Using speech recognition technology, the new service understands what the customer is saying and directs him to the concerned team


HSBC introduces new voice-based banking services. (Credit: HSBC Group.)

HSBC, a British banking giant, has introduced a new voice-driven service for its customers to assist in telephone banking in the UK.

The new service enables the bank’s customers to state the reason for their call verbally and be directed to the right team automatically.

By replacing the traditional touch-tone-based menu and reducing the need for internal transfer, the new process saves time for both customers and customer service personnel, the bank said.

Using smart technology, the new Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system is claimed to recognise the reason for the customer’s call and navigate them to the right team for assistance.

The UK bank is also planning to introduce a new self-serve option later this year, which can be used by customers to report if their credit or debit cards are lost, stolen or damaged via the IVR, without the need to be transferred to an agent, saving time for the customers.

HSBC UK contact centre and customer service head Kerri-Anne Mills said: “The introduction of the new voice-driven menu, means our customers can now tell us what they’re calling to do, as opposed to using a touch tone ‘Press 1 for this, press 2 for that’ system, making it quicker and easier to access their bank account and any additional support at a time when they may need us most.”

The new service allows customers to verify themselves

The new service also allows customers to identify and verify themselves before the calls are transferred to the correct team. It also enables customer service agent to gain the relevant information to assist the caller.

HSBC UK’s previous system could only recognise up to 16 different specific customer queries, but the latest platform which uses advanced speech recognistion technology is claimed to understand natural language and the nuances of how customer queries are phrased, along with different accents.

The new system will also replace the voice of Maggie Mash with Jessica Temple, who will greet customers with the new phrase: ‘In a few words, tell me the reason for your call’.

Back in 1997, when the first IVR system was introduced, the voice of Maggie Mash was used.