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  • October 4, 2019
  • By Chris Caile Senior Principal Product Marketing Manager, Nuance
  • Article

IVRs and AI, Unite!

  1. Anticipate Your Caller’s Needs

We don’t call a company because we are looking to talk with someone. We call with questions. And we want to spend as little time as possible on the phone. Forward-thinking companies are using the latest advances in AI and predictive capabilities to better anticipate why customers call and get them to the right resolution faster.

Putting AI to work in the IVR enables organizations to predict the reason for a call and automatically deliver a highly personalized experience tailored just for them, based on their unique situation and past history.

Suppose a cable subscriber spends time researching programming packages before calling. The IVR can recognize that activity and greet the caller with a personalized message: “I see you were browsing cable packages online earlier today. Are you calling to add a station or change your programming lineup?”

By analyzing information such as browsing history and past transaction data, you can anticipate customer needs before they even say “hello.”  And the best IVRs don’t just resolve the customer’s issue more effortlessly; they recommend the right next step for every customer, too. 

  1. Connect Your IVR and Digital Channels

Companies with the strongest omni-channel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89 percent of their customers, compared to only 33 percent for companies with weak strategies. Why? Because 60 percent of customers visit your website before calling your IVR, and 36 percent continue to browse your website while talking to a representative. Wherever they start their journey, they expect to authenticate once, then move seamlessly between channels to get the answers they need.

An IVR-to-digital solution can reduce your contact center costs and improve customer satisfaction by allowing customers to transfer seamlessly from your IVR to a virtual assistant or a live chat agent.

So how does it work? Imagine a customer calls with a question about a new product they’re considering. Here, the IVR offers them a choice:

“No problem, I can have a live agent help you with that—the wait time is just five minutes. Or you could chat with an agent right now via text message. Would you like to chat instead?”

Many times, customers will choose live chat to accelerate the process. Seamless connections between your IVR and digital channels creates the experiences customers expect and boosts satisfaction. 

Helping Your IVR Flex

Your company’s IVR delivers value, and now with these four imperatives for improvement you can boost your IVR game and become a favorite alongside their digital brethren. Because everyone, even the IVR, likes to flex every now and then.

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