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Dallas311 Gives Citizens a Voice to Quickly Find Information and City Services With Improved Dallas311 System, Powered by Nuance Natural Language Understanding

New Conversational IVR Phone System, “Easy Speak,” Listens, Understands and Engages to Route People to the Right Information, Faster Than Ever Before

BURLINGTON, Mass., – November 1, 2016Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) today announced that the City of Dallas has rolled out a significant update to its Dallas311 (dallascityhall.com) city information phone system that will give Dallas residents easy access to important City resources. By implementing Nuance’s Conversational IVR (interactive voice response) with natural language understanding (NLU), Dallas311 is enabling its customers to get to information more quickly and easily – all through natural, conversational dialogue.

Historically, Dallas311, the city’s leading source for information, has faced challenges with its caller experience, due in large part to limited IVR functionality and extensive phone trees, which has also led to lengthier calls, higher AHT (average handle time) and higher overall call center traffic. With the new Nuance NLU system, “Easy Speak,” Dallas311 aims to improve the caller experience with an easy-to-use system that allows people to simply say what they want in their own words to get to the information that they need. By engaging callers in a conversational dialogue and directing them to the right information from the start, Dallas311 intends to reduce the overall time that people spend on the phone, as well as avoid misrouted calls and unnecessary call transfers, both of which can be key areas of frustration for callers. The new system can also help to improve Dallas311 agents’ experience by limiting the time that they spend routing and transferring calls, and allowing them to focus on those calls that require personal attention or action.

Getting information from Dallas311 will now be as simple as having a conversation. Callers to Dallas311 will now hear a prompt asking them: “How can I help you today?” and they can respond naturally, in their own terms. Examples include:

  • “How can I get a new roll cart for trash pickup?”
  • “Can someone help me with animal services?”
  • “I have a question regarding code compliance.”

“Our primary goal with the new IVR system from Nuance is to make it easy, fast and convenient for people to get information,” said Margaret Wright, Assistant Director, Dallas311, City of Dallas. “Adding natural language capabilities to our IVR allows us to quickly get callers to the right place to find what they need, minimizing their time on the phone. It also cuts the time that our city agents spend redirecting and transferring calls and allows them to focus on answering questions. It’s a win for both citizens and for Dallas311 in terms of increased convenience and more effective and efficient city services.”

Recent survey data has shown that the majority of consumers prefer to interact with businesses through intelligent and conversational systems when it comes to seeking customer service across the Web, mobile, and phone channels (IVR). For example, a 2016 global survey commissioned by Nuance showed that 89% of consumers prefer and, in fact, expect a conversational interaction when it comes to customer service, with 87% reporting that a positive interaction with a company will determine whether that consumer continues their relationship with the company.

“The City of Dallas is demonstrating real leadership when it comes to innovation in the call center,” said Robert Weideman, executive vice president and general manager, Enterprise Division, Nuance. “They had a vision to reinvent their caller experience with conversational technology, and that vision has led to a natural language system that will not only provide a more convenient experience for the caller, but a more efficient process for Dallas311 through increased automation, reduced call duration, and fewer agent-to-agent transfers.”

Nuance helps organizations to deliver intelligent self-service solutions so customers can quickly and easily get what they need from contact centers, websites or mobile apps – how, when and where they want to engage. Nuance’s natural language understanding technology allows customers to simply speak when calling into a business so they can quickly and easily resolve their question. This next generation IVR allows for a more human conversation with technology through engaging callers in natural dialogue and intelligent conversation. Nuance’s IVR solutions have been adopted globally by large organizations such as Delta, FedEx, Huawei, and TalkTalk.

For more information about Nuance’s NLU solutions for IVR, please visit Nuance.

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About Nuance Communications, Inc

Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) is a leading provider of voice and language solutions for businesses and consumers around the world. Its technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with devices and systems. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance’s proven applications. For more information, please visit www.nuance.com.

Trademark reference: Nuance and the Nuance logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Nuance Communications, Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners.

Contact information:
Nuance Media Contact:
Erica Hill - Director Corporate Communications
+1 781-888-5518
erica.hill@nuance.com

Dallas311 Media Contact:
Justin Snasel - Sr. Public Information Officer
+1 214-243-2044
justin.snasel@dallascityhall.com