IVR 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.
Meet marketing's new best friend
The following is an extract from the article "Meet marketing's new best friend" by Barney Beal, www.searchCRM.com:
"Terms such as up-sell, cross-sell and inbound marketing tend to cause headaches for contact center managers.
If only there was a way for an automated system to handle it all.
There may be. A few companies and vendors are exploring the possibility of making relevant offers to their customers by using interactive voice response (IVR) systems, software that accepts voice and touch-tone telephone commands and delivers prerecorded responses.
"Getting a customer's attention with traditional outbound tactics is getting tougher and tougher," said Elana Anderson, senior analyst with Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research. "Marketers are really starting to evaluate the inbound channels and are looking for alternate means in the contact center -- whether it's IVR, self-service or an agent on the phone."
Communications Data Services (CDS) Inc., a magazine subscription service in Des Moines, Iowa, recently installed Interaction Advisor from San Mateo, Calif.-based E.piphany Inc. The software has a self-learning algorithm that takes data results and profiles customers most likely to accept an offer. Now, the company is exploring ways to make offers to customers through IVR, said Marc Francisco, CDS' product manager for customer service systems. CDS is still in the planning stages of a project that taps Interaction Advisor to provide relevant offers to customers through its IVR.
In the past, CDS has had its most success cross-selling and up-selling when customers speak to customer service agents handling such calls as change of address and bill payment. Now, CDS hopes to automate those processes without losing marketing potential.
Francisco said the goal is to convince customers that "we're not lengthening their call but [making a relevant offer] while we're processing transactions," Francisco said.
Companies that make a pitch to customers who may already be put off by an automated system may be traveling down a slippery slope.
"The challenge is there's always the risk of marketing going wild," Anderson warned. "IVR is a particularly sensitive area from that perspective."
Anderson said one financial services company uses IVR for proactive service. For example, when a customer enters his account number and is identified as being at risk for banking with a competitor, the system will generate a refinancing offer. With the push of a button, that customer is rerouted to a live agent.
New technology is emerging to help organizations take advantage of automated marketing. E.piphany's Interaction Advisor is one example. Anderson said that SPSS Inc., in Chicago, will likely offer something similar, as it integrates technology gained in its recent purchase of Dutch data mining firm DataDistilleries....."
To view the entire article, visit www.searchCRM.com.
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.