2001: How May I help You?

Customer care systems work best when callers are quickly and accurately routed to support staff. Using Natural Voices technology, AT&T Consumer Services' How May I Help You? (HMIHY) system has significantly improved customer satisfaction by making the machine do the work, instead of you.

Rather than forcing you to listen to a series of voice prompts and determine the appropriate response, the HMIHY system lets you respond directly to the question, "How may I help you?". Natural language understanding (NLU) technology enables the system not only to understand your response, routing you to the appropriate personnel, but also to ask you additional questions when more information is needed. The HMIHY system was deployed in 2001, and by the end of the year, it was handling more than 2 million calls per month.