Security Service Federal Credit Union

LumenVox speech software improves user experience and call completion for financial IVR

When it came time to replace an older Avaya Interactive Response platform that featured a DTMF-only IVR, Security Service Federal Credit Union made the decision to add LumenVox speech recognition to an IVR that handles more than half a million calls per month. Their hope was that they would be able to improve the IVR experience, especially for hands-free users on mobile phones, and reduce the load on their call center of approximately 200 agents.

Security Service, headquartered in San Antonio, TX, has been in business for more than 50 years and has 72 locations across three states, making it the eighth-largest credit union in the United States. Mark Jimenez, Assistant Vice President for Network Engineering & Support, needed to upgrade his old Avaya IR platform to a modern system based around Avaya Aura Experience Portal, and looked to NACR, a top Avaya business partner, for assistance.

It was NACR, the world?s leading independent integrator of communications solutions and services, who recommended that Jimenez use the LumenVox Automated Speech Recognizer for his new IVR. It was a meaningful decision, because Security Service previously had a poor experience with a speech-enabled IVR.

"Speech was one of those things that we'd tried over 15 years ago, and we had a terrible experience and ended up ripping it out and going back to DTMF," Jimenez says. "But the growing issue of texting and driving eventually proved to us that we needed to get with the times and allow speech recognition in our application."

The primary application is essentially a banking IVR, allowing credit union members to complete tasks such as checking account balances, transferring funds, and paying bills. This IVR receives around 500,000 calls in a typical month.

One of the main goals in moving to speech recognition for this IVR was to decrease the rate at which callers transferred to agents. Previously the average was for 26.2% of callers being sent to agents, and after the new speech-enabled IVR was put into place, that's gone down to 24%. At 500,000 calls per month, that adds up to 11,000 calls each month that agents don't have to handle, or 132,000 per year.

Security Service has also noted a decrease in overall IVR call volumes, which Jimenez attributes to callers successfully completing transactions in their first call, reducing the need for subsequent calls about the same transaction. "If you handle them the first time, then you have fewer calls than you otherwise would," he says.

Several other IVR applications are also using speech, including a new inbound/outbound application for collections on overdue accounts and one that lets auto dealers obtain payoff amounts for car loans. "We have relationships with more than 350 dealerships throughout the United States," says Jimenez. "So it's important that we help them interact with us efficiently."

It was NACR which recommended to Jimenez that he use LumenVox as the speech provider for Security Service. NACR's support meant a lot to Jimenez, as he has had an amazing experience working with NACR for Security Service's Avaya deployment.

NACR recommended LumenVox on the basis of quality, value, and the fact that LumenVox as a company is very easy to work with. "One of the key things was quicker time to implementation," Jimenez says.

During the implementation phase of the project, NACR and Security Service ran into a few issues which required some technical support from LumenVox.

"For the most part, LumenVox is easy to use and install," says Polly Gurley, the National Account Manager at NACR who manages the Security Service account. "But when we did have to call, LumenVox was really responsive in getting us something back."

With another speech vendor, Gurley says the implementation would have taken considerably longer, due to increased delays in working through support issues. With LumenVox, they were able to get responses immediately which kept the deployment on track and ensured the successes that Security Service is currently seeing.

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