Interactive Voice Response
This section of our technical library presents information and documentation relating to IVR and interactive voice response software as well as automatic call answering solutions.
Business phone systems and toll free answering systems (generally 800 numbers and their equivalent) are very popular for service and sales organizations, allowing customers and prospects to call your organization anywhere in the country.
Our PACER and Wizard IVR systems add another dimension to our call center phone system solutions. An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) processes inbound phone calls, plays recorded messages including information extracted from databases and the internet, and potentially routes calls to either in-house service agents or transfers the caller to an outside extension.
Speech-Enabled Interactive Voice Response Systems
How Commercially Viable Are Current Speech Technologies for IVRs?
Analysts and technology experts are increasingly vocal about the commercial potential of today's speech-recognition technologies. In June 1998, the Gartner Group announced that "speech-recognition technology finally works and is viable for customer service organizations. It is . . . an emerging 'self-serve' technology that will enhance customer service while reducing personnel costs."
For IVR suppliers, the addition of speech recognition capabilities provides opportunities for incremental revenues, increases the variety of automated service delivered over the telephone, and increases the demand for telephony equipment.
Just as interactive touch-tone applications fueled the development of new businesses, speech recognition is creating new opportunities for imaginative entrepreneurs.
Businesses are currently using speech-enabled IVRs in the following ways:
- package tracking
- stock quotes and trading
- insurance claims
- travel booking
- pharmacy prescription refills
- restaurant reservation information
- social services administration and delivery by government agencies
- directory assistance
What are Industry Experts Predicting about the Adoption of Speech Recognition in the IVR Systems of the Future?
"Speech recognition has gone from the bleeding edge to the leading edge," says Brian Bischoff, general manager for AT&T Solutions Business Development. The top 25 percent of large companies are implementing their first-level speech applications, he says, because in the near term, speech recognition provides a bigger gain than even the Web. "That's how customers contact and interact with businesses." (Information Week, February 22, 1999).
William S. Miesel, a leading speech industry consultant and president of TMA Associates, noted in 1998 that the availability of speech recognition on the platform is already becoming an important customer criterion for the purchase of an IVR or computer telephony system.
These systems use directed dialog to constrain caller responses to those that will be easily and accurately understood.
|Often, when people begin to interact with conversational [IVR] systems, they tend to be conversational in return. Consequently, a good speech interface is one that will steer them into providing only responses that the system can recognize.|
Speech Technology Magazine, April/May, 1999
In his Telephony Voice User Interface report, Miesel predicted that total worldwide revenues from advanced speech technology products and services in telephony (including speech recognition, speaker verification, and text-to-speech) will exceed $38 billion by 2003.
Wizard Simplifies Development
DSC provides IVR software including our IVR wizard development tool for creating interactive voice response applications.
Our IVR software lets you increase IVR development productivity by providing a visual development environment. IVR applications can be defined in minutes using this sophisticated, yet easy to use development tool.
DSC also has available a comprehensive IVR software library known as our IVR Wizard Software Development Kit. This optional package is available for programmers and systems adminstrators who wish to manage IVR programs fromLinux IVR, Unix, or Windows IVR operating environments.
Data collected by your phone ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) or IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems can be passed to your existing PC, Unix or Web applications through our phone software.
The PACER predictive dialer can automatically call your customers and pass only connected calls to your agents. With our computer telephony software, your telephone and computer work together to provide cost-saving benefits.