To increase the utility of its call center, KeyCorp is testing customer receptiveness to automated sales pitches.

The Cleveland banking company recently completed a month-long information-gathering phase in which 15,000 users of its voice response unit, or VRU, heard targeted sales messages. Half the users heard full- blown pitches, lasting 20 to 30 seconds, and half heard six-second teasers with instructions for how to get more information.

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