July 14, 2012
TMCnet IVR Week in Review
When we think of interactive voice response (IVR) systems, we tend to think almost exclusively of the technology that greets us when we get in touch with a call or contact center. But as we saw this week on the IVR community, there is a lot more to IVR than just the receiving end of a customer care call.
First there was the news that IVR systems can help smokers quit their habit for good. In a study conducted by BMC Public Health, results showed that using IVR technology in conjunction with “quitline” support systems were more effective than the quitline alone. In the study, the IVR system reached 715 former quitline users, and over 28 percent of those contacted reentered the program, giving them an even better chance at kicking the habit once and for all.
Another group that is starting to use IVR technology is pediatricians. Since many of their youngest patients cannot use a mouse or a keyboard, and IVR system is a perfect way for the little ones to get their voices heard. A Norwegian company is using a synthetic voice, altered to sound like that of a child, to interact with pediatric patients. The IVR is designed to recognize the specific speech patterns that are unique to children, and the designers have created a language database of language and syntax that children use in communication.
While IVR systems are starting to become more and more commonplace outside of a contact center environment, some bloggers are surprisingly calling for companies to drop IVR altogether. Ken Landoline recently blogged about abandoning IVR, citing an NYU survey which found that nearly half of individuals are not beneficial to customers or companies. Though this survey and blog may be shocking, Landoline is jumping the gun, as IVR systems have found a place in the customer service space and both companies and customers rely on them as an integral part of their interaction. IVR technology is indeed here to stay.
And as more news breaks in the IVR space, be sure to check back with TMCnet’s IVR community for the latest!
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