IVR Systems Prove Useful for More Than Just Phone Calls
July 15, 2010
By Juliana Kenny, TMCnet Managing Editor
Let's be honest: The general public does not think about the function of IVR systems that much, let alone realizes that IVR systems play a part in everyday life. While exploring the varying uses for IVR, TMC (News - Alert) reached out to Plum Voice, a company that offers top-of-the-line IVR systems. Lisa Marquez, a representative of Plum Voice, filled us in on some little-thought-of uses for IVR:
--Tele-voting on television game shows: Shows like American Idol are powered by IVR systems, which need a platform that can support thousands of simultaneous calls. Additionally, these game shows generate enormous spikes in call volume, so the system also needs to be equipped to support huge traffic at random intervals. An interactive voice response system, in a situation like this one, would need to be equipped with thousands of ports to support the weight of the call flow after episodes air.
-- Pay-as-you-go phones: Users can purchase additional minutes, check messages, and refuel their accounts simply and remotely through the use of an IVR system.
-- Telephone banking: Most banks are powered by an interactive voice response platform, and let clients access their balances, make payments from their accounts, and transfer funds between several different accounts. Customer service representatives are rarely needed with this sort of IVR in place, as the system is programmed to seamlessly interface with the database, and give users full access to their accounts as necessary.
-- Purchases made from mobile phones: Whenever someone makes a purchase on her or his mobile phone, typically ring tones or pictures, an interactive voice response system is in place that allows the system to field orders, process payment information, and deliver the client exactly what they want.
-- Caller identification and routing: Companies with varying types of call volume employ an IVR system to save money and conserve manpower. Generally, businesses want their employees dealing with the most critical business issues, and if they are stuck answering general questions, their time is not being dedicated to the most pressing concerns. However, when a simple, straightforward IVR system is deployed, companies free up manpower, and all clients are adequately served.
-- Order placements and handling: IVR systems can be deployed in order to facilitate order placements telephonically. A cohesive system can answer consumer questions, facilitate the order, process financial information, interpret customer data by interfacing with currently in place databases, schedule the order for dispatch, and verify customer receipt of the product. For any company marketing a physical product, integration with interactive voice response offers quick and easy ordering and processing.
-- Airlines: Airlines often deploy IVR systems that allow for everything from ticket booking and check-in, to the monitoring of flight arrivals and departures. While flying isn't typically famed for being hassle-free, the deployment of an IVR system guarantees passengers easy access to flight rosters, the ability to quickly and seamlessly purchase tickets, and access to continuous service updates from check-in to departure.
-- Weather systems: IVR systems can be used to disseminate both urgent and non-urgent weather information. Callers can phone in, specify their location, and receive the most accurate weather information available. Users can be briefed on the high and low temperatures expected for the day, learn about any precipitation in the forecast, and even subscribe to an outbound calling system that will notify them any time there is a severe weather alert in their area.
Juliana Kenny is a TMCnet reporter and editor. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Juliana Kenny