Thai Telecommunication Relay Service (TTRS)

Topic : Multi-channel
2500+ Employees
Customer Engagement

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TTRS currently has more than 2,480 active users and receives 250 calls and messages per day.

Benefits

Improved Customer Service
Increased Productivity

TTRS Provides New Services to Thailand’s Hearing- and Speech-Impaired Community

Company Profile

Thai Telecommunication Relay Service (TTRS) is a not-for-profit, public service organisation, funded by Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and the Universal Foundation for Persons with Disabilities.
 
NBTC formed a Division of Research and Support, which received 3.75% funding from the broadcasting and telecommunication corporation to promote and develop better communication services. This is known as the Universal Services Obligation (USO).
 
The USO promotes the availability of fair and affordable rates to increase access to high-quality, advanced telecommunication services throughout Thailand. It aims to make services available to all consumers, including those in low-income, rural, remote and high-cost areas, at rates comparable to those charged in urban areas. TTRS was conceived to help fulfil the USO.TTRS promotes and supports better communication between hearingand speech-impaired people and other members of the Thai community.
 
The organisation operates a specialist contact centre staffed by agents trained in sign language, who mediate between hearing- or speech-impaired people and other members of society, such as family and public service employees. Individuals can contact the centre using voice calls, sign language video calls, email or SMS.
 

Challenge

Establish a centralised contact centre, staffed by sign language translators, to bridge the communication gap between hearing and speech-impaired
people and the community.


Value Created

  • Supported more than 1,000 active users and 4,000 voice calls, video calls, SMS and emails per month
  • Reduced communication difficulties to ensure hearing-impaired people receive the correct advice and services
  • Enhanced staff efficiency, productivity and mobility
  • Enabled managers to record and monitor calls, and analyse staff performance

Challenge

Sign language is not widely known in Thailand outside the hearing- and speech-impaired community. To bridge the communication gap, TTRS wanted to establish a centralised contact centre staffed by sign language translators, who could communicate between hearing- and speech-impaired people and other members of Thai society.
 
“Hearing- and speech-impaired people traditionally have difficulty communicating with other people,” said Somyos Sundaravibhat, Director, Thai Telecommunication Relay Service. “There are not enough sign language translators in Thailand for every hearing-impaired person, so we decided to bring together a group of translators and use video contact centre technology to reach out virtually to the hearing-impaired community.”
 
 There has never been a comparable service available in Thailand, so TTRS spent more than five years researching the best products to support the contact centre.
 
“When we first started looking, there was no technology available that provided the variety of voice and video services we required,” said Sundaravibhat. “The products were either too slow, too expensive or didn’t meet all our specialist requirements. We wanted to work with a company that could customise its existing products and enable us to offer as many communication options to hearing-impaired people as possible.”
 
In 2010, TTRS released a fresh request for proposals and evaluated recent products from four large vendors, including Avaya.
 
“We chose Avaya technology as it offered more than just the basic voice and video capabilities,” said Sundaravibhat. “Avaya was willing to customise products to meet our requirements and help us overcome issues such as slow internet speeds in some parts of the country. The team really understood our philosophy and wanted to help us improve our services for the good of society.”
 

"We chose Avaya technology as it offered more than just the basic voice and video capabilities. The team really understood our philosophy and wanted to help us improve our services for the good of society."
 
—Somyos Sundaravibhat, Director
Thai Telecommunication Relay Service

Solution

TTRS deployed a number of Avaya Aura Unified Communications and contact centre products, including Avaya Aura Contact Center, Avaya Aura Communication Manager and Avaya Aura Workforce Optimization, running on Avaya Session Manager Server, Avaya Application Enablement Server and Avaya Call Management Server. It also implemented Avaya G450 Media Gateway, Avaya Flash/SIP Media Gateway, Avaya one-X Agent Client and Avaya One Touch Video.
 
Avaya Aura Communication Manager underpins the contact centre solution by controlling the incoming and outgoing call connections, while Avaya Aura Contact Center provides the multimedia call channels, including voice, web chat, email and SMS, and Avaya One Touch Video provides video interactions.
 
Contact centre agents use Avaya one-X Agent Client to make, receive, transfer and control voice, video and text, which are recorded with Avaya Aura Workforce Optimization.
 
“Callers can initiate a voice call, video call or web chat through our website, or contact the centre on a mobile or landline phone or through one of our video kiosks,” said Sundaravibhat. “Incoming calls are automatically routed to one of our 10 agents, who can also transfer or conference the call if required.”
 

“Callers can initiate a voice call, video call or web chat through our website, or contact the centre on a mobile or landline phone or through one of our video kiosks.”
 
—Somyos Sundaravibhat, Director
Thai Telecommunication Relay Service
 

Results

Significantly improved communication for the hearingimpaired community

TTRS’ specialised contact centre is significantly improving day-to-day communication for Thailand’s hearing- and speech-impaired community.
 
Hearing-impaired individuals can now stay in touch with friends and family and communicate more efficiently with public service employees, without needing to visit them or to engage a translator.
 
“Even catching a bus to visit a family member is an arduous task when you are hearing-impaired,” said Sundaravibhat. “Not only do you have to negotiate tickets, schedules and platform announcements, you also have the difficulty of communicating with the individual when you arrive.
 
“Not everyone has cheap and convenient access to email in Thailand, but even without the internet, individuals can easily call or SMS our contact centre to relay a message to a loved one or participate in a job interview, for example,” he said.
 
Sundaravibhat also says that hearingimpaired individuals often communicate differently when writing SMS or emails, so even if they can access the web it is often easier for the individual and the recipient to communicate via a specialist agent.
 
“We often have callers at university who are away from their family for the first time but struggle to communicate through email,” said Sundaravibhat.
 
“Our agents are trained to understand all forms of communication from hearing- and speech-impaired people, so they can translate and relay voice calls, SMS, emails and web chat, as well as communicating in sign language.”
 
TTRS currently has more than 2,480 active users and receives 250 calls and messages per day.
 
“We’ve only been live since the end of 2012, but already I like to think we are bringing families together and improving communication for the whole community,” said Sundaravibhat.
 

New kiosks to help reduce misunderstandings and ensure benefits

Communication difficulties between hearing-impaired people and public officials can often lead to misunderstandings when applying for benefits or making an appointment, for example. TTRS is setting up a number of video kiosks in public places such as hospitals, Bangkok Train Station and Bangkok International Airport to reduce communication difficulties and ensure hearing-impaired people receive the correct advice and services.
 
“Chiang Mai University runs a special course for the hearing- and speech-impaired so there is a large hearing impaired community in the city,” said Sundaravibhat. “We have set up kiosks in three institutions in Chiang Mai to serve hearing and speech impaired students.
 
“Unfortunately, we also hear reports of misunderstandings between hearing-impaired individuals and police officers, where the individual has been unable to explain their side of an event or doesn’t understand the situation and ends up in unnecessary trouble,” continued Sundaravibhat.
 
“We have therefore set up a video kiosk in one of Bangkok’s police stations, so police officers can immediately initiate a call with a sign language translator and eliminate any misunderstandings before they get out of hand.” TTRS is also setting up video kiosks in one of the large bus terminals in Bangkok to ensure hearing-impaired individuals get the information they need and are not left stranded. The organisation plans to eventually install them in all major terminals.
 
“Bangkok bus terminals can be noisy and confusing, and often time and platform alterations are only provided via a tannoy,” said Sundaravibhat.
 
“It can be difficult for hearing- or speech-impaired people to understand or ask for information, or even to buy a ticket. By using our video kiosks, they will be able to communicate with the terminal staff via sign language translators to ensure they receive the correct information and can continue on their way.”
 
Eventually, Sundaravibhat hopes to install video kiosks in other public areas, including benefits offices, the Deaf Associations’ offices across the country, and even shops and restaurants. This will ensure hearingimpaired individuals receive the services they are entitled to.
 
“If communication difficulties become too great both parties will give up trying, which means people in the hearing-impaired community can miss out on important benefits, such as disability support, as well as smaller things like sales discounts,” said Sundaravibhat.
 
“Knowing that they can communicate more effectively through our contact centre improves the confidence of a hearing-impaired person. They are no longer afraid to ask for their entitlements or to take part in simple pleasures they may have missed out on before, such as eating out in a restaurant.”
 

“Our agents are trained to understand all forms of communication from hearing- and speech-impaired people, so they can translate and relay voice calls, SMS, emails and web chat, as well as communicating in sign language.”
 
—Somyos Sundaravibhat, Director
Thai Telecommunication Relay Service
 
 

Providing critical help in an Emergency

Avaya worked with TTRS managers and contact centre agents to customise its products to meet TTRS’ specific needs, such as enabling video calls from iPhone and Android mobiles. The companies are also developing the contact centre system to manage emergency calls made from mobile phones so agents can liaise between hearing-impaired people and emergency services personnel.
 
“TTRS is now working in collaboration with the National Institute of Emergency Medical Services (NIEMS) to provide emergency medical assistance to hearing-impaired people,” said Sundaravibhat. “It is important in an emergency that all parties quickly understand the situation and the next steps. We also want to immediately see a caller’s history and details such as next of kin or specific requirements on screen, so we can provide extra information that the hearing-impaired individual might not be able to communicate or contact family members directly.”
 

Enhanced work efficiency and staff productivity

The Avaya Aura Unified Communications and contact centre products have also enhanced work efficiency and productivity for TTRS’ contact centre agents. Avaya one-X Agent Client enables agents to work from home if required, so TTRS can employ in-demand sign language translators on a flexible basis.
 
The application also enables managers to improve customer service and quality control by recording and listening to calls to establish and resolve issues.
 
In addition, TTRS is using Avaya Call Management Server to generate call summaries and reports, and to analyse call times and outcomes. This helps keep agents accountable and supports performance reviews and incentives.
 
 

Applications and Systems

  • Avaya Aura Contact Center
  • Avaya Aura Communication Manager
  • Avaya Aura Workforce Optimization
  • Avaya One Touch Video
  • Avaya Session Manager Server
  • Avaya Application Enablement Server
  • Avaya Call Management Server
  • Avaya G450 Media Gateway
  • Avaya Flash/SIP Media Gateway
  • Avaya one-X Agent Client

TTRS currently has more than 2,480 active users and receives 250 calls and messages per day.

CUSTOMER PROFILE
Thai Telecommunication Relay Service (TTRS) Logo
  • Headquarters:

  • Thailand

Thai Telecommunication Relay Service (TTRS) is a not-for-profit, public service organisation, funded by Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission and the Universal Foundation for Persons with Disabilities. TTRS promotes and supports better communication between hearing- and speechimpaired people and other members of the Thai community.

What our Customers are saying
“Avaya understood our philosophy and wanted to help us improve our services for the good of society. We’ve only been live since the end of 2012, but already I like to think we are bringing families together and improving communication for the whole community.”

Read more testimonials >
  • Somyos Sundaravibhat

  • Thai Telecommunication Relay Service (TTRS)