HSBC launches voice-driven technology

HSBC has launched new voice-driven technology as part of efforts to automate the customer journey.

As part of the upgrade, telephone banking customers will be directed to a new voice response menu, enabling callers to state their intent verbally and be directed to the correct team automatically.

The new service uses an interactive voice response (IVR) system to recognise the reason for the call, navigating customers to the correct team for help, replacing the touch-tone menu and reducing the need for internal transfers.

Customers will also be able to identify and verify themselves before they are transferred to the correct team, providing the customer service agent with the relevant information to assist the caller.

The introduction of VoiceID - which uses biometric voice recognition to verify the caller’s identity - has also been used to detect £208 million of attempted fraud since January this year, HSBC said.

While the bank's previous system only recognised around 16 different specific customer queries, the new platform uses advanced speech recognition that understands natural language and the nuances of how customer queries are phrased, as well as different accents.

HSBC is also planning to launch a new self-serve option later this year, meaning that customers can report their debit or credit card as lost, stolen or damaged via the IVR, without waiting to be transferred to an agent.

Alongside the IVR rollout, the new switchboard voice of Jessica Temple will replace Maggie Mash, who has been the voice of telephone banking for HSBC in the UK since 1997.

Kerri-Anne Mills, head of contact centre and customer service at HSBC UK, said: “The introduction of the new voice-driven menu, means our customers can now tell us what they’re calling to do, as opposed to using a touch tone 'press one for this, press two for that' system, making it quicker and easier to access their bank account and any additional support at a time when they may need us most.”

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