Four IVR Trends to Expect in 2011

New year. New challenges. New opportunities to develop IVR solutions that make life just a little bit easier for our friends.

We love this time of year at Acclaim Telecom, because we can only begin to guess what sort of unexplored IVR needs and opportunities the upcoming 12 months might bring. But here are just four IVR trends we are expecting to see in 2011, plus a couple ways we can help your company meet the new demands:

1. More Creativity

America’s economic doldrums just keeps chugging on and on, though there are a number of promising signs on the horizon. So with customers on tighter budgets and with less disposable income to throw around, companies are going to have to increasingly compete via non-monetary factors like customer service. For IVR, this will mean creative, innovative solutions that help companies stand out not just avoid problems with emerging services like voiceXML, speech recognition and transcription, and cloud-based services  As we talked about last month here on the Acclaim Telecom blog, your company s IVR infrastructure provides a unique opportunity to create lasting and memorable impressions that solidify long-lasting customer relationships.

2. More Mobile Demand

Smart phone use will continue to skyrocket this year in fact, recent studies showed that smart phones should surpass computers in 2011 as the most common way people around the globe access the Internet.  So you can guess what kind of effect this is going to have on the demand for mobile IVR solutions.

3. More Interactive Voice and Video Response (IVVR)

Similarly, as 3G and 4G technology becomes more widespread, and as more and more people are able to easily place video calls on the go, the very nature of telephone-based customer service will change. In other words, it’s no longer just about voice but about video as well. To keep up with this, expect to see more demand for face-to-face customer care that will fuel IVVR application development.

4. More of Everything, Really

A recently released global report showed the IVR market reaching an expected $20.9 billion by 2015 an enormous figure that demonstrates just how important these telecom solutions are to companies around the world.

Speech technology and IVR solutions can be pretty much recession-proof, because they provide exactly the sorts of expense reduction and productivity enhancement opportunities that businesses need when budgets get tight. And an investment in IVR is one that pays off both immediately and over the long-term, with more effectively serviced customers, more efficient workers, and lower costs of maintaining a vibrant, customer-oriented business. But don’t forget IVR and mobile applications not only help with cost reduction initiatives; they are used quite effectively for top line revenue enhancement also.

At Acclaim Telecom, our IVR application development teams are eager to tackle these new challenges. We’ve deployed more than 1,000 enterprise-critical applications across a wide array of industries since 1993, and we can help you design and implement cutting edge IVR solutions that keep you ahead of the curve in meeting these new customer demands.

A Comic Strip is Worth 1,000 Words or Four IVR Lessons

To best understand the complex problems facing and plaguing the layered, always-changing, rapidly developing world of interactive voice response systems, sometimes it’s best just to opt out and simplify (sound familiar?).

Stick-figures. Two-dimensional. Flat and accurate. Simplified.

Something like this:
IVR Call Center

The good folks at Call Center Comics are doing exactly that, boiling down the potential problems, pitfalls, and customer frustrations that any company trying to utilize integrated IVR systems face.

There are multiple lessons we can learn. Here are just a few:

1. Don’t Be Redundant

IVR Solutions

You should always be looking for ways to remove unnecessary steps in your call tree and any unnecessary burdens placed upon the caller. The first (and easiest) step is to remove these sorts of blatant redundancies. Customers will know when they’re having to repeat themselves more than when they’re just moving through a tree inefficiently.

2. Do Your Research

IVR Systems

Thorough and forward-thinking customer research can help you become much more intuitive about customer needs and frustrations. The result is happier customers who get their questions answered and needs met (and, of course, better, more efficient business).

At Acclaim Telecom, we invest heavily in the type of performance analytics, tracking software, and technological development that can keep your IVR system in tune with your customers. Of course, we don’t recommend stringing them along quite as long as this particular strip claims possible.

3. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.

IVR Systems

This one should be obvious, but often in the quest to perfect and enhance their IVR system, companies will overcomplicate the process with too many options and too many steps. Sure—accuracy is appreciated, and customers will be thankful to end up speaking with the right department or the right people trained to deal with their specific problems. But if it takes more than a handful of steps to get there, you run the risk of losing callers altogether.

And, as always, make it easy for callers to opt out and talk to a real, live human customer service representative so they don’t end up trying to memorize these byzantine routes to the help and answers they need.

4. Expect Jaded Callers

IVR Call Center

Acclaim Telecom Services has been solving clients IVR and Speech Recognition system needs since 1993. Contact our IVR experts for more information.