US Airways is First Among Domestic Airlines to offer an Intelligent Service Experience Through Natural Language Understanding
TEMPE, Ariz. & BURLINGTON, Mass., Jul 21, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- US Airways (NYSE:LCC) and Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) successfully launched the domestic airline industry's first Natural Language Understanding (NLU) Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system last week. The new automated system, which was deployed over a two-day period, replaces a list of menu options and delivers a fast, friendly, personalized travel experience by offering the airline's customers a wide range of self-service capabilities such as flight information, upgrade status and Dividend Miles account details.
The new IVR is shortening call times and providing customers with more self-service opportunities. It was implemented as US Airways brings approximately 400 jobs to its Phoenix, Reno, Nev. and Winston-Salem, N.C. reservations centers this year when it returns to the United States work currently handled outside of the country. As part of the airline's agreement with the Airline Customer Service Employee Association - CWA and IBT, which represents the airline's more than 6,000 customer service employees and reservations agents, support for sales calls originating in the United States will be brought to U.S. locations by November 1, 2011.
"The more we know about our customers and the reason for their calls, the more efficiently we can provide the assistance they need and allow them to get on with their day. Over the last year, we have worked with Nuance to develop a service experience that provides an intelligent understanding of our customers and their travel needs," said Kerry Hester, senior vice president, Operations Planning and Support at US Airways. "By integrating those insights with cutting-edge speech recognition technology, we are providing our customers with the convenient, quality care they have come to expect from US Airways."
US Airways and Nuance partnered closely to create the new system, which converses with customers in a remarkably natural manner - understanding their verbal requests, recalling details of their previous conversations and matching its answers seamlessly to the transaction in question. In addition, the IVR is closely integrated with US Airways' 1,800 reservations agents, proactively providing them with information such as customer name and existing reservations as they are connected with callers, making it easier and more efficient for the airline's customers to get the help they need.
"US Airways is a clear leader here - demonstrating just how perceptive and effective the new generation of natural language self-service solutions can be," said Gary Clayton, chief creative officer, Nuance Communications. "Travelers are looking for airlines to provide simple, convenient, service options and US Airways just moved to the head of the pack, delivering the most intuitive and useful voice system in the industry via Nuance's On Demand service."
Nuance On Demand is a hosted service that showcases Nuance's best technologies, providing US Airways continued assurance that the IVR will evolve - taking advantage of the newest innovations in conversational speech recognition. Nuance On Demand was the clear choice for US Airways because it uniquely combines Nuance's skill in designing a world-class caller experience, their leading technology and a continuously evolving hosted self-service platform.
About US Airways
US Airways, along with US Airways Shuttle and US Airways Express, operates more than 3,200 flights per day and serves more than 200 communities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Central and South America. The airline employs 32,000 aviation professionals worldwide and is a member of the Star Alliance network, which offers its customers 21,000 daily flights to 1,160 airports in 181 countries. Together with its US Airways Express partners, the airline serves approximately 80 million passengers each year and operates hubs in Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia and Phoenix, and a focus city in Washington, D.C., at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. US Airways was the only airline included as one of the 50 best companies to work for in the U.S. by LATINA Style magazine's 50 Report for 2010. For the sixth year in a row, the airline also earned a 100 percent rating on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality index, a leading indicator of companies' attitudes and policies toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and customers. For more company information, visit usairways.com. (LCCG)
About Nuance Communications
Nuance is a leading provider of speech, imaging and customer interaction solutions for businesses and consumers around the world. Its technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with information and how they create, share and use documents. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance's proven applications and professional services. For more information, please visit http://www.nuance.com.
Nuance and the Nuance logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Nuance Communications, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States of America and/or other countries. All other company names or product names may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
SOURCE: US Airways
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