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October 22, 2010

UK firms, consumers could save £23bn per year with call automation: Study

Firms could recoup £14.8bn per year through call centre automation

By CBR Staff Writer

UK organisations and consumers could save more than £23bn per year by reducing inefficiencies in public and private sector call centres with call automation technology, according to a study commissioned by Nuance Communications.

The study was carried out by the centre for economics and business research (cebr), an independent forecaster of the UK economy.

The study draws on data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and other official material and examines five areas that comprise call automation: natural language call steering; speech and voice biometric automated identification and verification; speech automated self-service; proactive outbound notifications and mobile care.

It examines the percentage of calls that can be automated as well as the current rate of automation.

According to the research, ‘The Economics of Call Automation’, firms could recoup £14.8bn per year through call centre automation and consumers could save £8.3bn per year in time and money spent ringing call centres.

The report said the potential public sector gains rise to £13 billion per year, if increased call automation were applied to all appropriate inbound calls.

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Nuance Communications VP of market development EMEA Enterprise & Mobile Scott Wickware said for too long call centres’ contribution to the bottom line has been overlooked, as they are losing out on investment to other parts of the business.

"This is counter-intuitive if you consider that not only do call centres provide a crucial link between the business and its customers but the telephone remains the primary means by which consumers interact with customer care," Wickware said.

"Any company that fails to recognise this preference breaks the cardinal business rule of ‘knowing their customer’."

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