- Created: Friday, 22 April 2016 15:50
It has already been 80 years of IVR
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a technology, on which research and development work has started in 1936. The first speech synthesizer was presented by Bell’s laboratory. Joining forces and science has resulted in breakthrough in the 1970s - a mathematic model has been invented, a model enabling review of voices. Bell presented then also a first telephone with tone dialing (DTMF). In the 1980s Perception Technology got the idea to combine previous experience of voice technology with telephone with DTMF and computers. As a result there came up an IVR, as we know it today. At the end of 1990s companies have already greatly invested in communication infrastructure with IVR. Nowadays it would be hard to find anybody who has not been in contact with the IVR system.
IVR is still developing
Vocal announcement, tone dialing, redirections, call recording are the basic functionalities of IVR. Then there are Text-to-Speech services enabling reading different content for any of client and Speech-to-Text, meaning an alternative to the tone dialing.What else can be added? Many more! There are 4 less-known possibilities of IVR following:
#1 Authomatic authorization of a person
In principle, this is a relict when at the beginning of telephone conversation client is questioned by a consultant on name and surname, date of birth, mother’s maiden name etc. Nowadays IVR can authorize the person on the other end, saving the work time of the consultant.
Suppose that IVR tries to recognize the caller by the telephone number.
When a client is recognized there is a possibility of reading out the following option of client’s zone or going to the next steps of verification – authorization of the person.
The aim of the security of the personal and sensitive data, the IVR system does not store the clients data. The system communicates with an external database for example, system of a bank, which stores the clients data.
IVR obtains only random data, needed to verify the correction of answers. This is especially important, when call center services are the outsourcing services or the IVR solution is available in SaaS model.
IVR askes further questions, on which a client can answer either by pressing buttons on a phone key pad or by speaking words.
#2 Authorization of a telephone number
The interesting form of a verification is the authorization of telephone number, which might be and independent element of IVR or a part of a process of the authorization of a person. A client can have a GSM phone number assigned to trusted SMS codes, but not necessarily the client reaches the helpline calling form the particular number. He may want to assign a new number to his account. An obligation of passing the code sent by SMS is considered as an essential element for the authorization.
#3 A respond through to other channel of communication (SMS, email, VMS, fax).
During connection IVR allows an authorized client to specify other forms of contacts, for example to resend SMS or email with an interesting content: date of meeting, doctor’s name, but also with scan of an invoice or data for money transfer.
Through IVR a client may arrange to send the data or a scan of invoice by fax, email, MMS or SMS. The client can choose whether an invoice should be sent on fax number, which comes connection from or on number which is tone dialed.
An invoice data which is contained in SMS automatically edited according to predefined templates can be only sent to a client.
What might also be sent through the email and SMS is a dedicated link to online payment system. What happens when a client needs to send a payment confirmation to a consultant of helpline? When calling from a multifunctional telephone the client can choose a redirection to fax number. Another form is an email – IVR helps to define an email box, and then sends the email containing a request to respond with an enclosed confirmation.
#4 Payment services with IVR
An above example describes also a possibility of telephone payment. What is this about? IVR redirects a client to one of popular systems of payment services. The client during a call can process the payment using credit card and gives the details of it by tone dialing.
This was already told about
One of our articles spoke about another significantly different use of IVR. This use of IVR fits in perfectly in this subject of collecting, supplementing and updating data of caller.
See also: 4 steps of collecting the data of a caller
Cherry on top – number one
Mutual communication omnichannel goes together with using one phone number. Using one phone number a contact center can call, send SMS, VMS (voice messages) and fax. A client can call back on the same number, even it is a SMS dedicated number, send SMS or fax.