Natural Language IVR

A Natural Language IVR is Speech Recognition on steroids combined with the benefits of an IVR.

A Natural Language IVR enables the customer to interact with any system or device in a conversational manner without being constrained by responses.

Instead of the old touchtone IVRs with press one for this, two for that,  a Natural Language IVR simply asks the customer an open-ended question along the lines of “How can we help you today?”.

The customer simply says what they want like “I’d like to speak to someone in accounts, I’m interested in learning more about X product” etc.

Depending on how your IVR is set up, they can get automated answers straight away or have their call directed to the right area.

Pretty cool stuff.

Speech Recognition IVR versus Natural Language IVR?

It can be easy to get the two confused, especially if you are the customer.

But there is one big difference between the two.

Speech Recognition IVR is designed to listen for a keyword like “complaint”.

A Natural Language IVR is designed to recognise phrases like “I’d like to make a complaint” which of course, it a much more natural way of speaking.

So what are the benefits of a Natural Language IVR?

A Natural Language IVR offers a range of benefits for your business. Let’s take a closer look through the different lenses:

Customer Benefits:

  • It requires a lot less effort to navigate to the specialist they need to speak to or received the automated information they need.
  • According to the 2018 State of the IVR Report:
    • 82% of customers are dissatisfied with IVR. But companies with speech-enabled IVR had a + 33.9% overall higher score than companies that don’t use one.
    • In fact, 67% of the highest-scoring companies have adopted speech-enabled IVRs.

Call centre benefits:

  • There is a greater opportunity to reduce live calls if you can provide the answers to common questions through automation.
  • Agents will be less frustrated as it is more likely the customer will be routed to the correct queue in the first instance

Business benefits:

  • Cost reduction through the ability to eliminate calls through automation.
  • It increases efficiency (which in turn reduces costs) as fewer calls need to be transferred around your business.
  • Improves customer satisfaction over the traditional IVR.

Recommended further reading: The impact of Artificial Intelligence in Call Centres

Find a list of technology suppliers who can provide a Natural Language IVR, Virtual Assistants, Chatbots and more in our CX Directory >

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