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Speechless (09 Dec 2004)
Forcing customers to interact without speaking to an agent could make a company seem faceless, but the key is for support centres to choose their battles and realise which interactions can be automated effectively, says Tony Hill, marketing director at Telsis. Telsis sells products that let mobile telecommunication companies offer services via SMS. The company's natural language processing software can interpret answers to basic queries, even in text lingo, and send back an instant SMS answer.

"The majority of customer care calls are people asking the same questions: What's my balance? How many loyalty points do I have?" says Hill. He argues that a quick, automatic answer is best for these types of query, as long as your system can process natural language.
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