Hosted IVR—Omni-channel customer engagement success stories

FedEx hosted Conversational IVR reduces agent calls

Natural language IVR delivers a more natural and conversational self‑service experience.

Company profile

FedEx recognized that the demands of its customers had changed and the company’s contact center no longer provided the high-level experience that FedEx is known for and today’s customers expect. Their goal was to humanize the Interactive Voice Response (IVR), making the experience more natural and conversational. They also needed a platform that would provide a foundation to launch more innovative capabilities and to serve their customers within the IVR. The new solution would need to bring together disparate contact center systems across the U.S. and Canada to a single platform with a common interface.

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In addition to the customer experience benefits, we’ve also seen improvements in our ability to really understand our customer’s call intent and get them to the right customer service representative. This prevents customers from having to call back or being transferred from one rep to another. So, we’ve seen great benefits from this solution.

Gina Maiden
Managing Director, FedEx
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  • Update the IVR experience to deliver the high-level customer experience that FedEx is known for
  • Have a foundation to launch more innovative capabilities
  • Bring together disparate contact center systems



  • Eliminated 11M live agent calls per day
  • Six percent plus increase in automation
  • Exceeded original goal for automation by three percent
  • Achieved significant annual savings
  • Delivers an intuitive and conversational service experience


In January 2011, the company introduced a new, Natural Language Understanding (NLU) call routing and IVR solution in the U.S. and Canada, replacing their previous directed-dialog system.

A brand new design powered by Nuance Communications, the solution lets callers say in their own words the reason why they are calling. It guides callers as they complete common tasks such as scheduling a pickup, tracking a package, finding the nearest location, getting rates, and ordering supplies, all without speaking to an agent. At any point in the call, the customer can speak with a live agent by simply pressing “0” or saying “Customer Service Representative,” which transfers both the customer and the information that has already been collected.

To remain current and cost-effective, the new solution was delivered using Nuance OnDemand, a pay-as-you-use hosted service. With Nuance OnDemand’s continuously improving platform and access to the newest speech and conversational technologies, the company is able to deliver a consistent, branded customer experience in both English and Canadian-French.

In addition, the company benefits from Nuance’s Continuous Improvement Process and end-to-end analytic tools that provide insights about how to improve the caller experience, optimize the performance of the IVR, reduce call transfers, and increase first call resolution. These insights, in combination with Nuance’s leading technology, have enabled the company to transform its customer experience.

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