Live Person Detection (LPD™) is an invention recently patented internationally, delivering safe and accurate recognition of human respondents of outbound telephone calls.
It uses Artificial Intelligence to monitor the first few seconds of an outbound telephone call by interacting with the recipient robotically in the actual voice of the agent that is the intended handler of the call. The call recipient would therefore be unaware of the seamless transition between the robotic and live agent thus creating the perfect intermeshing of artificial and human intelligence.
This invention solves the perennial problem of automatic detection of answering machines of all kinds, including voicemail and network answering services. It does so in a manner that is guaranteed not to generate any silent calls whatsoever. It successfully replaces the now discredited and largely disused older Answer Machine Detection (AMD) technologies which have proven not only to be ineffective but also harmful to the public and the contact centre industry. The LPD™ technology also eliminates some other malign side effects of earlier detection techniques such as the 2-3 second pause associated with AMD, which used to cause untold annoyance to the public and dramatically reduce outbound connection rates as most people grew wise to it. It also raises outbound call centre staff morale by eliminating repetitive call introductions and shielding from abrupt or abusive disconnections. The technology has been proven in live contact centre operations since 2014. A patent for the technology was granted by the US Patent Office at the beginning of 2019.
Customer Experience Value-Add
Most of us have experienced unwelcome calls whereupon answering we are met by stony silence or sometimes by a few seconds of silence followed by a rushed introduction from a jaded call centre agent aiming to spark our interest in some unsolicited and mostly unwanted offering.
The majority of these nuisance calls are generated courtesy of Answer Machine Detection (AMD) technologies used by call centres.
In March 2017 Ofcom issued a new policy statement regarding the persistent misuse of electronic telecommunications networks which places a central emphasis on the prevention of silent calls, putting repeat offenders at risk of heavy, punitive fines.
As a result, most responsible organisations suspended the use of AMD and have been absorbing the resulting added costs ever since. Some less scrupulous operators are continuing to cause annoyance and possible distress by continuing its use.
LPD™ offers the prospect of eradicating this problem by not only eliminating silent calls but also the initial period of silence associated with outbound calls, which these days allows call recipients to suspect that they have been targeted by call centres. As an added benefit, the call introductions are always fresh and properly enunciated in the same voice as the agent destined to handle the call once a live person has been detected.
Eradicating silent calls as well as silence at the start of calls enhances the customers’ experience and at the same time increases their potential receptiveness to the original purpose of the outbound calls being made.
The same number of agents can handle 40% more work or alternatively, the same amount of work can be completed with 29% fewer agents.
The central benefit of the LPD™ invention is the uplift measured in the SPH (Successes Per Hour) metric.Success is defined as an outbound call that results in the intended purpose of the campaign. For instance, this could be a debt being collected or a subscription being renewed or indeed a product or service being sold.
The SPH uplift when using LPD™ (compared with no AMD or LPD™) has been consistently measured over the last four years across several different deployments to average around 40%. This means that the same number of agents can handle 40% more work or alternatively, the same amount of work can be completed with 29% fewer agents.
The cost savings are spectacular. In addition, several other benefits have been measured. For instance, agents’ morale is markedly improved for two main reasons.
Firstly, they are no longer exposed to abrupt and sometimes abusive rejections as these typically conclude during the initial robotic AI-enabled part of the conversation.
Secondly, agents no longer need to repeat their call introductions hundreds of times each day allowing them to cut straight to the call’s content without appearing impolite.
Finally, efficiencies are introduced not only due to the filtering out of most calls to answering machines or voicemail but also through a reduction in agent talk time by delegating the repetitive part of the conversation to the Artificial Intelligence part of the call.
Return on Investment
LPD™ has been patented in the UK and internationally. Together with our SNoDrop™ technology, which uniquely delivers full predictive dialling with 0% abandoned calls, it forms part of our wider SmartBound™ initiative intended to use technological innovation in order to promote responsible outbound dialling and restore some of the tarnished reputation of the outbound calling industry.
Outbound dialling is often confused with cold calling, an error that has damaged the good name of this useful practice. Recent research reveals that, on both sides of the Atlantic, cold calling (i.e. sales calls to new clients) has fallen to well under 10% of all outbound calls made by call centres. Most outbound calls are for proactive customer service, call-backs, reminders, renewals, surveys, debt collection and a range of other applications.
Therefore, being able to engage in efficient and economical outbound calling is an imperative for many well-intentioned organisations as a way of staying in touch and interacting with their customers. LPD™ brings elements of AI to a mature industry to solve a decades old problem and introduce efficiencies to outbound calling in a manner that is completely safe and considerate to the public at large.
Noetica delivers LPD™ as a standard feature of our predictive dialler product and we charge no extra fee for its use.
Our investment in this innovative interplay between artificial and human intelligence has simply provided a differentiator for our technology in this mature market providing our customers with the reassurance they need to dial effectively yet responsibly.