Interact Sales Manager Shares Insight on Current Interactive Voice Response Initiatives
February 25, 2011
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Interactive voice response is an important tool for companies in a wide range of industries. This technology can streamline customer service, enable self-service channels and can even personalize messages for key customers.
Interact, Inc., is a company playing a key role in interactive voice response. In a recent interview with TMCnet’s Patrick Barnard, Doug Page, manager of Global Sales for Interact, shared some insight into current company offerings and what has been changing in the interactive voice response space in the past few years. Their conversation was captured in this video.
When asked about IVR changes over the last 10 years, Page noted that his company has seen the advent of VoIP and the adoption of convergence and that alone has changed the landscape. Customers no longer have to choose hard solutions as they can implement soft solutions and get cost savings right away. Speech recognition and speech-to-text capabilities have also increased offerings for customers.
The integration of Web-based solutions has created additional opportunities as customers want to integrate interactive voice response with the Web. Voice biometrics and voice print services are both exciting areas for Interact as you can now take a voice print and recognize the individual to drive authenticity.
The company is using this technology for security firms, as well as geocode mapping, geographical location services and working on things outside of the country for those looking to bring in more 911 services. Companies want to prevent fraud by using interactive voice response to determine that the caller is authentic and actually located where they claim to be located.
Customer service is also a key focus for IVR as it is often the first step of customer interaction. Page noted that off-the-shelf products are available for standard capabilities, but every customer is different and they want a bent on what they want to do with that technology. Eighty percent of Interact’s employee base is technical, which allows the company to do a high degree of customization for the customer.
Personalization can easily be integrated into interactive voice response as the solution can be set up to greet customers by name, can push out statements about recent transactions, give messages to remind them about things, etc. Companies can easily integrate the IVR with the database to gather information on the customer so the message can be completely customized for each caller.
As for IVR in the cloud, Page noted that Interact does have a hosted base solution. He also stressed that the cloud is not new, but instead in a re-birth. Not all businesses want to manage their own IVR and want the ability to access it through the cloud. More companies are recognizing that it is not the security risk some assume that it is and can be a great fit for companies seeking to leverage the capabilities of IVR without the overall integration.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Tammy Wolf