What Is the Visual IVR Advantage?


According to GSMAIntelligence.com, there are more than 5 billion unique mobile subscribers worldwide. And, Pew Research Center reports the vast majority of Americans — 95 percent — now own a cell phone of some kind, while the share of Americans that own smartphones is now 77 percent.

Considering that a government study found that only 45.9 percent of American homes have a traditional landline telephone, there’s a good chance that customers will use their smartphone to reach out for customer service. The voice channel for customer care is not going away.

Moving beyond some of the most popular apps like Facebook and Instagram, organizations can harness the power of customer smartphones. Implementing a touch-controlled menu of interactive voice response (IVR) options to accompany a purely audio-based IVR with a visual display that includes images and text can improve first-call resolution and reduce call times.

ReportLinker found that 37 percent of smartphone users use their phones primarily for calling and 26 percent use their phones primarily for texting. A visual IVR interface can act like a bridge between voice and the texting channels. Additionally, a visual IVR interface can encourage customers to use less costly, self-service options.

How Does it Work?

Instead of controlling the IVR tree with speech or touch-tone input, Visual IVR provides options that are shown through a touch-optimized mobile Web experience which doesn’t require downloading a native mobile app. Smartphones across all platforms are supported through the use of HML5 and SMS.

Navigating the IVR application and connecting to a customer service representative is expedited through a user-friendly interface. Another benefit is the ability to assist hearing-impaired customers. Once connected to an agent, the native mobile capabilities can be used to keep a “visual bridge” and data channel open to share documents or images securely.

Visual IVR can be an important factor in customers service success. It creates several advantages that not only provide a better customer experience, but also reduces overall costs associated with the contact center. These advantages include:

Advantage 1: Drive Self-Service

Self-service options that are easy to use are appreciated by customers. Making the most of smartphone capabilities improves usability and customers will more willingly use these self-service offerings.

Advantage 2: Richer Interactivity

Despite the popularity and usage of apps, in 2017 comScore reported that 51 percent of users don’t download any apps in a month. This shows customers aren’t clamoring to add another app to their phone. Visual IVR gives customers the advantage of richer interactivity without the need to download an app.

Advantage 3: Easier to Navigate Menus

Microsoft reported in 2015 that consumer attention spans are lower than the average goldfish. With callers easily distracted visual IVR can help customers better navigate menus by providing, in addition to voice menus, a visual option to help keep callers on track and improve first call resolution.

Advantage 4: Improved Routing

Frustrated customers can negatively impact business and the bottom line. Providing a visual IVR solution helps customers easily complete their transaction, improving routing and reducing the chance of customers “zeroing out” to speak with a live agent.

The list of visual IVR advantages is seemingly endless, including improved self-service, richer interactivity, easy to navigate menus and improved routing.