|February 19, 2001|
JiffyLube App: 'Hello, It's Time For An Oil Change'
Voice-enabled software calls auto service company's customers with service reminders
By Cheryl Rosen (email@example.com)
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The system is one of the first retail applications written in VoiceXML, integrating speech-recognition technology from Nuance Communications Inc. and VoiceXML from Tellme Networks Inc. to let customers talk directly to a voice server. Once customers sign up, the software calls them three months after each oil change. They can tell the server to forward the message to an E-mail address or connect them to the nearest JiffyLube for an appointment.
JiffyLube sees the system as a way to reach consumers on the road, when car maintenance is on their minds, says Anne Tawney, JiffyLube's senior marketing VP. The company can make special offers or promote other maintenance services, and it can immediately track the results of those campaigns.
Just how many consumers want merchants to call and invite them in remains to be seen. JiffyLube started testing the program in its 49 company-owned stores in Houston last week before rolling it out to 2,200 franchised stores. But the idea makes sense to Mark Plekias, senior analyst for voice and wireless services at the Kelsey Group. Each customer gets the same pitch; that predictability will make it easy to track success rates, he says. "It's early for this level of automation, but a number of companies are moving into these opt-in telephone campaigns."
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