Taxi company first off the rank for IP dispatch

The Silver Top Taxi Service is the first cab off the rank in Australia to deploy an IP telephony platform for bookings and dispatches.

Until now, taxi companies running up to 90 cars typically field enquiries by using an agent who may only take a few calls through the night. Due to economies of scale it has not been cost-effective for these companies to deploy communication applications such as IVR and text-to-speech which help automate bookings.

Silver Top Taxi Service communications manager, David Wright, said taxi owners usually pay a depot fee so there is only a small amount of money to draw on, which restricts IT investments.

But this new solution, which went live this month, enables the delivery of applications to remote sites. This allows the company to offer access to its technology infrastructure and customized applications to other taxi companies.

The solution also provides text to speech, which will read back customer address information, link mobile phones with possible location information and enhance the routing of callers identified as having a current booking.

By delivering applications such as text to speech to remote sites, the company expects to increase automated bookings by more than 33 percent. NSC deployed the Avaya solution which will allow bookings from anywhere in Australia to come through the new system.

The Silver Top Taxi Service, which has some 1850 taxis attached to its network, currently receives more than 500,000 calls a month, of which 90,000 to 100,000 are automated with the current IVR system.

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