IVR technology is rapidly evolving. That’s why industry leader Plum Voice is always abreast of new developments in the tech industry that influence the direction and deployment of IVR. Plum creates and administers IVR apps designed to operate with application programming interfaces (APIs) such as those provided by tech giants such as Google (News - Alert).
As a result, when the fallout between Apple and Google over the iPhone 5 occurred, it perked the ears of many, including Plum developers. “This is one of the reasons why interactions between the tech giants are of note to the IVR and greater tech communities,” the company wrote in a blog last week.
The company continued in said post that the scuffle resulted in the Google Maps and YouTube (News - Alert) apps being dropped from iPhone 5’s list of pre-loaded apps offered with purchase. Instead, Apple made its own mapping software available to customers.
This decision backfired, leaving some to wonder if such voice applications were the future of IVR or if there might be something better. The problem with Apple (News - Alert) Maps was that the program had low functionality and directions were grossly inaccurate – so much so that many were led on a wild goose chase that ended in the middle of nowhere, which is very dangerous. And when iPhone5 users tried to download Google Maps from the app store, they weren’t even able to do so, which proved to be quite a letdown.
Backlash over Apple Maps reached a whole new level, however, in Australia, where people were being inadvertently led into the “bush” where they were left stranded, many with no cell service, water, or escape from the blazing heat of Aussie summer, which boasts temperatures near 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
The main issue stemmed from incorrect coordinates for the city of Mildura. Instead of its proper location, Mildura was placed by Apple Maps in a national park, located some 45 miles from its true position. Officers from the state of Victoria were called in on several occasions to save those left abandoned by the software. Being stranded in the midst of extreme heat with no source of water could prove deadly, which is why the serious problem was finally addressed by authorities. The glitch forced authorities to issue a statement advising against the use of Apple Maps.
Google responded by releasing its mapping software app, which is now compatible with the iPhone (News - Alert) 5.
Amidst this chaos, a new way of approaching IVR is gaining attention – visual IVR.
Visual IVR represents a change in the way we approach traditional IVR calls because it allows callers to actually view and engage with the IVR menu via a smartphone.
A PSSHelp.com article outlines the numerous benefits of implementing Visual IVR. With a visual display of IVR call flow, callers are better able to use self-service features, making the process faster and more convenient. Visual IVR reduces the number of calls filtering through to the call center and minimizes the number of live agents needed. When callers do need to speak with a live agent, it’s faster to get in queue, and calls are shorter as they are more likely to be directly routed to the most appropriate agent.
Visual IVR is also less expensive to deploy than traditional IVR. Additionally, its rich format opens the door for a whole new way to interact with the growing number of mobile device users accessing the technology for both personal and business use.
Only the future will tell what kind of share IVR will have in these sorts of developments, but one thing’s for sure – it will certainly prove to be interesting.
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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo