Face it: As the world “texts” away and 35 percent of people take to social media for expedient customer care[i], picking up the phone often means a customer has already exhausted a variety of other self-service options. As a result, customers have been conditioned to loathe your company’s interactive voice response (IVR) system from the get-go – and who can blame them. But it’s not IVR itself that customers truly despise; rather, they’re frustrated with its capacity to understand and help them self-serve.
Luckily, speech recognition applications, like Natural Language and Directed Dialog, are helping brands reclaim IVR as a cost-effective and rewarding communication staple when they recognize its role as “One Piece of the CX Puzzle,” as West’s Dan Gordon published in the Winter Issue of Speech Technology Magazine.
Speech can provide a smoother, faster and more satisfying experience for callers fed-up with unintuitive laundry-listed touchtone (DTMF) menus, but it’s not the be-all, end-all solution. DTMF does still have its place in certain situations – like when providing a 14-digit number, for example. Just as DTMF can cause disconnect for callers in need of greater flexibility, speech technology can prove ineffective if dropped carelessly within an IVR with a sole purpose to “wow” customers. For speech science to become a powerful CX tool, enterprises must apply it intelligently and with proper consideration for the overall customer journey.
This Guide to Building and Optimizing the Right Automated Voice Solution is a good resource for companies starting to explore the possibilities of speech.
Automated voice recognition can become an irreplaceable tool for brands working to shed the stigma now attached to IVR — but only if they’re willing to invest the time to look at the customer experience, research speech options, and gain an understanding of upkeep and optimization.
[i] Delzio, Suzanne. “New Social Media Research Shows What People Expect From Brands : Social Media Examiner.” Social Media Examiner. N.p., 30 Dec. 2014. Web. 17 Nov. 2016.