Call Steering—Omni-channel customer engagement success stories

Large retailer improves customer service experience

Natural language call steering decreases call abandon rate—improves call flow.

Company profile

The company is a leading integrated technology solutions provider in the IT industry. Although founded on the concept of selling computer systems directly to consumers, they have expanded their business model, selling a broader portfolio of products and services through additional distribution channels. Now, the company also offers mobility products, software and peripherals, servers and networking, and storage. Their services include a broad range of configurable IT and business-related services, including infrastructure technology, consulting and applications, and business process services.

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We partnered with Nuance to take us through this global journey to fix our IVRs because Nuance has some of the best experts when it comes to IVR project management and deployment, UI design, and especially the speech science around the application. The support we got from Nuance was incredible throughout this journey.

IVR Implementation Manager
Large Global Retailer


  • Multiple platforms, different code and mixture of speech‑enable and DTMF applications
  • Need to improve operating efficiencies for cost reduction
  • Ensure high‑quality service methods are consistently employed



  • Call containment in the IVR increased 80%
  • Call abandon rate decreased 19%
  • Total time in the IVR reduced 5%
  • Default transfers to agents decreased 4%


With operations around the globe, the company was seeking opportunities to standardize their technology and solutions for providing customer service over the telephone. Although similar automated applications existed worldwide, they were often deployed on different platforms and written in different code. Also, some were touchtone applications, while others were speech-enabled. By implementing global standards, the company could achieve greater operating efficiency to reduce costs, as well as ensure that proven, high-quality service methods are consistently employed.

In addition to moving towards global parity, the company also was looking to identify ways to improve the performance of their automated applications. By increasing the applications’ effectiveness in handling and routing calls appropriately, the company could reduce agent-related costs.

The company began working with Nuance Professional Service on multiple concurrent initiatives. First, they took important steps towards global parity by embarking on projects with the following goals:

— Migrate existing touchtone and speech-enabled applications in the United States from an end-of-life Edify platform to the Avaya Voice Portal Platform, while also implementing application improvements.
— Deploy consistent code for two specific touchtone applications operating on various platforms worldwide. The applications reside in nine countries and are in nine different languages (English, French, Dutch, German, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Japanese).

Second, the company decided to deploy a new call routing approach for their US operations. The US operations were using a menu-based, or “directed-dialog” speech-enabled call routing application. Callers were presented with a series of menus and provided with optional response. With over 150 different call types, however, the menus could be complex. In addition, it wasn’t always clear, from a customer’s perspective, which options to choose. As a result, callers sometimes abandoned the call and hung up, or they ended up in the wrong agent queue and had to be transferred. This resulted in lost revenue opportunity for the company, as well as higher-than-necessary operating costs.

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