It’s rare for a telecom company to play up great customer service as a major market differentiator, but that’s exactly what Turkey’s largest mobile operator did — and with results impressive enough to make its competitors and peers sit up and pay attention. Turkcell created a TV commercial to show off “Voice Signature,” a cutting-edge service that uses a customer’s voice to verify her identity in just 5 seconds, eliminating the Q&A interrogation that’s a hassle for customers and CSRs alike.

The emergence and popularity of using voice biometrics has grown leaps and bounds over the last six months. Currently there are more than 10 million registered voiceprints worldwide, with roughly 4 million of them going through Global Bilgi, a CRM center that fields more than 700 million customer contacts annually for a variety of companies, including Turkcell.

Voice Signature leverages the fact that human voices are as individually unique as fingerprints and retinas, making them an ideal way to authenticate customers, employees and other people. In the process, voice biometrics technology provides a much-needed solution for one of life’s biggest annoyances – the interrogation process to get service by having to remember your PIN, password or mother’s maiden name.

With Voice Signature, Turkcell offers each customer the opportunity to create a voiceprint. On subsequent calls, the biometric speaker-verification system quickly compares the caller’s voice to the voiceprint to verify her identity.

Voice Signature had several immediate benefits for both Turkcell and its customers:

  • Unlike PINs and passwords, voiceprints are impossible for Turkcell customers to forget or for fraudsters to use.
  • Each caller can be checked against a watch list of known fraudsters’ voice prints. That helps Turkcell protect its customers against identity theft.
  • Voice Signature reduced the authentication process to just 5 seconds. That 20 seconds less for Turkcell’s consumer customers and 40 seconds less for its corporate subscribers. As a result, each live agent now can support more callers, and customers get faster access to the information they seek.
  • By minimizing the amount of authentication information that live agents collect manually, Voice Signature minimizes one of their most stressful tasks and thus helps retain CRM employees.

Turkcell customers immediately understood how Voice Signature benefits them. Even before Turkcell created the TV commercial about Vocal Signature, about 1.5 million customers had enrolled. After the commercial began running, another 2.5 million quickly signed up.


“Customers like the very simple and fast authentication process of only 5 seconds,” said Fahri Arkan, Global Bilgi assistant general manager of information technologies. “As a pioneer service in Turkey, we first launched this system for a limited number of subscribers, but it attracted more attention than we had expected and reached 2 million users in a short time.”

By the end of 2011, Turkcell customers successfully used Vocal Signature more than 11 million times. That runaway success highlights why it’s important for enterprises, government agencies, contact centers and other organizations to select a voice biometrics solution that’s highly scalable. The ideal voice biometrics solution also should include algorithms sophisticated enough to work around problems such as crosstalk and background noise so callers don’t have to repeat themselves.

For a deeper look at how Global Bilgi is leveraging VocalPassword, and how the solution can benefit your organization, download the full case study. After all, 4 million Turkcell customers can’t be wrong.

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About Andrea Mocherman

This was a contributed post by Andrea Mocherman. To see more content like this, visit the Customer experience section of our blog.