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IVR Featured Article

Multimodality Brings Mobility and IVR Together

March 14, 2011

Americans are in love with their mobile devices, especially smart devices. People are on the go and now find it almost strange to hear of anyone who is not “connected” with a smart device such as an iPhone or Android (News - Alert). Having immediate access to a world of information along with flexibility and control keeps this love affair burning. 

As David Toliver, wrote in an Angel.com blog post, “By capitalizing on the increased flexibility and control that mobility brings, businesses can gain from more satisfied customers, a more effective workforce, and a distinct competitive advantage.” Done right, they can employ strategies that will enhance the effectiveness of their workforce, while providing greater customer satisfaction.

One of the tried-and-true strategies contact centers have relied on to increase productivity and effectiveness is interactive voice response (IVR). Not only does it help increase workforce productivity, but customers can use it to access a business from anywhere without special customer hardware, software or technology savvy. The only time things get sticky is when customers need to be routed through the IVR to a human. 

Multimodality is the answer to this challenge. It facilitates the human-machine interaction by using a host of different modes of input and output. Therefore, if communication with a machine in one form isn’t suitable, another form of information input can be used to get the desired output. This means that not only voice, but text, photos and graphics can work in harmony to bring a quick, hassle-free resolve to customer questions.

The power of IVR and the benefits of mobile communications can be united to provide a great customer experience that has the potential to result in more receptive customers and possibly more sales. This is possible when customer data is joined with business intelligence. In doing so, business gain advanced knowledge of customer likes and dislikes and have the advantage of a “heads-up” on what customers may need. This saves time for both the customer and the business and enables real-time modifications that reflect customer needs, which ultimately will have a positive impact on customer loyalty.   

Linda Dobel is a TMCnet Contributor. She has been an editor in the contact center space for more than 25 years, and has the distinction of being the founding editor of Customer Inter@ction Solutions (CIS) magazine. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jaclyn Allard


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