Historically, Interactive Voice Response (IVR, or sometimes called “self service”, “voice response units” or “voice response systems“) solutions have used pre-recorded voice prompts and menus to present information and options to callers, and touch-tone telephone keypad entry to gather responses. Modern IVR solutions, also enable input and responses to be gathered via spoken words with voice recognition. Interactive Voice Response solutions enable users to retrieve information including bank balances, flight schedules, product details, order status, movie show times, and more from any telephone. Additionally, IVR solutions are increasingly used to place outbound calls to deliver or gather information for appointments, past due bills, and other time critical events and activities.
Many organizations seek to reduce the burden of costly customer service staff by using call center automation. For example, upon calling a credit card support number, the customer hears a recorded request, such as “Please enter your account number.” The customer enters the digits using the telephone keypad. The recorded voice then offers options like, “To learn your current balance, press 1. To hear the last 10 transactions, press 2.” and so forth. Last in the list of options, you hear “To speak to a customer representative, please press 0.”
The bane of such IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems occurs when the caller presses the “0” button. Companies must be sure to create the best possible IVR user experience. Whether developing a text to speech application, building an IVR infrastructure, or reformulating the automated system of a call center, user satisfaction is absolutely critical in the voice recognition industry. Poor integration with the existing infrastructure can create redundancy. Poorly integrated speech recognition software can easily lower client satisfaction if the system collects information that is subsequently requested by an agent again. This is where the importance of computer telephony integration within the call center becomes paramount to complete the business’ overall technology and customer service plan.
With a strong background as independent technology consultants and the deployment of mission critical systems, Praecom Consulting’s industry knowledge will allow you to ensure that the business needs are met, both from an Interactive Voice Response perspective and a business perspective.