Alarming Practices and Outdated Technology Create a Customer Satisfaction Challenge

First major study of call handling at large businesses uncovers a major blind spot – and a powerful new opportunity to raise customer satisfaction.

The majority of businesses in the U.S. utilize old and frustrating call handling applications to connect callers, creating opportunities for companies who value the customer experience. These dynamics are cited by Parlance Corporation in a new study released today that examines the call handling practices of leading companies in the U.S.

Based on original research conducted by Walt Tetschner, President of Tern Systems Consulting and Publisher of Automatic Speech Recognition News, the new study summarizes Tetschner’s analysis of more than 2,600 large businesses in the U.S., representing more than 10 major industries.

Key Finding #1: The majority of businesses in the U.S. are using 1980’s era push button auto attendants to connect 2015 callers.

The new study found that DTMF Directed Dialog auto attendants (“Press 1 to reach sales. Press 2 to reach technical support. Press 3 to reach…”) were utilized by the majority of businesses sampled, leading both Live Answer as well as newer and more caller-friendly call handling solutions, such as Speech Recognition Natural Language.

Key Finding #2: Adoption of the latest call handling technologies will make rapid gains on older push-button technologies over the next 5 years, and organizations making the change earlier than others will have the competitive edge.

According to the research, the caller experience will become an increasingly important component of customer satisfaction programs, leading to increased usage of more caller-friendly technologies to connect callers.

Summary: Most companies are doing callers a disservice and missing out on an easy customer satisfaction win.

The study suggests that the preferences of callers and the preferences of businesses regarding call handling technology are not in alignment. While callers prefer a fast and simple caller experience (live answer, or as close to it as possible), the majority of businesses in the U.S. continue to employ time consuming and frustrating call handling technology (push-button DTMF Directed Dialog) due to ease of management and low costs.

Organizations embracing newer and more caller-friendly technologies, however, will enjoy customer satisfaction gains and competitive advantage over those relying on outdated call handling methods. The paper offers several tips on how businesses can focus on call handling to achieve higher customer satisfaction scores and give callers a modern day experience.

Download this White Paper to learn:

  • The Pros and Cons of the 4 major call handling methods used in large organizations: Live Answer, DTMF Directed Dialog, Speech Directed Dialog, and Speech w/ Natural Language
  • How most companies are failing to support callers by continuing to use outdated technolog
  • Where call handling is headed over the next several years
  • Ways your organization can leapfrog the competition and please callers


The article can be found on the Parlance Blog at

About Guest Author Mark Bedard

Mark Bedard is Director of Marketing at Parlance, which helps leading healthcare facilities, colleges and universities, and large enterprises deliver a positive caller experience, drive efficient operations, and move beyond yesterday’s call handling practices.


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