February 18, 2012
TMCnet's IVR Week in Review
Surveying the top IVR stories of the week, TMC had the news that noted Microsoft watcher Mary-Jo Foley reported recently that Microsoft, which bought Tellme (News - Alert) Networks in 2007 for an upwards of $1 billion dollars, give or take, is now handing off “some of its 400 or so Tellme employees along with certain Tellme speech technologies,” to 24/7.
Nobody in Redmond was divulging the terms of the agreement, although Foley mentioned a licensing deal and an unspecified equity stake in 24/7. The licensing will cover some speech-related intellectual property. Microsoft (News - Alert) officials didn’t say how many of the employees were moving to 24/7.
Other reports at the time noted that 24/7 makes a “Predictive Experience (PX)” platform, which “delivers customer experiences online and on mobile, and offers speech and live chat software,” according to TechCrunch, using large-scale data analytics “to try and predict what customers want.” The technology is used in self-service voice response for such customers as Avis Budget Group and United Airlines.
TMC (News - Alert) also had a guest article from Manju Bansal, senior director of Global Ecosystems & Channels Solution Marketing at SAP (News - Alert), who wrote that we are the mobile generation, carrying sleek smartphones loaded with dozens of apps that we use for everything from catching up on news to finding the schedule of movies at nearby theatres to connecting with our friends via Facebook (News - Alert). We can’t imagine our daily lives without mobile phones anymore. And soon, it is also going to become an integral part of our business life. Why?
And TMC noted that the truth is, the best and most consumer friendly IVR systems save callers time by easily answering the questions most frequently asked, and by connecting callers with the best available agent for more complex inquiries. The problem is, most IVRs simply don’t do this well.
Consumers call the companies with whom they do business to get something done. These companies implement IVR systems to route callers to the right place quickly, and to speed up the whole process…including, actually handling the work where possible. There’s nothing inherently wrong about enabling your customers to help themselves, on-demand, over the phone.
David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.