Of course we don't have to tell you that interactive voice response systems are extensively used by all sizes of businesses, small, medium and large, to re-direct calls to relevant customer service agents.
Used correctly, and not simply as ways to slough off those pesky, annoying creatures known as "dissatisfied customers," IVR systems can enable companies to actually better serve their customers.
There are many sectors today in which this is a necessity. Some businesses operate in intensely competitive business cultures, where the quality of customer service makes all the difference - think of restaurants and you get the idea.
Some of the more common end-use applications of IVR systems include polls and surveys, office call routing, selective information lookup, call center forwarding, order entry transactions and account balances and transfers. You don't want to be paying people to give out account balances all day. You can get a machine to do that and the customer's just as satisfied.
North America, Europe, Africa, and Middle East "are currently witnessing a rise in the number of IVR upgrades and replacements, especially among large companies with first-generation systems," according to a new report available on the subject, 'Interactive Voice Response Systems: An International Market Report,' which finds that "migration of these companies onto second-generation systems is forecasted to generate market opportunities in the upcoming years."
Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean represent emerging markets for IVR systems.
One interesting company with recent offerings in this space is Voxeo (News - Alert). As TMC reported recently, Voxeo's Prophecy, described by company officials as a standards-based platform for speech, IVR, and SIP VoIP applications, is a telephony application platform software offering "enterprise-class features with retail like simplicity."
Also, it's an openly available, single download product with no configuration required - just one download includes speech recognition, speech synthesis, and the company's designer visual development tool.
The product includes functionality needed to create and deploy IVR or VoIP applications, including full VoiceXML (News - Alert) and CCXML browsers with high-quality speech recognition and synthesis engines, a built-in SIP soft-phone, and support for hundreds of SIP providers and devices.