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IVR Development

This section of our technical library presents information and documentation relating to IVR Development and custom IVR software and products. Business phone systems and toll free answering systems (generally 800 numbers and their equivalent) are very popular for service and sales organizations, allowing customers and prospects to call your organization anywhere in the country. The PACER and WIZARD IVR System is just one of many DSC call center phone system features..

What Is IVR?. An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) processes inbound phone calls, plays recorded messages including information extracted from databases and the internet, and potentially routes calls to either inhouse service agents or transfers the caller to an outside extension.

Contact DSC today. to learn more about our IVR services and IVR application development software.

Let Your Voice Do the Walking

The following is an extract from the article "Let Your Voice Do the Walking" by Lee Hollman from www.CallCenterMagazine.com:

"If you need something, just ask for it. Here's how speech recognition-enabled IVR software helps customers help themselves to the information and services they need.

You might recall the old advertisement for the Yellow Pages that advised you to "let your fingers do the walking." Today, that slogan might seem quaint. Speech recognition-enabled interactive voice response (IVR) software enables customers to speak commands, in place of pressing touchtones, to access the information they need. But is the technology as easy to use as it seems?

Consider how frustrating touchtone-based IVR can be. If you've ever navigated a labyrinth of touchtone menu options and still couldn't get the assistance you needed, you don't want to place your customers in the same situation. Speech recognition lets customers ask for what they want. But you don't want customers to endure prolonged hold times if your speech recognition software doesn't understand the requests they make.

So how can you avoid confusing callers when your intent is to help them?

"Our golden rule is know thy customers," says Steve Chambers, chief marketing officer for SpeechWorks (Boston, MA). "Sit in the call center and know their objectives and emotional states."

A little research can help you to design effective touchtone menus that can lead callers to the answers they need. But bear in mind that even the best-laid IVR plans won't please all customers.

"Touchtone remains the most hated form of customer service, but it can be the least expensive form of customer service," says Donna Fluss, a principal at DMG Consulting.

No customer appreciates listening to a series of IVR menus when they want human contact. Fluss recommends that you always let customers abandon IVR menus to speak with agents. But the challenge is to prevent customers from opting out to agents. That's because you save money by allowing customers to get to information or services themselves. Fluss says that IVR menus can be even less expensive than responding to e-mail messages.

Speech recognition software is more expensive than touchtone-only IVR software. But speech rec is also more versatile because it enables callers to make requests or provide information that would be difficult to enter as touchtone data.

If you already have an IVR system and want to upgrade your call center with speech recognition software, Fluss suggests that you don't abandon IVR entirely. "Even though touchtone may be hated, people become comfortable with it," she says. "Don't take away from customers what they're accustomed to using. But please feel free to enhance it."

Fluss explains that the recent recession forced call centers to cut costs by reducing their labor forces. But those centers will need to respond to rising call volumes during an economic recovery. Speech rec lets those centers automatically handle more calls, without hiring additional agents, than they could by using IVR alone.

Below, vendors review their speech rec and IVR products and describe how to best use them. Not surprisingly, they had a lot to say......."

To view the entire article, visit www.CallCenterMagazine.com.

Contact DSC today. to learn more about our IVR services and IVR application development software.