According to Pew Research Center, more than three-quarters (77%) of Americans have smartphones. With the popularity of texting and messaging apps, it has been argued that the ability to make a call on a smartphone is just another feature. Now more than ever, consumers want to connect with companies on their own terms, using communication channels that are convenient and quick. So, what does this mean for the voice channel?
Traditional Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems are not always the consumers’ first choice. We’ve all had our own less than stellar IVR experience, heard horror stories from friends and family, or have read about them in the news.
Voice is not dead. Thanks to IVR software innovations self-service doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience.
The following three interactive voice response solutions offer flexibility and add smartphone functionality to the standard IVR experience that customers will appreciate.
IVR System Innovation #1: Visual IVR
Innovations like Visual IVR combines voice response with visual data including images and text. Consumers using the traditional voice channel from a smartphone, can control the IVR tree not only with speech and touch-tone input, but also through a touch-optimized mobile Web interface. There is nothing for customers to download and Visual IVR is supported across all platforms through HTML5 and SMS. Should a customer need live assistance the request can be expedited through the interface.
Visual IVR can help shorten calls by making it easier to find answers and navigate self-service menus, reduce telephony costs by moving customers to mobile Web applications and address the expectations and preferences of today’s smartphone users, which ultimately improves customer satisfaction.
IVR System Innovation #2: Text2IVR
Address changes, customer names and other alphanumeric inputs, such as order or tracking numbers are not ideal scenarios. Adding digital channels like Text2IVR to an IVR interaction brings additional capabilities to a typical voice-only experience.
There are several benefits to a solution like Text2IVR: Customers get to complete transactions through self-service quickly by entering free-form data which creates less disruption to their lives. Meanwhile, businesses cut costs by converting a formerly expensive agent-assisted interaction to a self-service interaction while eliminating misinterpreted information and increasing accuracy of the data collected.
IVR System Innovation #3: In Queue Self-Service
No one likes to wait on hold for live assistance — the longer customers wait, the more frustrated they become. Innovations like InQueue Self-Service give customers the option of a callback when an agent is available to assist them. Additionally, customers are sent a link via SMS text message to a mobile Web app. Customers can then attempt to find a resolution on their own without losing their place “in line.”
InQueue Self-Service helps improve contact center operations by canceling unnecessary callbacks if the customer completed their transaction through self-service. Additionally, companies can realize cost savings when customers experience the power of mobile self-service which results in fewer calls.
If you’re ready to remove frustration from IVR interactions and move to a IVR System