While our 2020 call center trends blog series has focused a lot on cutting-edge technology and newer channels, it’s important that we don’t forget about those who prefer an old-school customer experience via phone and/or email. In an August 2019 survey by Statista, 61% of respondents stated the phone was their preferred communication channel to resolve customer service issues. Broken down by age group (as shown in the table from Dimension Data’s 2019 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report), the preference for phone communication is a whopping 90% for customers over the age of 55.
Since phone communication is still a major player in the CX space, looking to the future involves addressing its glaring shortcoming—lackluster IVR. Traditional IVRs use basic tree maps triggered by either dialpad prompts or one-word voice commands to get users the correct information. Any of us who have used these systems understand how frustrating it can be (“I SAID REPRESENTATIVE!”). In order to better serve customers via the phone for the next decade and beyond, we foresee a rise in conversational IVRs.
Conversational IVR is a new kind of interactive voice response (IVR) system that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) for smarter, easier self-service. Unlike traditional IVRs that prompt callers to select from numerous menu options, conversational IVR lets customers choose the path they prefer by simply saying what they want. Bright Pattern’s Conversational IVR allows customers to interact naturally in their own words, eliminating the need to memorize option numbers or touch the dialpad.