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SpeechStorm’s phone-based survey for Northern Ireland’s Department of Finance & Personnel is better for government and better for business

New method of conducting Quarterly Employment Survey delivers high response rate, saving both time and money


Belfast, 24 July, 2012 – Leader in phone-based and mobile customer service solutions, SpeechStorm, has been selected to provide an automated solution for conducting the important Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) for the UK Government’s Department of Finance & Personnel (DFP) in Northern Ireland. The selection follows a successful pilot by the DFP, which achieved an 85% completion rate. Over 90% of respondents also indicated that they preferred this method of data capture to the previous paper or web-based survey.

The QES provides critical information to the DFP about short-term employment estimates for the Northern Ireland economy. Prior to implementing the SpeechStorm solution, the DFP had relied on paper-based surveys, for which it incurred substantial postal and processing costs. The DFP also offered respondents an online survey option but despite much promotion, uptake remained frustratingly low and this no longer proved cost effective to run.

The SpeechStorm solution, implemented in partnership with managed service provider, Equiniti ICS, enables local companies to complete the survey quickly and conveniently over the phone, using the telephone keypad to respond to a series of questions. Initially piloted in autumn 2011 with a group of 200 companies, the phone-based option is now being offered to all businesses and, with around 1,000 now responding each quarter, is four times more effective than the previous online survey. The questionnaires themselves are configured through the SpeechStorm Control Centre - an intuitive, web-based user interface that gives the DFP complete control over how survey questions are phrased and calls are handled.

Darren Hetherington of the Economic and Labour Market Statistics branch at the DFP, explained, “Since the success of the pilot, we have rolled out the phone-based survey option to all businesses on the Northern Ireland Quarterly Employment Survey. Not only have we benefitted through significant savings in postage costs, there has also been a higher overall response rate to the survey, making our statistics that much more valid and timely.

“Phone-based surveys provide a quicker means of data capture, saving significant time for the companies that are responding. Improved response rates also allow our staff to focus on data validation rather than response chasing. Another major benefit of the SpeechStorm solution is that we can monitor responses directly, in real time, using the Control Centre, and also retrieve useful management information on survey completion. This is smart government in action.”

SpeechStorm’s CEO and co-founder, Oliver Lennon, said, “We are delighted that our solution has worked so well for the DFP; it is an excellent example of how our software can make an everyday task easier for customers. We are also pleased that it saves time for local businesses, particularly in the current economic climate.”


Notes for Editors

About SpeechStorm –
SpeechStorm® helps organisations of all sizes make everyday tasks easier for their customers. We provide pre-built IVR, speech self-service and mobile apps that reduce waiting time for customers and reduce call handling times in the contact centre. Our solutions are quick to implement and easy to manage, putting the business in control of the customer experience.

For more information, please contact:
Damian Kelly,
VP Sales & Marketing,
SpeechStorm Limited,
Elmwood Exchange,
90, Lisburn Road,
Tel: +44 28 9094 3100

For more information from the Department of Finance & Personnel,
please contact:
Darren Hetherington,
Economic and Labour Market Statistics,
Department of Finance & Personnel,
Massey Avenue,
Belfast, BT4 2JP
Tel: +44 (0)28 9052 9655 (ext: 29655)
Textphone: +44 (0)28 9052 9304


 DFP Employment survey
 SpeechStorm phone-based
 Phone-based survey

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