Modern IVR – For when your Contact Center is just not ready yet for Chatbots and AI

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IVR systems have been reliably reducing cost in the contact center for over 2 decades now. Yet, IVR has not exactly been a driver of engaging, productive, and pleasing customer experiences.  Why? It’s in the design. You can have the best IVR platform in the world – if you’re not designing the IVR experience around your customers, you’re not going to get much love for what really is still the front door to your customer’s experience.

But fixing the design is possible and you don’t need expensive speech technology to dramatically improve your self-service customer experience. Compare the following two call experiences with ABC Cast, an Internet and telephony service provider:

1) Deploying expensive speech technology

IVR: “Hello and welcome to ABC Cast. This is an automated voice response system. You can speak your answers freely at any time. So tell me: how can I help you?”

Caller: “I have a question about my modem”The IVR Innovation Wheel

IVR: “I understand you’re calling about your modem. Do you need to speak to someone from our…”

– Call accidentally gets disconnected. You decide to call back –

IVR: “Hello and welcome to ABC Cast. This is an automated voice response system. You can speak your answers freely at any time. So tell me: how can I help you?”

Caller: “I have a question about my modem”

IVR: “I understand you’re calling about modems. Do you need to speak to someone from our sales, or service department?”

Caller: “Service”

IVR: “Not a problem! Please stand by as we’re connecting you to our service department…”

2) Being smart about user-centric design and context awareness

IVR: “Hello, and welcome to ABC Cast. I just ran a quick diagnostic on your connection, and it seems like you’re experiencing slow Internet connectivity. Would you like…”

– Call accidentally gets disconnected and before the customer redials, ABC Cast calls back –

IVR: “Hi, this is ABC Cast calling. We were just talking about your connectivity issue. It seems like you’re experiencing slow Internet connectivity. Would you like to speak to a service representative about this?”

Caller: “Yes!”

Notice the difference? In the second scenario, when the customer called back after getting disconnected, ABC Cast already knew about the caller’s issue before they said a thing. And it even called them back after a disconnect. At Aspect, we call this Context Continuity and Caller Intent Prediction.

These are just two of the seven key capabilities that you should explore for a Modern IVR. Curious what the others are? Have a look at this video that introduces you to Modern IVR:

 

And if you want to learn even more, have a look at www.aspect.com/IVR

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Tobias Goebel

Tobias is Director of Emerging Technologies at Aspect. He has over 14 years of experience in customer care technology and the contact center industry with roles spanning engineering, consulting, pre-sales engineering, program and product management, and product marketing. As part of Aspect's product management and marketing team today, he works on defining the future of the mobile customer experience, bringing together channels such as mobile apps, messaging, voice, and social. He is a frequent speaker and blogger on topics around customer service and, more recently, the (re-)emerging chatbot, NLP, and AI technologies. Tobias holds degrees in Computational Linguistics, Phonetics, and Computer Science from the universities of Bonn, Germany and Edinburgh, UK.
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