Boost the Power of the IVR System via Integration with Core Business Applications
July 15, 2011
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
The days when interactive voice response (IVR) technology was a one-way transaction are thankfully over, particularly as banks and other financial institutions are concerned. As more and more people are doing their banking online or via a mobile device, the growth of newer, more advanced IVR technologies has been very welcome. And the days of siloed IVR systems acting as little more than a front-end doorstop are coming to a close.
John Adams of Bank Technology News profiles one such new IVR solution from voice technology company Nuance Communications (News - Alert). Nuance, which has several bank customers – notably Bank Leumi and Scotiabank – has reportedly developed new software that integrates inbound interactive voice response (IVR) with outbound messages and transactional capabilities in an effort to reduce follow up calls by the customer, says Adams.
Why is this significant? Because it allows the IVR to become so much more than a call router, serving multiple purposes for customers, which ultimately cuts down on repeat calls by customers, improving bank call centers' first-call resolution. Adams provides an example of the capabilities of the new Nuance solution: a customer making a late payment using an inbound IVR could, for example, be directed to schedule an outbound payment reminder for the next billing cycle via e-mail, text or phone call. These alerts are also designed to be integrated with payments or other transaction platforms at the financial institution, so the payment could actually be executed at the time of the alert if the customer desires.
The result means customers can accomplish multiple transactions in one call, all with the assistance of the “smart” IVR.
“These outbound reminders and transactions used to be siloed from the inbound IVR,” Christy Murfitt, a senior manager at Nuance, told Adams. Nuance says it has built an architecture that allows companies to link the IVR directly with their payments or transaction systems to execute transactions that are tied to the inbound calls or outbound alerts, so the product does not require a specific payments platform.
Nuance says the solution is available in either a premise-based or cloud basis.
The potential is intriguing: an IVR that can work two ways – inbound and outbound – tied to a business' core solutions: accounting and billing, sales management, inventory, customer relationship management and even technical help leads you to wonder if someday, human call center agents will be necessary at all.Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Juliana Kenny