A BELFAST IT firm is aiming to increase its workforce by up to 50 per cent this year as it continues to introduce innovations to its product range.
Formerly a division of Kainos the business was established as an independent in 2010 in a buyout by senior staff including CEO Oliver Lennon, VP sales and marketing Damian Kelly and VP operations Brendan McCarthy, SpeechStorm is established as a leader in phone and mobile customer service and has announced plans to expand its development and sales teams on the back of recent customer wins and the success of its partnership-based approach.
Based on the Lisburn Road, the company grew its revenue to £2.2 million in just its second full year of operation, with SpeechStorm software now used by more than 20 customers, including: BSkyB, Dixons, eircom and the Northern Ireland Department for Finance & Personnel, enabling them to deploy new customer service applications faster and more effectively using Interactive Voice Response (IVR), speech recognition and mobile applications.
The firm has also announced the latest release of its software, code-named Fellini, including a powerful Customer Journeys module to display the end-to-end paths taken by customers through IVR and self-service applications. Armed with an insight into actual customer behaviour, organisations can modify the IVR to deliver improved experience and higher automation rates.
Code-based IVR systems are notorious in the contact centre industry for their limited reporting, with even the most basic information about throughput and automation rates requiring extensive development and analysis. SpeechStorm Customer Journeys provides a whole new way of understanding customer interactions and identifying areas for improvement.
By following the end-to-end path, for example, a business can see just how many people listened to their balance and then went on to pay a bill, or how many, having been offered a special promotion at the start of a call, went on to upgrade later.
Using this new-found insight, organisations can use SpeechStorm’s built-in design, test and one-click deployment capabilities to make callflows more responsive, more natural and more effective. Customer Journeys can guide a telecoms operation, for example, in re-arranging menu options so the most popular items are at the top level of the IVR, with the added use of personalisation helping callers to get where they want to go, faster.
“The initial reaction from customers and prospects that have seen Customer Journeys is: ‘Wow! This is what we’ve been crying out for!’” said Lennon.
“For many of them, designing effective callflows has been a bit of a black art, so we’re really excited to see how they adapt their IVRs based on a real understanding of end-to-end customer behaviour.”
Across the company, he attributed its early success to its focus on innovation and its partnership with Genesys (www.genesyslab.com), a global leader in customer service solutions, which recently recognised SpeechStorm as its UK & Ireland Partner of the Year.
“We design our software to make implementing and maintaining IVR and mobile applications easier than ever before, putting business users in control of the customer experience for everyday tasks like checking a balance, paying a bill or finding out about a delivery,” he said.
“Continued investment in R&D keeps us in a leading position but we are still a relatively small company. Partnering with Genesys has put us on the radar of the biggest customer service organisations in the world, who see the potential for our applications to reduce their costs and enable them to serve customers better.”
Work is already underway on two new implementations with enterprise customers in EMEA, scheduled to be announced in early 2013, with more in the pipeline. The company has immediate vacancies for Java and mobile application developers, as well as placement opportunities for infrastructure services and software engineers. New roles in partnership and account management will also be announced later in 2013.