IVR System and VoiceXML: A Match Made in CRM Heaven
September 28, 2011
By Juliana Kenny, TMCnet Managing Editor
Modern-day voiceXML standards have made it possible for developers to create interactive voice response (IVR) systems that eliminate the age-old frustration with computerized call handling, and thus the entire landscape of IVR is changing.
A recent collaborative article between TMC’s (News - Alert) Bob Emmerson and Interact’s Director of Sales, Chris Buffum explored the ways in which voiceXML technologies are improving the IVR arena as a whole. Emmerson writes, “The VoiceXML (News - Alert) standards support speech synthesis and speech recognition technologies, which enable significant feature enhancements and higher user acceptance, i.e. voice application systems that can more effectively and more efficiently serve the customer. Phone (News - Alert) button presses are replaced by speech recognition where the computer ‘understands’ and then directs the call and/or provides information. And on the other side of the IVR system, companies are able to handle an increased call load.”
With voice and data integration, voiceXML brings extended capabilities for IVR creators, and those who use IVR systems. With features such as text to speech, automated information and reservation messaging, and emergency response and simultaneous multi-party communications, call centers can save time and money while applying best practices to customer interactions.
Detailing how call centers can save with voiceXML applications and IVR systems, Emmerson wrote, “Simple and repeated requests are handled automatically without human intervention taking automation rates in excess of 90 percent in most studied cases. Automated performance of any of those application examples, and there are many more, replaces the human element which results in a significant reduction in overhead costs.”
We are seeing the shift from the world of computerized call handling to the “smart” IVR – one that can function to appropriately handle customer calls without the frustration of automated machines. VoiceXML features integrated throughout IVR systems can reduce call time, minimize customer frustration, and increase overall agent productivity while maintaining compliance.
Ultimately, “the caller gets the personal attention and relationship that was lost with the original IVR deployment. The caller “profile” can be integrated with the voice application so that the computer recognizes caller purchasing habits, buying preferences, payment methods and the like, all leading to increased customer satisfaction and retained business,” writes Emmerson.
Juliana Kenny graduated from the University of Connecticut with a double degree in English and French. After managing a small company for two years, she joined TMC as a Web Editor for TMCnet. Juliana currently focuses on the call center and CRM industries, but she also writes about cloud telephony and network gear including softswitches.
Edited by Jamie Epstein