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MTI  - Blog

  • Call Centers? Who needs em'? We do.

    The government shutdown that gripped the nation, furloughed thousands of workers and left commerce at a standstill offered a unique insight into our country's dependency on call centers. While some citizens were able to get the information they needed when they needed it using IVR, many were left without the convenience of calling a hotline to speak to a representative. Is a Call Center Essential? According to the Government, It is Not. During the shutdown only services deemed essential by the government remained open. Thus, hundreds of departments that many citizens depend on daily were closed, including many call centers. For example, a cancer call center in Seattle that ...

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  • What Would Wozniak Do?

    The Brains of the Operation Since the JOBS biopic came out with Ashton Kutcher in the title role most people are aware of the tale of Steve and his exploits. To the hardcore tech folks though, the more interesting story regards Steve Wozniak, the brain that actually got his hands dirty tinkering with the electronics. Before Apple, Steve Wozniak was a kid that got into engineering and practical jokes. Phreaking Out the Squares When the two aforementioned fellows were still just youths exploring the world and pushing the boundaries, they loved have fun. Being a little geeky and tech savvy this typically meant a laugh at someone else's ...

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  • Cloudy With a Chance of Nonsense: Understanding the Cloud and IVR

    To say cloud computing is something of a buzz-worthy tech term is a massive understatement. It seems that every time you pull up a tech blog, you’re seeing it haphazardly thrown around as an all-inclusive term for any service hosted on the web. If you want to sound like a living, breathing connoisseur of the cloud, you can even throw around words or phrases like “infrastructure,” “Platform-as-a-Service” and “server architecture.” This is where IT managers and CIOs begin their extended eye-roll-sequence, and rightfully so. It’s time to clarify what the cloud is, how it relates to hosted IVR solutions, and ...

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  • Message Technologies selected to provide cloud-based IVR services for AmeriGas, the nation’s leading propane supplier.

    AmeriGas selects Message Technologies, Inc. (MTI) to provide hosted IVR services. With over two million customers in all 50 states, AmeriGas provides the most reliable, safest, and responsive propane service in the nation.  Committed to customer service and loyalty, AmeriGas saw MTI’s IVR offering as the right tool to maintain their focus on customer service and personal attention to each customer.  “We  wanted to implement  IVR solutions that  would  provide  the  best possible experience for  our  customers”,  said  Andrew Hertzog,  Marketing Product Manager of AmeriGas.   “MTI has delivered everything we were looking for in a partner.”   ...

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  • Must We Take Dinner with Brer Fox?

    Wow. Now I am perfectly willing to admit that I have a strong bias towards IVR applications. I design them, I evaluate them, my mortgage is paid by them, and frankly, when well designed, I absolutely prefer them to live agents. So, in full disclosure, I hereby state that I like IVR applications. And I hate them when they don’t work properly.  They get a lot of heat, deservedly so, for stiff arming the caller, providing a mechanical and obstructive interface, and obstreperously preventing efficient action on routine tasks. But today I read an article that highlights a far more ...

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  • Outbound IVR Hosting

    With a growing number of enterprises looking for innovative ways to cut costs and drive additional revenue, outbound IVR has become a critical part of many business strategies. Gone are the days of unsophisticated predictive dialers, outbound IVR is becoming increasingly interactive and market data shows that the use of automated solutions is on the rise. As a result of the effective use of outbound IVR, consumers have become accustomed to receiving outbound calls and they are able to benefit from them. In our experience spanning a variety of industries, we have found that when consumers receive automated calls from ...

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  • Where Do We Go From Here?

    Recently I have been following a lively discussion on the VUID group, titled “Are we the orchestra on the Titanic?” It began with a post from the inimitable Phillip Hunter containing a link to Robert Fortner’s blog: Rest in Peas: The Unrecognized Death of Speech Recognition His premise is that the progress of automated speech recognition has peaked, and is well along the slow decline into obsolescence. Fortner cites various studies showing that the core technologies were able to take advantage of the enormous gains in hardware capability and speed, as well as the tremendous amount of text content available ...

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  • Stupid Computer!

    All too often IVR systems get blamed for a poor user experience. The impulse to blame the user interface for a poor customer experience is common, and quick to gain traction (everyone's got a favorite IVR-flaw story). Unfortunately, many people don't take into account the type of device being used by the caller or the environment they are calling from. In general, IVR systems work very well when they are properly designed. With that being said, here are a few examples of devices and environments that are not well suited for IVR use. Enjoy. Telephone Failures

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  • My Wife has an IVR-killing Superpower

    A couple of months ago we dropped our traditional landline and began using the AT&T U-verse voice service. Shortly after that I discovered my wife’s unusual superpower.  It started innocently enough - we chat on the phone a few times during a day. That’s normal, right? I should mention my wife is a multi-tasker and has a habit of resting the cordless phone on her shoulder as she types on a keyboard, rinses dishes, or performs an appendectomy. Often her cheek or chin would touch the keypad and voila, I would hear random touch tones. After our switch ...

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  • Big Brother is Listening to You?

    A new patent has been awarded to Charles Humble of the National Institute for Truth Verification (NITV) that establishes numerical values to stress levels experienced when lying, even using recorded speech. Read the entire article here. The NITV markets the Computer Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA I and CVSA II) , which purports to be 96%-98% accurate at discerning truth from fiction. It has been marketed primarily to law enforcement and military intelligence agencies, thus far. It uses an algorithm to analyze and graph frequency modulations in unstructured speech. These graphs then display “positively” whether the person has lied in ...

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