New research by ContactBabel, the contact center industry analysts, has found that US contact centers spend $12.4bn each year simply making sure that the caller actually is who they say they are.
"The US Contact Center Decision-Makers' Guide" is a major study of over 200 US contact center operations, sponsored by CosmoCom, inContact and Syntellect.
Research for the report has found that 59% of calls require identity verification, but that only 3% of these are dealt with entirely through automated processes, leaving the rest for contact center agents to ask security questions to callers.
One solution to this wasted time is to implement a voice verification system, which use spoken words to generate a voiceprint. A voiceprint can be compared with a previously enrolled voiceprint to verify a caller’s identity. These systems are not affected by factors such as the caller having a cold, or using different types of phones, or aging.
Identity verification processes are typically based on one or more authentication factors that fall into the following generally-accepted categories:
• something you know - e.g. password, identity number or memorable information;
• something you are - a biometric such as a finger print, retina pattern or voice print;
• something you have – a tangible object, e.g. a number-generating key fob, or the 3-digit code on some credit cards.
Combining these factors, for example, by asking the caller an answer to their secret question (thus checking the answer, as well as the veracity of the voiceprint) creates a more complex, and potentially more secure two-factor or three-factor authentication process. Increasingly, regulations require two-factor authentication processes. Financial institutions can no longer rely simply on passwords to protect web banking services. Voice verification systems are now delivering levels of accuracy and security that have proven robust enough for use by banks and insurers.
The report's author, Steve Morrell, commented: "Voice verification has the advantages of near-ubiquity - the vast majority of people would be able to use it - as well as improving levels of security and reducing costs. The increasing demand of the public for identity protection, coupled with businesses’ permanent desire to increase profits mean that voice verification is an option that any company concerned about identity authentication should now seriously consider."
About ContactBabel and "The US Contact Center Decision-Maker's Guide - 2009-2010"
The "US Contact Center Decision-Makers' Guide (2009/2010 - 3rd edition)" replaces the "US Contact Center Operational Review" as the major annual report studying the performance, operations, technology and HR aspects of US contact center operations.
Taking a random sample of the industry, a detailed structured questionnaire was asked to 212 contact center managers and directors between April and August 2009. Analysis of the results was carried out August to November 2009. The result is the 3rd edition of the largest and most comprehensive study of all aspects of the US contact center industry.
A free copy of the entire 250-page report is available from the ContactBabel website.