Fluencys Virtual Agents Grab a Slice of the Action at Pizza Hut

London, May 29th, 2007 – Fluency Voice Technology, (www.fluencyvoice.com) the speech recognition application company today announced that its Locator application, which forms part of Fluency’s Virtual Speech Agent (VSA) Suite™, is behind the national One-Number (08714 74 74 74) for Pizza Hut which allows callers to say their postcode, identifies their location and then connects them to their nearest Hut to order take-away and delivery pizzas. The service is offered through Confero, (www.confero.co.uk) an established and respected outsourced call centre business that provides bespoke call centre services using a blend of live agents and automated response services.

David Freedman, managing director of Confero, spearheaded the task to find a suitable speech recognition partner to underpin the Pizza Hut service. “Speech recognition is a critical component of this service which relies in the first instance on identifying the callers post code and in the exceptional cases where the caller doesn’t know their post code, say for example, because they are calling from a hotel or a friends house, then we simply route them to a live agent to complete the call. “ David continues, “The automated service was first launched in October 2004 when the national number was marketed through successful TV programmes such as The Simpsons and around televised live football events. This kind of campaign was previously unimaginable given the volume of call centre staff that would have to be on hand to handle the demand.”

Two years down the line and the Pizza Hut One-Number service is taking an average of 20,000 calls per month, with the number published on all Hut take away boxes and restaurant menus.

Julian O’Neill, IT Director at Pizza Hut adds, “Our customers can quickly identify their nearest Hut without the frustration of waiting to speak to someone, which improves their Pizza Hut experience and increases our competitiveness.”

First time callers to the Pizza Hut One-Number service who are using a landline are asked for their postcode by the virtual agent and then given a choice of their nearest Hut and transferred to place their order. The system also recognises if the caller is a return landline caller and automatically routes them to their nearest Hut without asking for a postcode. If the caller is using a mobile phone, the system identifies the postcode they would like their delivery to be sent to.

“This is a great example of where speech recognition technology has been applied to a high volume, repeatable process and provides immediate and very visible benefits,” commented Philip Padfield, CEO of Fluency Voice. “Consumers are growing in awareness and confidence when using speech recognition and it is fast becoming the option of choice for household named companies launching high volume, 24×7 services.”

About Fluency Voice Technology
Fluency Voice Technology is a leading provider of packaged speech recognition applications for use in call centres. Our solutions enable enterprises to significantly reduce costs and enhance customer service by automating much of the high volume call centre activities.

Key sectors for which Fluency has developed applications are Financial Services, Travel & Transport, Utilities, Public Sector, Telecoms and Retail. Fluency has always been at the forefront of speech recognition and has changed the way in which businesses use speech by introducing configurable packaged applications. Fluency has offices in the UK and US. For more information on Fluency, please visit the company’s web site at www.fluencyvoice.com.

About Confero
Confero is one of the leading providers of call and contact centre services in the UK.

From company headquarters in Wembley, Confero delivers a rare mix of outstanding quality services to blue chips and SMEs, whilst maintaining a personalised service to clients. The company offers inbound call handling, outbound telemarketing and technology solutions to key sectors such as Financial Services, Automotive, E-tailers and Business Services.
Confero’s impressive client list includes Audi, KPMG, Nissan, Moneyextra, Harrow Council, Law Society, Pizza Hut and Yahoo. For more information please visit www.confero.co.uk.

About Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut is the UK’s leading pizza restaurant and delivery chain, with over 700 outlets across the country. Pizza Hut is part of Yum Brands (who also own KFC, Taco Bell, Long John Silver’s, A & W and Pizza Hut Worldwide). For more information please visit, www.pizzahut.co.uk.