Original article was published by Anjani Vigha on Artificial Intelligence on Medium
IVR To Voicebots: The Obvious Shift?
IVR systems have ruled the customer service ecosystem, unchallenged for decades. However, the emergence of voice bots has questioned the top spot of IVRs. It is important to analyze both these automated customer routing systems to come to a full-fledged conclusion about each other’s superiority.
According to a published paper by Gartner, it has been predicted that customers will prefer using speech interfaces to initiate 70% of self-service interactions by 2023 when compared to 40% in 2019.
What is Interactive Voice Response (IVR)?
The IVR system is an integral part of customer service kiosks. This system functions on an automated switchboard and is structured like a flowchart. It engages kiosk-connected customers through predefined phone trees and directs these calls to suitable agents or departments.
Furthermore, IVR helps customers to self-service and solve simple issues that include basic information or directions. The key inputs are the guide to solving your problems on the IVR.
What are Voicebots?
Voice bots are empowered by artificial intelligence (AI) that offer contextual customer experiences that are backed by the capabilities of natural language. This kind of conversation is far more interactive than the ones initiated by IVRs. It does not include phone trees, listening to menus, and punching numbers on the keypad. You will experience a much-simplified call with a call operator.
Having said that, let us now understand how voice bots score better than IVR.
1. Provide Interactive Customer Experiences
Customer satisfaction is the key to running a successful business. When a customer contacts your customer service desk due to concerns, the first thing they expect is that you understand and empathize with the problem.
Voice bots can deliver logical and customized interactive customer conversations. IVR systems may sound mundane as it prompts customers to punch numbers on the keypad to connect with the suitable customer agent. Meanwhile voice bots can ask the right questions based on the query presented.
Thus, the customer gets to feel as if they’re interacting with a real agent. Voice bots proficiently deliver relevant answers to queries which are logically a better option than robotically providing options to the customers.
2. Offer Better Responsiveness
IVR systems deal with queries that involve providing basic directions. Voice bots can be integrated with CRM to provide intelligent and responsive resolutions. For example, an IVR can handle a customer who wants to access their account. So, the IVR system will redirect the customer to the appropriate customer service agent.
Voice bots are a step ahead of the IVR. It resolves technical and other issues with a password reset related to accessing the same account. Voice bots can gain access to customer details from the CRM and guide them to find the cause and resolve the issue effectively.
Moreover, voice bots can provide additional resources like web links that can help the customers self-support themselves.
3. Help Reduce Workload
According to a customer experience report by McKinsey, human customer service interactions will be reduced by 30% in the next two years. This concludes that voice bots will own up to 70% of customer interactions in the future.
As mentioned earlier, voice bots are capable of accessing customer details from knowledge repositories and respond to queries contextually. This way, customer service agents won’t have to deal with redundant tasks. The reduced workload saves time and helps them to focus on core issues.
Furthermore, voice bots learn from their experiences. Consider an example when a customer has called for a complex issue. At first, the voice bot is unable to help the customer and redirects the call to an appropriate agent. It then registers this query, scans the valid keywords, and learns from the resolution offered by the customer service agent. So further, if the same kind of query rises up, voice bots can easily direct the customers based on the learned experiences.
There is a great scope of modifications for voice bots as they deal with new customer issues. It processes the agent’s natural language to produce new keywords and enhance capabilities to deal with customers.
4. Reduce Waiting Time
Customer service is a perennial challenge for organizations. IVR systems enable customers to establish an early connection whereas voice bots can present the query in a voice channel.
Voice bots can trigger the right questions that bring you closer to a resolution. They acquire all the required information and converse with the customers to help them out. If it can’t be solved, they ensure that the customer is directed to the right customer service agent along with the data obtained.
Eventually, one needs to know that positive customer experience is all about connecting to the right channel. Voice bots’ sole purpose is to resolve an issue at the earliest.
5. Deliver Personalized Experiences
Voice bots can be integrated with several tools like CRM. This provides them with access to review customer history, chat transcripts, and other information about previous customer issues.
When a customer contacts the service center, voice bots can pull out basic information like the customer’s name and type of business relationship with the organization. This enhances customer experiences and personalizes the complete discussion.
Voice bots are conversational by nature and add a user-friendly dimension to the entire interaction. It is a purely-technology driven experience that helps customers to obtain accurate and precise answers on time.
The Shift from IVRs to Voicebots
Voice bots have emerged successful in the current competitive business landscape, especially amongst the millennials. They have been able to meet the rising expectations of customers with the help of technological advancements.
IVR will be consistent only if it evolves on the basis of shifting customer preferences. They need to cater to a larger set of competitive audience by embracing the new voice technology. This will help them to operate call traffic better and become the callers’ go-to mechanism to offer resolutions spontaneously.
To Wrap Up!
Businesses believe that the demand for customer support through voice channels is fading but this assumption is far from the truth. Customer service via voice channel has evolved according to changing trends. IVRs and voice bots are a prime example of how voice channels have grown and continue to adapt to technological innovations.