Author Topic: IVR Self Service vs. Smartphone Apps  (Read 4660 times)

Adam G

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IVR Self Service vs. Smartphone Apps
« on: November 14, 2016, 07:11:59 PM »
I'm doing a little "market research" on future state for Service Channels and I'm currently looking at supplemental solutions to the Self Service IVR.  I've been considering the business benefits of providing a supplemental Channel in a smartphone App and I've come up with a few good points and other ideas.  I'd appreciate any other feedback or comments from your own experiences, so that we can piece together a good "reference point" from a research perspective.

I've already considered the following;

1. An App that (also) emulates IVR functions and Self Service options is not "just a visual IVR...". It can perform functions which are web-based and it can interface/interact directly with backend systems, through a secure web call. This means it can provide an extension of the Self Service offered by a voice (IVR) Solution - and any web-based Services.

2. An App provides a business with new business opportunities which are in the palm of their customers' hands - always. This is not the same as a web site or other promotional materials which are only available if the customer chooses to visit the site or preview offers - it effectively becomes a part of the Services immediately available to them.

3. Through Orchestration, business opportunities can be defined per individual and pushed to the App, in real time. This process may also be invoked depending on the customer's' location - or any other function available to a smartphone.

4. The introduction of an App as a supplement to an IVR and/or Voice Channel effectively reduces the volume of Inbound Calls.  "By how much?" depends on the Services on offer - but it is reasonable to assume that if a customer does not have to call to conduct an enquiry/service, then they will use any other methods available. This is also a good point when considered the App's ROI.

5. Customer queries and Customer Support within an App are not "real time" (unless there is a business case to do so). A customer interaction from an App can be channelled in the same way as email to an Agent.

6. The introduction of an App paves the way for the introduction of an Automated Bot. Compiling a Bot with business intelligence from Content and Knowledge Management can provide a "First Line" auto-response per customer/interaction, reducing the workload on resources. Another good point for an ROI study.

7. An App can cater for different languages and other demographics, within the options of the interface.  The prospect of providing the same versatility across an IVR (think Menu Structures, Voice Files and/or Language TTS/ASR) is daunting, to say the least.

8. Yes - it can provide a Visual IVR, if that is intended.  The inclusion of either Mobile comms or SIP/Skype can make that proposition even more viable as the possibilities to include media/multimedia (beyond the capabilities of an IVR) are expanded.

- I also have a list of the "down side" to introducing a Service App - in the main, it's to do with stability, availability and upkeep and it generally follows the same structure as you might find for a Business Service provided through a web presence.

Does anyone have anything that could be added to this list/post/thread for others to refer to?  Do you agree with the points here - or do they need further explanation from a business perspective?

« Last Edit: November 14, 2016, 07:56:20 PM by adamgill »