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Adding IVR To Customer Service? Do It Right And It Pays Off

August 12, 2011

By David Sims,
TMCnet Contributing Editor

Done correctly, IVR can be a nice customer-friendly app that enables interactions, improves customers satisfaction and lowers operational costs.

So what’s not to like about that?

Officials of Five9 (News - Alert), a company selling an IVR with speech recognition, note correctly that if you make IVR an efficient, understandable experience for your customers they’ll use it, reserving your valuable agents' time for more complex inquiries and sales.

But of course, if it’s one of those IVR hells -- “Press 14 for... I’m sorry, I don’t understand that selection. Press 1 for...” -- well, prepare to waste a lot of money on it.

The fact is that you can deploy common speech-enabled IVR applications using the easy-to-use graphical user interface included with the Five9 IVR with Speech Recognition. It includes some of the best self-service apps, including account info, a customer satisfaction survey, delivery notification and others.

It’s a standalone product that can be added to any Five9 Inbound Call Center. With a call center operation including agents, Five9 ACD and Skills-Based Routing features, you’ll get pretty comprehensive control of every customer call “without the hassle and complexity found in many standalone IVR and ACD packages,” company officials say.

Last month TMC (News - Alert) reported that Five9 officials announced an IVR with Speech Recognition product, billing it as one with tools for better service and support.

Company officials say it can be used for IVR self-service apps to provide touch-tone or speech input, depending on preference or the circumstances of the call: “Using advanced speech recognition technology, the Five9 IVR will analyze spoken input and provide an appropriate response, including confirmations and error prompts for cases when the speech recognition engine cannot effectively hear the caller's input.”

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Chris DiMarco