5 Ways To Make Your IVR Smarter With AI in 2021
By Vanita Arora
The significance of having an IVR system in place has been reiterated time and again. However, with the advancement of technology and newer innovations coming to light each day, businesses now need to focus on ensuring an up-to-date and effective IVR system in place.
Unfortunately, in today’s day and age, where digitisation and alternative methods dominate the space, some mistakenly assume that the significance of IVR has gone down. This could not be further from the truth.
IVR technology is as relevant today as it were a few years back. New innovations and developments need to be integrated rather than be used in isolation for optimum results. Therefore, there is a continuing need to upgrade and invest in newer forms for effective solutions.
A smartphone is your customer’s best friend—whether they need instant human assistance, wish to navigate via the digital channels for self-service or prefer talking to a bot or virtual assistant. If you wish to capitalise on this mode of communication then IVR is the right choice!
With new technological advancements—such as artificial intelligence, the capabilities of IVR have been substantially increasing. Infact, a careful assessment and integration of the two technologies paves way for a much better customer solution.
Here are 5 ways in which businesses can integrate AI to make their traditional IVR system smarter:
1) For personalisation
Imagine re-introducing yourself at work to all your colleagues, every day! Sounds taxing, right? This is probably how your customers feel every time they call your business. Frequent callers or even the most loyal customers have to undergo this time-consuming process.
An Automatic Number Identification (ANI) system provides a simple solution to the aforementioned problem. Interestingly, with an ANI system in place, your IVR service will get to work even before an interaction begins. Wondering how?
This technology identifies inbound phone calls and matches them against your database. This helps your agents get basic information about the caller and their transactional history. Additionally, it allows you to create a personalised response for your customers, and make them feel valued instead of starting from scratch.
Another development in the industry is in the form of voice biometrics. Here, a customer’s voice acts as their password. The IVR system compares the caller’s voice against a previously taken voiceprint and ensures a smooth IVR process.
2) For natural conversations
Traditionally IVR has offered one-way communication—customers call a business; the system answers the call and routes it based on the response.
In 2021, it is finally time to upgrade this communication pattern. Using artificial intelligence and speech recognition, we’ve developed smart virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri capable of having human-like conversations.
Integrating AI with your traditional IVR setup can help reform how you communicate with your customers. Your interactions will no longer be one way and connecting with a modern IVR will be as seamless as speaking to a human.
There are immense benefits of having such a system in place:
• Better understand the intent and purpose of the call
• Ask questions for better understanding and automatically decide the next step
• Carefully predict reactions and customer sentiments
• Save information and data for further analysis and assessment
In case you’re still looking for more reasons, we’d just point you in the direction of your customer satisfaction scale.
3) To be prepared in advance
In the fast-paced world that we live in, customers demand quick redressal. Even a small delay can irk customers and result in losing a potential lead.
Integrating AI with IVR can help you better understand customers and even predict their queries. Artificial intelligence and predictive algorithms can gauge customer behaviour based on their history, patterns, past data and much more.
AI and predictive algorithms analyse such information and can aptly predict what your customers might be looking for even before they initiate the conversation. Not only does it save the businesses and customers’ time but also allow a more personalised service.
Additionally, this tech can point customers in the next direction—help them with a course of action and recommendations.
4) IVR and other channels of communications
It is likely that a consumer has browsed through your website, application or social media channels before calling you or might be browsing through it while interacting with your IVR.
All that your customers ever want are answers. And if they get these answers seamlessly through your channels, your business is in the clear. Integrating IVR and other channels of communication does just the same.
Allowing seamless integration across communication channels is a very efficient customer satisfaction hack, that does not involve any additional heavy costs and frees up your agents’ time to focus on more complex tasks.
5) Smart serving system
Basic customer queries, such as determining when they have to renew a service, or the validity of their account do not require urgent human assistance to resolve them. A well-integrated AI with IVR can help your customers easily navigate through such queries with enhanced efficiency.
All in all, AI integrated with IVR creates a robust, smart serving system and is a win-win situation for both your business as well as customers.
Technology is dynamic and businesses are also constantly evolving. Therefore, a careful assessment of replacing old technology and leveraging newer ones is extremely pertinent for a business. Integrating IVR with smart AI is one such important decision.
Many believe that with the advent of newer forms of communication, the older ones become obsolete. However, when carefully assessed and implemented, the two can work hand in hand, empowering each other.
Not only does this integration make your communication more time saving and effective but also saves you huge costs, as you can leave everything on smart technology without having to get more human resources on board. It will also seamlessly align your communication strategies and customer service policies.