British Airways Call Center Reduces Costs with Nuance and Aspect Communications Speech System

After making speech a part of their call center operations, Nuance Communications has claimed that their client, British Airways, is now making significant financial rewards. The British Airways said that their Nuance-powered flight information line, which permits callers to speak of their flight numbers as well as access gate number and departure times, has significantly lowered the airline’s call center cost by about 95%.

Furthermore, the speech system has aided the British Airways to save by cutting down its cost-per-call from $3.00 to only $0.16. The British Airways flight information line was developed by Nuance and partner Aspect Communications and has been implemented for only 16 weeks.

Within six months, the British Airways had a 100% return on investment. The airlines’ voice driven flight information system deals with approximately 12,000 clients calls per day and had achieved the benchmark for the two-million-call in December 2002. Before setting up the speech program, the airlines had maintained 128 telephone numbers to carry its different call center locations, which is a costly and complex plan. With the implementation of Nuance speech solutions, the British Airways was able to lessen its number of customer service lines into just 3: the reservation, flight information and customer service.

The Nuance speech-based customer information system is one of British Airways’ $960 million multi-platform customer service’s main components. In addition to the functionality of the airline’s customer-facing voice system, a professional and welcoming persona, “Claire” is the voice behind the speech recognition system. “Claire” was especially created to mirror the British Airways’ brand. “Claire” is easy to understand and intelligent; providing arrival and departure information for the airlines’ flights and one world connections. “Claire” is also able efficiently to route callers to live agents in emergency cases or if a flight is delayed or canceled.

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