uncomfortable talking to a machine 33 % did not like the voice Valueadded Basic

  32. Automation of Residential Listings • Challenging recognition task • long lists of names with frequently unusual phonetics • But “easy” task compared with business listings because • dialog is structured • always the same information items available (name, first name, street, …) • Full automation possible • Ask for as many different items (name, street, city, …) as possible • Use spelling if possible • Make use of DB • Dialog success rates • for automizable calls (caller cooperative, knows information, …) • succes rates of 75% - 87.5% have been proven in trials with “real callers”

  33. Automation of Business Listings • More difficult task compared with residential listings • Different domains require different info items • small businesses: name of owner, street, … • big business: branch, part of city • doctors: area of medicine, address • … • Dialog can not be strict and uniform as for residentials • Automation is possible by • Automate only partly: top 1000, 5000, 20000, … listings • Automate fully by using intelligent search techniques

  34. The Roads to Portals White Pages Yellow Pages Area Code Guides (Hotel …) Tariff Info Traffic Info ... ... Customer Care Portal Voice Portal

  35. Trends

  36. Segmentation (portals for business-men, twens, house-wives…) • Personalisation (allow people to personalise their links and preferences and to synchronise their phone books via the Internet,…) • Multimodality

  37. Last Example: 365 Voice Portal