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IVR to Voicebot: The Obvious Shift?


There has been a common concern among the customer experience and service professionals about voice channel fading away for the contact centers. But in reality, this cannot be farther from the truth. The voice channel is still very much relevant as people still like to have an interaction with humans. Having said that, we also need to acknowledge the evolution of the voice channel.
Since the launch of voice-assisted technology like Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri, people have become more comfortable with voice search. This has also brought in a conversational flow to the questions. For example, from searching “what is the temperature right now?” to asking “temperature now”.

Traditional Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) has been one of the most commonly used tools by contact centers to manage their inbound queries. However, a traditional IVR flow is just inconvenient, confusing and basically a hindrance to the customer experience. Moreover, in case of an emergency or some critical matter, if you put the person through the stages of an IVR, it will do no good and will only aggravate the problem. According to NICE, more than 60 per cent of callers will bypass IVR to reach voice.
Additionally NICE mentions that it costs less than 50 cents to serve a customer when the interaction is contained to the IVR system; when an agent has to pick up the phone to get the job done, that cost shoots up well over $5. So obviously, it makes sense to have certain self-service options and have a modern IVR which is aligned to customer-centric best practices.

Voice Technology – Can it Replace IVR?

Customers expect and appreciate when a company makes their lives easier. Voice search and voice based user experience are some of the ways to make it easier for the customers. Instead of going through various hoopes (levels) of an IVR, providing the callers with a voicebot will be helpful in getting the resolution faster.
The artificially intelligent voicebots allow a conversational interaction. Backed by AI voice analytics, the user interaction is comfortable and easy to maneuver. Having advanced voice technology, one can even perform voice analytics to determine the emotion of the caller based on certain keywords. This data will help to train the bot further and improve the interaction quality.

The Verdict

Voice search has definitely got more takers today, especially the millennials. This development is also being aided by the advancement in technology and the rising customer expectations. The trends point towards voicebots becoming the next big thing in customer service. But, while that happens, we can also say that IVR are here to stay – at least in the near future. But not the traditional ones. IVRs need to evolve with the time and cater to a larger audience and embrace the new age voice technology to become the tool for managing the inbound traffic while being the callers go-to mechanism to resolve their query faster.


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