How AI will transform speech-enabled IVRs

In the Total Experience economy, self-service speech-enabled Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems play a crucial role in providing a seamless and efficient customer experience. IVR…

Alex Martinez profile picture
Alex Martinez

September 21, 20234 minute read

A collection of 1's and 0's form an abstract call center agent profile with headset on that says IVR (Interactive Voice Response).

In the Total Experience economy, self-service speech-enabled Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems play a crucial role in providing a seamless and efficient customer experience. IVR addresses the rising digital technology landscape and heightened customer expectations for quick, personalized service. Businesses are almost certainly required to adopt these self-service IVR systems to maintain competitiveness. But these systems must be advanced and today they ought to employ speech recognition technology to comprehend customer queries and offer automated responses, enabling customers to access information and perform basic tasks independently. IVRs enable accelerated and efficient service delivery, reducing customer wait times and enhancing overall satisfaction. As such, IVR systems can contribute to improved customer data collection and analysis by tracking customer interactions and by granting businesses insights into customer behavior and preferences. And this insight can be leveraged by product management to enhance their products and by marketers to devise better marketing strategies.

Self-service speech enabled IVR systems hold significance in the total experience economy as they furnish a convenient and efficient means for customers to engage with businesses, concurrently aiding enterprises in amassing valuable customer insights for operational improvements.

Impact of intelligent speech enabled IVR systems in your organization

Speech-enabled Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems significantly impact self-service, creating a more natural and intuitive way for customers to engage with automated setups. This influence is evident in several aspects that shape the self-service landscape. Starting with a vastly improved customer experience, through the implementation of speech enabled IVR systems, customers experience a more conversational and organic interaction. They can navigate menus, pose inquiries, and execute tasks using their voice, resulting in a more immersive encounter that alleviates the frustrations commonly associated with touch-tone systems. This enhanced customer experience positively contributes to overall satisfaction and engagement.

Furthermore, speech-enabled IVR systems yield valuable data and insights for businesses. Enabling your organization to analyze customer interactions, track emerging trends, and identify areas that could benefit from enhancement. By carefully evaluating customer requests and feedback, organizations can refine their self-service systems to better align with customer requirements and expectations. This data-driven approach facilitates continuous improvement, ensuring that self-service remains responsive and tailored to customer needs within the dynamic landscape of customer service.

The agility of speech enabled IVR systems in processing requests and delivering information surpasses traditional touch-tone systems, which typically require customers to navigate menus using a phone’s keypad. By allowing users to articulate their needs verbally, IVR systems swiftly grasp requirements and efficiently direct users to appropriate resources or departments. This approach not only saves time and effort for customers but also businesses. Ultimately, these IVR systems enhance accessibility for customers with disabilities or limitations that hinder the use of touch-tone systems. The integration of a voice interface broadens the scope of customers who can effectively engage, thereby elevating the inclusivity and accessibility of self-service systems.

Artificial intelligence is accelerating innovation in IVR systems that support Customer Service

Artificial intelligence (AI) is driving a transformative shift with interactive voice response (IVR) systems, making them intelligent, super intuitive, and even tailored. IVR systems are essentially becoming Intelligent Virtual Assistants that are reshaping the current ecosystems.
AI-infused IVR systems harness the capabilities of natural language processing (NLP), enabling them to comprehend and decipher the underlying meaning of customer requests. This facilitates refined interactions marked by greater sophistication and accuracy. Through NLP, IVR systems can discern keywords and phrases, dissect sentence structures, and even gauge customer sentiment, resulting in a conversational and fluid experience that mirrors human interactions.

AI-driven IVR systems also leverage predictive analytics to anticipate customer requirements and offer proactive solutions. By dissecting past interactions and behaviors, these systems can learn and anticipate the next steps a customer is likely to take and proactively provide information or assistance. AI empowers IVR systems to automate routine tasks and inquiries, freeing human agents to tackle more intricate and high-value engagements. Tasks like checking account balances or scheduling appointments can be automated, leading to decreased wait times and heightened customer and business efficiency.

In the Contact Center, AI-enabled IVRs can be deployed as first tier support to appropriately respond to what some early estimates suggest being 60 percent of inbound customer calls. In essence, these systems continually evolve and enhance their performance via self-learning and adjusting responses and recommendations accordingly.

AI-driven IVR systems exploit customer data and insights to deliver a personalized experience. By analyzing customer histories, preferences, and behaviors, IVR systems curate responses and recommendations that cater to each customer’s specific needs and interests. Altogether, AI’s integration is redefining IVR systems, ensuring a more intuitive, personalized, and streamlined customer experience while simultaneously elevating operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness for businesses.

Learn more about how OpenText Contact Center and Voice software can bring you closer to speech and AI-enabled IVR solutions that can enhance your customer experience.

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Alex Martinez

Alex is a Senior Product Marketing manager at OpenText with over 20 years experience working with customers and partners across multiple verticals with a strong focus on the Healthcare and Financial Services markets. He is keen on guiding customers through their digital transformation journey, taking a solution-oriented approach to solving their day-to-day problems.

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