Smart voice software looks after readers' needs

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Newspaper readers with a complaint or comment are increasingly finding themselves being looked after by a computer as interactive voice recognition becomes the "go-to" technology for publishers.

US-based specialist VoicePort reports a number of installations of its automated CircPort system, including at Warren Buffett's BH Media Group.

Deployed in "geo-redundant" data centres, the systems can handle all inbound call traffic regardless of call volume spikes.

BH Media publishes 31 daily newspapers, associated weekly publications and websites, as well as an ABC television affiliate in Miami. The CircPort will provide callers with advanced self-service options and, when required to talk with agents, smart dynamic routing to representatives.

Using real-time data, it will take delivery complaints, payments, credit card updates and holiday stops, with redelivery despatch notices sent directly to the carrier.

without the need for re-entry. An outbound module then calls or emails subscribers to confirm a redelivery has been received, and subscribers' responses are posted back in to the circulation database.

BH will also used the module for subscriber communications such as credit card expiration and updates, restart and new start verification, and other account information.

Another user is the Seattle Times, whose BPO partner Alorica has a number of newspaper clients. Times customer relations and sales manager Dayne Turgeon says a major project will see the current circulation database replaced with a SalesForce-based system.

"We required an advanced IVR for the Audience Management Project to interface directly, and the unique interface capabilities and features will allow the Seattle Times to take maximum advantage of AMP's capabilities," he said. "Our expectation is to see an increase in customer satisfaction while maximizing the customer value and understanding the customer experience."

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