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Two major and often contradictory considerations have governed the relationship strategy between call centers and companies in the last few years: optimization of operating costs and improvement of customer satisfaction. The deployment of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) servers has reduced waiting time at call centers while enabling cost optimization. However, customers have found that IVRs are somewhat difficult to use.

In 2001, the VoiceXML standard rapidly revolutionized the organization of customer relationships via telephone by facilitating the integration of speech technologies. Today, the convergence of telephone and Internet technologies enables deploying voice portals that are more pleasant for customers. Their integration with company IT systems now allows interactions that are personalized and adapted to specific needs, while speech recognition does away with frustrating navigation through interminable branching menus.

These combined advantages enable deploying true self-service applications that are accessible by phone at all times. Furthermore, the automation of routine transactions resulting from this approach has enabled obtaining substantial margins of operational optimization.