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Convergys Confidential and Proprietary Copyright © 2007 Convergys Corporation To Confirm, or Not to Confirm … That is the Question Kristie Goss Convergys Corporation Kristie.Goss@convergys.com
Convergys Confidential and Proprietary Copyright © 2007 Convergys Corporation 1 Convergys at a Glance Industry Strengths Include: Financial, Communication, Consumer Package Goods, Technology, Health Care, Retail, Pharmaceutical 73 contact, service and data centers worldwide Over 575 clients in 70+ countries Worldwide capabilities Listed on NYSE, S&P 500, Fortune 1000 A Fortune Most Admired Company for seven consecutive years $2.8 billion in revenues Leading public company Solutions and Service Offerings Customer Care, Human Resources, Billing Services Solutions, Software, Outsourcing, Consulting Enabling organizations to enhance the value of their relationships with customers and employees
Convergys Confidential and Proprietary Copyright © 2007 Convergys Corporation 2 Agenda Importance of Confirmations When and How to Confirm Explicit and Implicit Confirmation Negation + Correction ‘Always’ Confirming Confidence Thresholds Potential Benefits Questions
Convergys Confidential and Proprietary Copyright © 2007 Convergys Corporation 3 Importance of Confirmations Why are confirmations important anyway? Make or break the system: Too many confirmations causes the user to believe the system can’t understand him Too few confirmations creates a lack of confidence in the system Confirmations are very powerful when used appropriately: Generate a more realistic conversation Build the user’s trust in the system Enhance the caller experience
Convergys Confidential and Proprietary Copyright © 2007 Convergys Corporation 4 When to Confirm Confirm sensitive / critical information: SSN Credit card number Checking account number Confirm if the utterance determines a dramatic shift in the call path – if we’re not sure what the caller says, don’t send them down a path that’s impossible to back out of – callers become frustrated, etc. Confirm if validation fails: collect an account number, and if it fails the verification process (can’t be found in the back-end system), then have the caller confirm Never confirm DTMF entries
Convergys Confidential and Proprietary Copyright © 2007 Convergys Corporation 5 How to Confirm Make it short and sweet That was. Correct? To confirm, that was. Correct? , correct? ALWAYS confirm the action rather than the utterance “You’d like Billing. Is that correct?” vs. “I think you said Billing. Is that correct?” Confirm numeric and alphanumeric strings intelligently Based on the string, concatenate numbers with the appropriate inflection (ie a phone number) If confirming an alphanumeric entry, group the letters and numbers along with pauses to create an understandable utterance rather than reading back one big chunk of data Use an “N-Best” list based on returns from a data lookup to confirm
Convergys Confidential and Proprietary Copyright © 2007 Convergys Corporation 6 Explicit Confirmation Adds a specific prompt to the dialog to confirm information the user provided. Ex: IVR: “Which account would you like to transfer money from?” USER: “Checking.” IVR: “That was Checking, correct?” Benefits: Before moving on to the next state, the system is sure of what the caller said Prompt is easy for the caller to follow – all the caller needs to say is yes or no Drawbacks: Adds an additional ‘turn’ to the dialog Too many explicit confirmations will give the caller the sense that the system doesn’t understand him Use Explicit Confirmation when the cost of misrecognition is high
Convergys Confidential and Proprietary Copyright © 2007 Convergys Corporation 7 Implicit Confirmation Combines the confirmation with the next prompt. Ex: IVR: “Which account would you like to transfer money from?” USER: “Checking.” IVR: “Transferring from Checking … If this isn’t correct, say, ‘Go Back’ now. What account would you like to transfer to?” Benefits: Doesn’t add a ‘turn’ to the dialog (if system accurately recognized the caller) Shortens the call duration (if system accurately recognized the caller) Gives user confidence in the system – less obtrusive Drawbacks: If system is wrong, caller isn’t sure what to say since it’s not a yes/no question Requires a more complex grammar – recognize accept or reject phrases in addition to the information we’re trying to collect Use Implicit Confirmation when grammar is small and unique
Convergys Confidential and Proprietary Copyright © 2007 Convergys Corporation 8 Negation + Correction When performing an Explicit Confirmation, recognize more than just Yes/No responses. Allows the caller to correct the system. Ex: IVR: “Which account would you like to transfer money from?” USER: “Checking.” IVR: “That was Savings, correct?” USER: “No, Checking.” Benefits: Before moving on to the next state, the system is sure of what the caller said Removes the need for yet another turn in the dialog Provides a continuity of dialog Drawbacks: Adds complexity to a simple yes/no grammar Use Negation + Correction when it’s trivial for the caller to ‘correct’ the system
Convergys Confidential and Proprietary Copyright © 2007 Convergys Corporation 9 ‘Always’ Confirming Do I really have to always confirm? Many clients push that the system ‘always’ confirm certain entries: credit card number, SSN, account numbers, etc. … But, there are ways of confirming caller entered data that are transparent to the user Perform a data dip and if the data is valid, don’t confirm Use information returned from data dip to create an easier confirmation (Are you calling about the Durango or the Liberty?) Build checksums into collection modules and only accept valid data Gather as much information as possible about the data to be captured so the grammar can be built around specific rules
Convergys Confidential and Proprietary Copyright © 2007 Convergys Corporation 10 Confidence Thresholds Confidence is a continuous value defined in a range of 0-1. It reflects the probability that the word or phrase that was recognized is the word or phrase that the caller actually said. Confidence Thresholds break confidence values down into categories, normally Low, Medium, or High. Typical defaults (for grammars other than Yes/No): Low = < 0.55 (rejected) Medium = 0.55-0.85 (confirmed) High = > 0.85 (accepted) My experience has shown that clients are more willing to confirm ‘if necessary’ vs. ‘always’ if the high confidence threshold is increased – ensures less false accepts
Convergys Confidential and Proprietary Copyright © 2007 Convergys Corporation 11 Potential Benefits What can employing the proper confirmation strategy do for me? Decrease call duration Improve caller experience (by more closely mimicking a human to human conversation) Increase the caller’s confidence in the system Improve overall caller satisfaction
Convergys Confidential and Proprietary Copyright © 2007 Convergys Corporation 12 Questions?
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