These voice recgonition things are shit
I recently had the displeasure of using Virgin Credit Card's one, that to my surprise could understand perfectly all the complicated stuff I said, aside from the word "yes" when it asked for confirmation that it had understood.. No options to back out of the system either, or even - blindingly obvious I would have thought - provide the option to type numbers instead, or "press 1 to confirm".
BT's genius implementation on 152 is great as well. "I'd like to report a fault on an ISDN line" is not within it's vocabulary, and it repeatedly insists that you must say something it understands. I always end up with it completely misunderstanding me, then apologising to whoever I do get through to, who usually punts me in the right direction.
I had a training course recently where some crazy fool said these things are the future of callcentres. Only if clueless implementation managers fall for the emperors new clothes big sell from Massive Telephone Services Company Limited. People have been doing voice recognition for years and it will just never ever work at anything like an acceptable rate, until we start reaching technology that gets near emulating however the brain does it.
How about actually training and looking after some people that can speak and understand English, and can comprehend and deal quickly with multiple types of user problem, so they can get the customer off the (freefone?) telephone lines ASAP, with them satisfied and hopefully therefore a returning customer who will go out to the world and extol the virtues of the great service they just received?
They'd additionally save the cost of all the voice recognition snake oil system that no doubt piss off a slice of their customer base so badly that they go elsewhere and usually require a new and better one be bought every 2 years or so because they failed to meet expectation.
Or am I missing something?