Yes, you read that correctly – and now, you’ve heard it all. If you think interactive voice response (IVR) is just for the call center, think again. Yes, navigating the self-service channel is a great customer interaction tool for those who like to complete their own transactions, but at the same time, it makes a great portal to push out vital information in a variety of industries and situations. As of late, the healthcare industry has proven to be a valuable niche, so let’s look into this further.
IVR was a critical tool in spreading the message in 2009 that a large outbreak of the H1N1 virus had occurred. Looking back, it may seem merely a thing of the past, but when you stop to think about it, the swine flu was huge news when it broke out, leaving millions of citizens nationwide cautious and even fearful. With the help of IVR technology, critical information was spread across a vast network. Plus, researchers were able to launch data gathering processes that allowed those who believed they were already infected to respond from their own homes to avoid spreading the sickness unnecessarily.
Now, individuals suffering from advanced prostate cancer stages can also benefit from IVR. One report shows how these individuals can access a new text messaging program to assist in the process of dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy.
The program was developed in partnership between mHealth solutions company Mobile Commons, Sanofi US and the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Now marketed as PROST8CARE, this IVR-based program pushes out information to participating cancer patients via text messages. Information received includes diet tips and dealing with the side effects of chemo.
The PROST8CARE program develops content with the assistance of four oncology nurses and four medical oncologists provided through the Prostrate Cancer Foundation. Each message is created and sent based on the treatment cycle of the patient. The messages received via IVR are meant to encourage and educate patients, contributing to a more positive overall experience while receiving treatments.
This program is just one more example of how IVR has extended beyond the walls of the typical contact center, allowing companies and organizations to push out critical information – whether it pertains to a typical issue, the gathering of information or the promotion of a product or service. Message recipients do need to opt in to the program, but that only amplifies the relevance to the consumer.
The incorporation of text messaging is critical in sharing information and even capturing feedback from interested parties. It not only provides an alternative for consumers who rely solely on a mobile device for communications, but it also leverages a communication channel that spurs instant receipt of the message. When information capture is enabled, research is gathered instantly.
Offering such capabilities are critical for patients and consumers seeking an improved and advanced experience, but they also benefit the company by creating greater customer satisfaction. In such situations, it is truly IVR at its best.
To the people spreading rumors saying IVR is archaic and unneeded…this might be your cue to leave now.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo