Many of the people I talk to every day seem to think they’re going to stop investing in IVR. They think that in this day and age of intelligence that an interactive device slows down the transaction or may turn their customers away all together.  At this point, I do my best Lee Corso imitation and respond with a glib, “Not so fast my friend.”

Why is the IVR not going the way of T-Rex?  For a few reasons:

  1. Yes, Millennials prefer email and text messaging, but they enjoy mobility and immediacy more.  So given the choice of waiting or dialing, they choose to dial.
  2. AI engines can’t do it alone in the most efficient manner.  In a perfect world, natural conversation would get the customer’s problem resolved in the most efficient way.  But what happens when the caller needs something out of the norm where the predictive model can’t anticipate the need?  In those cases, more often than not, directed dialog (and in some cases good ole touch tone) becomes the most efficient solution to meeting the caller need.
  3. It’s just less expensive. IVR technology has been around for nearly 50 years.  Thus, many of the call flow elements that need to be designed and developed as part of professional services engagement for a pure-play AI voice solution are inherent in the IVR – meaning, you don’t pay anything additional for them.  Combining that with Millennial behavior (the ability to get all the product information instantaneously, which includes price), suppliers need to keep their costs competitive.

So where does that leave us today? The IVR needs to evolve, and that evolution needs to include AI to make the interaction intelligent.  In his article, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of IVR, (http://www.tmcnet.com/channels/bpa/articles/418411-artificial-intelligence-the-future-ivr.htm) Rory Lindstone writes, “By using algorithms behind speech-to-text technology, the AI solution can map the call and even anticipate new paths based on each response. In other words, AI-backed IVR could intuitively predict the expected path and move the call along to the next logical step in that path. Even if a caller responds with a no, the system could offer up another set of predictive options.” 

If you’d like to see how you can put this to work for your company, contact Blueworx today.