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IVR Feature Articles

July 29, 2009

Smartphone Users Rather Use IVR Then Typing or Touching

By Jessica Kostek, TMCnet Channel Editor

The benefit of using hands-free devices is invaluable. A popular use for many is while driving however, even though users don’t touch their phones while engaging in conversation they do have to physically press buttons to hang up or to switch calls.

A study released today reveals that smartphone users are more inclined to buy a device that offers them the ability to push one button, say what they want and get it, making them more efficient on the go.
Based on research conducted by Sanderson Studios for Tellme (News - Alert) Networks Inc., a Microsoft subsidiary shows that 75 percent of people would choose a smartphone that allows them to compose a text message, search the Web or dial a contact simply by using IVR technology instead of typing or using a touch screen.
According to the study, cell phone etiquette is also evolving, with an overwhelming majority of respondents saying they would feel comfortable using voice to perform tasks in places such as a restaurant or at the gym.
However, there were some respondents of the study that said they would feel awkward using their voice with their smartphone at a restaurant, 71 percent said they would feel just fine.
"If you've ever tried typing or touching on your smartphone while walking down the street or paying at the checkout line, you know how distracting it can be," said Anne Truscott, brand strategist at Sanderson Studios. "But using your voice while walking or checking out is like walking and chewing gum at the same time; it just comes naturally. And we were surprised how many people said they'd feel comfortable using their voices to interact with their smartphones while in public places as well."
Among those surveyed, smartphones users use their phone while shopping or running errands (88 percent), waiting at appointments (80 percent), walking between places (78 percent) or visiting friends (68 percent).  Survey respondents also said they would feel comfortable using voice to perform tasks on their smartphones while walking (93 percent), exercising (92 percent), and shopping or running errands (87 percent), according to the study.
"The research is confirming what we believed would happen as people more widely use smartphones to multitask while on the go, away from the home or office," said Dariusz Paczuski, senior director of Tellme Mobile Speech at Microsoft (News - Alert). "Our 'say what you want and get it' voice products and services are making it easier to get more done with your phone no matter where you are or what you're doing."
Even though typing and touching to communicate on a smartphone are not perceived as difficult, respondents say that using their smartphones in the above situations can be distracting.
If given the option to simply push a button and speak to call or text a friend or search for information, such as the location of a restaurant, directions or stock quotes, most say they could accomplish more and feel less distracted.
In another study performed by Sanderson Studios, it was discovered that people who spend at least one hour in their car five or more days per week while regularly using their phone overwhelmingly like the idea of using their voice to get what they need (90 percent). Convenience and safety were cited as key reasons these respondents wanted to use their voice to perform tasks while driving.

Jessica Kostek is a channel editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Jessica’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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