As a result of various buyouts and mergers, American Airlines’ (US Airways’) contact center operation was using multiple interactive voice response (IVR) systems. The systems had multiple voices and a variety of touchtone and speech menus which were inefficient, cumbersome and difficult to navigate. They were running on outdated technology, lacked computer telephony integration (CTI), and offered little insight into key performance metrics like call containment, deflection, and average hold time. What’s more, American Airlines’ (US Airways’) agreement with the Airline Customer Service Employee Association (IBT/CWA) required on-shoring of all reservation agents by November 2011, a transition that would require more integrated and cost-efficient IVR support.
That’s why in December 2009 American Airlines (US Airways) issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the design and deployment of a completely new self-service IVR system. The goals of the system were to increase call deflection, decrease call handling time, and improve the overall caller experience. Specifications included a single branded voice, improved prompting, additional self-service options, and comprehensive performance monitoring and reporting.
After receiving initial proposals, American Airlines (US Airways) quickly narrowed the short list to a handful of vendors, all of whom were proposing Nuance technology as the foundation of their solutions. After careful evaluation of top finalists, the airline ultimately chose to partner with Nuance.