North American Directory Assistance is ‘Best of the Best' - Paisley Group
THE HIGHLY-anticipated results of the Spring 2009 NDA Performance Index have just been released by The Paisley Group.
There are three components that drive the accuracy of DA: the automated front-end systems, the operators and the databases. According to the Spring, 2009 "National Directory Assistance Performance Index(SM)," an independent analysis published semi-annually by The Paisley Group, Ltd. (PGL), automated systems are performing at 99.0 per cent accuracy, operators at 98.7 per cent accuracy, and databases at 96.0 per cent accuracy. This results in 93.7 per cent of all calls being handled accurately. The margin of error is +/- 2.8 per cent.
Using a "mystery caller" approach, the Index tracks:
- Customer Fulfilment (SM), the definitive directory assistance quality standard that, by measuring speech recognition and operator and database accuracy, evaluates how often DA callers receive a correct listing report;
The Spring 2009 Paisley Index measured AT&T, Qwest and Verizon in the ILEC segment. The Average ILEC Fulfilment score was 91.3 per cent with a 3.2 per cent margin of error. The ILEC segment averaged 89.6 per cent Customer Care with a 3.5 per cent margin of error. This was up from a Customer Care average of 87.3 per cent in the Autumn of 2008.
In the critical area of Passed Calls, the ILEC segment improved again with an 83.7 per cent Passed Calls rating, up from 82.0 per cent in the Autumn of 2008. Passed calls are those that are both Fulfilled and Cared For.
Although Qwest continues to lead the industry in Lagniappe calls, the percentage of these calls decreased from 16.3 per cent to 8.3 per cent in the Spring 2009 Index. Lagniappe calls are calls that are not only accurate but also are handled by operators who exceed every expectation in call-handling, courtesy and voice delivery - operators who connect with callers on a personal level.
THIRD PARTY DA PROVIDERS CONTINUE TO EXCEL IN ALL AREAS OF SERVICE
The Third Party Segment included iTouchPoint, kgb_USA, TELUS, and Verizon LiveSource. The Customer Fulfilment for Third Party providers again averaged 95.0 per cent with a margin of error 2.5 per cent. Third Party Customer Care averaged 92.7 per cent with a margin of error of 2.9 per cent.
The average percentage of Passed Calls for the Third Party segment was 88.3 per cent compared to the ILEC average of 83.7 per cent.
WIRELESS CARRIER SEGMENT TAKES THE LEAD IN PASSED CALLS
AT&T Cingular, Sprint PCS, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless were all included in the Wireless Carrier Segment of the Spring 2009 Index. The quality of wireless DA service has become the best in the industry.
In the Wireless segment, the Customer Fulfilment scores were clustered in the 93.0 per cent to 96.3 per cent range with a margin of error of around 2.6 per cent. Customer Care averaged 96.0 per cent with a margin of error of about 2.2 per cent.
The average Passed Calls for the Wireless Segment was 91.3 per cent which was the best in the industry for the Spring 2009 Index. The margin of error is about 3.2 per cent.
FREE DA SERVICE VARIES WITH PROVIDER AND TYPE OF SERVICE
The Free DA Segment included AT&T, Jingle, Microsoft, and Verizon. Both AT&T and Verizon offered operator backup while Jingle and Microsoft were fully automated with no operator backup.
The Free DA segment average for Customer Fulfilment of eligible calls was 81.6 per cent. Eligible calls exclude residential searches for the providers who do not offer residential listings. Customer Care averaged 75.9 per cent for this segment with a 5.1 per cent margin of error. Although Customer Care was up from 72.5 per cent in the Autumn, it is still a far cry from the numbers seen in the Paid DA segments.
The Free DA segment included requests by name and by category. The Average Customer Fulfilment for Name Searches was 81.5 per cent and Average Customer Fulfilment for Category Searches was 82.1 per cent.
The average percentage of Passed Calls for the Free DA segment was 61.3 per cent with a margin of error of 5.5 per cent. This was up significantly from 55.7 per cent in the Autumn 2008 Index.
CUSTOMER CARE AND DA AUTOMATION ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE
Automated DA Services provided by MCI, Qwest, Sprint Long Distance, and Verizon were included in the Automated Segment in this issue of the Paisley Index. The automated segment average for Customer Fulfilment was 93.3 per cent with a margin of error of around 2.8 per cent. Customer Care averaged 92.0 per cent for all carriers using full automation, up from 90.0 per cent in the Fall of 2008. The margin of error is about 3.1 per cent. The average Passed Calls for the automated segment was 86.7 per cent. The margin of error is about 3.8 per cent.
Of all reports provided by DA speech recognition systems (where the database is accurate), 99.0 per cent are accurate. These are calls where the speech recognition system has a high degree of confidence that it has located the caller's request and gives the number without forwarding the caller to an operator. On an industry level, accurate reports are given by live operators 98.7 per cent of the time.
Short Message Service (SMS) use is growing exponentially in the US. It's estimated that the number of SMS messages sent in 2009 will exceed 350 billion. Of particular interest to Directory Assistance providers is the growth of SMS-based information services. Paisley recently studied three SMS-based service providers, Google SMS, kgb and ChaCha, evaluating their functions as Directory Assistance (DA) providers. The results of this study are included in the Spring 2009 Paisley Group NDA Performance Index.
Leave your comments: