Enjoying Self-Service Benefits with Speech Enabled IVR

Sestek Speech Enabled IVR

We’ve all experienced that sense of dread: calling a customer support line only to be met with a robotic, confusing phone menu. Finding the menu option that meets your needs can be tough and time-consuming. And once you’ve finally found it, you’re put on hold for minutes. It’s a bad customer experience, and businesses feel the financial pain when angry customers give up. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Natural Language Processing-Based IVR Solutions

As a result of tremendous developments in natural language processing (NLP) technology, IVRs can serve as conversational systems. NLP enables human-like interactions with IVR systems. This means that instead of using a touch-tone menu, customers can state their questions or concerns in plain language. Thus, customers enjoy a natural, intuitive experience that’s just like talking to a human, without being constrained to fixed menus. This technology not only enhances the customer experience but also increases operating efficiencies for businesses.

Speech Enabled IVR for QNB Finansbank

Sestek customer QNB Finansbank enjoys these benefits thanks to Sestek’s NLP-based Speech Enabled IVR technology.

Before Speech Enabled IVR

Before Speech Enabled IVR, QNB Finansbank used agents to handle calls. Its call center received approximately 2.8 million customer calls every month, which amounts to 90,000 calls a day. QNB Finansbank employed 600 full-time call center agents to meet this need, with the average call lasting three minutes.

Touch-tone menu navigation was causing customers to lose time. This meant not only a bad experience for them but also higher operational costs for the bank. Therefore, it sought a solution that would improve customer experience and cut operational costs.

The Solution

That solution was Sestek Speech Enabled IVR.

Speech Enabled IVR uses NLP to enable human-like interactions with IVR systems. This allows customers to state their demands in plain language to the system without using a touch-tone menu. Sestek Speech Enabled IVR provides several benefits both for organizations and customers.

The solution ensures a natural dialog between users and IVR systems, thanks to advanced technologies like NLP and intent recognition. This frees customers from complicated menu navigation and saves their valuable time.

The technology is an effective alternative to touch-tone IVR systems because it offers a highly automated solution. Speech Enabled IVR guides customers directly to just the self-service menu they need. Providing faster solutions not only enhances the customer experience but also increases efficiency. Faster and more efficient call routing helps customers find solutions faster, reduces calls, and lightens agents’ workload through automation.

The Implementation

QNB Finansbank decided to implement Sestek Speech Enabled IVR in its call center. The two companies’ teams worked closely during the implementation phase.  They prepared a to-do list and a project plan to determine what needed to be done. To design the IVR tree accurately, they reviewed actual customer call recordings and made a blueprint of the conversation tree. The teams also applied different tests to ensure that Speech Enabled IVR integrates properly with the current IVR system. The teams continued to monitor the system after the implementation to ensure smooth operation.

After Sestek Speech Enabled IVR

Soon after implementation, QNB Finansbank began seeing several benefits. The solution’s NLP and intent recognition technologies helped the company better understand its customers’ reasons for calling. Customers were matched with the right menu in fewer steps. Thus, the rate of accurate menu navigation increased to 92% and average wait time decreased by 31%. Allowing customers to complete different transactions without needing complicated menu navigation and an agent’s help increased customer satisfaction. Consequently, abandoned calls declined by 39%, while the agent workload decreased by 10%, for a 6% increase in self-service rates.


Although the number of digital channels in customer services is increasing, the contact center remains the preferred choice. Customers also expect the ease of an online transaction from IVR calls. Businesses are looking to offer effective solutions that not only satisfy customers but also decrease costs. Speech Enabled IVR provides an effective solution for this need. The solution ensures practical use by allowing customers to interact with IVR systems via natural speech. This saves customers from complicated menu navigation and wasted time. By shortening call duration and decreasing the need for live agents, the technology also increases business efficiency.

Learn more

For more information about Speech Enabled IVR, you can visit our product page.

Author: Hilal Bakanay, Senior Marketing Specialist, Sestek