Traditional interactive voice response (IVR) is still the golden standard for self-service. But it’s safe to say it doesn’t have the best reputation in the minds of many consumers. From dated interfaces to limited verbal working memory, there are many reasons a standard IVR fails, and businesses are looking for a more mobile IVR to provide results. Thankfully, a new technology has produced a workable solution: visual IVR. (And don’t miss the visual IVR demo at the bottom of the page.)
What is Visual IVR?
Visual IVR is a digital self-service solution for smartphone users that combines audio prompts from a traditional IVR with additional visual stimuli. This creates a multi-modal solution that engages with customers through multiple senses: sound, sight and touch.
Visual IVR uses this extra ability to guide customers more effectively through your service channel. Plus, seeing relevant options pop up on screen during the call impresses users. But is that cool factor really worth the investment?
Beyond Verbal Working Memory
When it comes to verbal working memory, the human brain can be limited. Verbal working memory is a form of short-term memory that lets us make choices and perform tasks based on information we recently heard. Examples include hearing the specials at your favorite restaurant, listening to a counter argument during a debate and countless other situations.
But it turns out, people aren’t very good at using verbal working memory. Since the 1950s, researchers have tested memory by listing off a string of words and asking people to repeat them. On average, test subjects could remember no more than seven.
So the next time you’ve forgotten the first few specials, don’t feel bad when the waitress has to repeat them. A visual menu would make the whole process easier.
Seeing to Hear Better: Visual IVR Demo
The same holds true for IVR. Therefore, visual IVR creates big implications for the customer service industry.
When someone calls a service center but faces a string of options, memory and comprehension begin to fail. IVR is an effective and widespread tool for increasing self-service rates and improving the customer experience. But the caller must still rely on verbal working memory alone.
Back in 2011, cellular companies made ads promoting the ability to talk on the phone and browse the web at the same time. Now, that’s been common practice for years. Consumers often supplement their calls with visuals, looking up restaurant reviews or scheduling appointments while discussing evening plans.
We’re used to having the answers we need at a moment’s notice. How many times have you put a call on speaker phone to look up more information? A visual IVR, like West’s Visual Voice, brings the same benefits to the self-service experience.
According to a recent study, 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Visual aids can improve comprehension by up to 400 percent, and the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text.
Some inquiries get slightly too sophisticated for a traditional IVR to handle. An agent can answer any question, but having a live representative on the other line isn’t always feasible.
Creating a Mobile IVR
Visual Voice bridges the gap between IVR and agent with a multi-modal approach to customer service. This approach opens the door to greater self-service adoption, simpler preference collection and easier opt-in compliance.
Plus, adding visuals makes a truly mobile IVR for the first time. Sure, you can use the automated service using any phone, but there was functionally no difference between calling from a cell phone or a landline.
Now, a more mobile IVR takes advantage of all the features customers expect from their smartphones. For example, the IVR can display a menu of options, show a map or load a form. This more mobile IVR puts options in the customer’s hand and provides a mobile-ready visual experience without waiting on hold or downloading an app.
Visual Voice: The Multi-Modal Service Channel
Visual Voice is both more personal and personable, providing exactly what the customer needs when he or she needs it. When a website or email can’t answer a question, people turn to a tried-and-true phone call, and West’s interactive, multi-sensory service will create a truly differentiated and comfortable customer experience.
Reading about the benefits of visual IVR and mobile IVR on verbal working memory is great, but take a couple minutes to see what Visual Voice can really do. Download a visual IVR demo (or both) by clicking the links below:
But remember, visual IVR is a great way to spruce up your self-service offering, but it must be optimized like any other IVR. Check out this post, 5 Common IVR Complaints Killing Your CX, to create a traditional or visual IVR your customers will actually enjoy using.