Cork-based interactive voice messaging company VoiceSage has secured more than €3m in private funding.
VoiceSage will use the money to further penetrate the UK market where it launched 18 months ago with a London sales office.
VoiceSage’s technology enables voice messages to be sent out to customers at appropriate times and at the end of the message customers can choose to take an action such as confirm an appointment, pay a bill or speak to a customer service person with zero hold-time.
Client companies include the ESB and major UK utilities providers PowerGen and Centrica.
“The entire area of communications-enabled business processes is set to really take off in 2008,” predicted VoiceSage CEO, JJ Kett. “Our adoption pattern is fairly typical of the new breed of software as a service offers.
“We are seeing individual departments with high-volume interaction needs in the bigger B2C [business to consumer] companies as our first adopters. Typically, they begin by wanting to proactively communicate with customers around known issues such as delivery and appointment confirmations because you can see an immediate drop in inbound call volumes.
“But then the really interesting Enterprise 2.0 adoption cycle happens. When they see measurable benefits rolling in within the first month, they quickly move to see if there are other aspects of their business that can be ‘communications enabled’. Many of our customers have used VoiceSage in ways we would not have predicted and we have been able to bring this to clients in other sectors as new product offerings.”
Kett said one of VoiceSage’s clients used its technology mashed with its existing customer relationship management (CRM) system and Geo-numbers from BT to create a specific campaign that called first-time insurance policy holders in a flood prone area and offered to help them manage their claims process.
“It was fantastic in that the insurance company received full credit for being so helpful and proactive and it was able to manage the inevitable customer interaction requirements in a controlled and planned manner,” said Kett. “Other companies have mashed VoiceSage with email solutions and readers were able to set off alert cycles based on certain sets of keywords.”
VoiceSage expects this funding round will help it secure more customers and bring its product to a wide range of other sectors.
By Niall Byrne