Customer Authentication Using Voice Biometrics

Bigstockphoto_call_phone_apple_1687Customer verification or authentication is a huge issue for call centers. Not only are there security issues and customer privacy issues involved, but there are the issues of time and expense.

I recently analyzed a call in which the customer was run through the gauntlet of security questions including, but not limited to, name, address, phone, last four of social security number, mother’s maiden name, favorite breakfast cereal, and on and on and on. There were two minutes of customer verification after which the CSR finally got to "Okay, Mr. Wampumburger, how can I help you today?" to which the customer replied, "What’s your fax number?"

To avoid lengthy verification procedures and save on time/expense, companies are beginning to turn toward technology to help with customer authentication. Voice biometrics is one of these technologies. The question interested companies are asking is if the technology has matured to the point where it’s actually working without a million bugs, glitches and crashes. If so, how long will it take for the savings in call time to balance the expense of the technology?

I’m asking our faithful QAQnA readers to help us out and report your experiences with voice biometric authentication. You can post a comment or e-mail me with your own experience. I will be happy to pass along any information I receive.

  1 comment for “Customer Authentication Using Voice Biometrics

  1. January 22, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Having had many bad experiences of IVR I am highly sceptical about whether Voice Biometrics are likely to be any better.
    It might work fine from a quiet office, but since many people make calls from the busy airport, or a trade show with lots of background noise, I’m not so sure it will work.

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