Finally an IVR Your Customer Will Love: Conversational IVR

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conversational IVR

You’re sitting at home enjoying your favorite TV show when, all of a sudden, the power goes out. You want immediate information on the outage, so you decide to call your energy provider, and then you get stuck in a long-winded IVR (“Welcome to Energy Oasis. For account changes, press 1. For service requests, press 2....”).

By the time the IVR has provided the sixth option (“For billing inquiries, press 6….”), you’ve already forgotten the first few options. What you thought would be a simple interaction turns into a frustrating and time-consuming ordeal.

Everyone has experienced a call like this. Shouldn’t there be a better way?

Conversational IVR Powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Let’s try the scenario again. The power goes at and you pick up your phone to ring your energy provider. You get an IVR, but to your surprise, instead of listing out numerous options, it says, “Thank you for calling Energy Oasis. How can we help you today?”

The rest of the interaction goes something like this:

You: “I would like information on the power outage.”

IVR: “Yes, we are experiencing some outages due to high winds from the Santa Anas. Would you like more information on your specific zip code?”

You: “Yes, I would like to know when the power will be restored.”

IVR: “What is your zip code?”

You: “93117.”

IVR: “The power should be restored in 93117 around 5 p.m. today.”

Doesn’t this sound like a much better interaction? How would this company perform this type of IVR self-service? With an AI-powered conversational IVR. A conversational IVR is an IVR that leverages AI and natural language processing (NLP) to allow customers to speak in their natural language to solve an inquiry or be routed to an agent. It allows customers to self-serve through IVR more efficiently.

Benefits to Customers:

  • Easier and more natural conversation

  • No need to memorize numerous options

  • Eliminates wait time for quicker resolution

  • Get exactly what you want

Benefits to Companies:

  • Receive exact customer phrasing, which can be used for analysis and reporting

  • Control the customer journey during purchasing (i.e., drive customers to premium products)

  • Use historical data to allow the conversational IVR to learn and improve over time

Bright Pattern Conversational IVR

Bright Pattern launched its Conversational IVR this week at Customer Contact Week (CCW) Nashville 2019. This innovative feature allows customers to choose their own path, speaking in their natural language, leading to improved customer satisfaction and reduced AHT.

Key Features and Benefits:

  • Ease of use

  • Customer focused

  • Higher resolution rates and better CX

  • Adapts to customer’s needs

  • Native omnichannel

Per Michael Maoz of Gartner: “AI will be embedded in chatbots, virtual customer assistants, conversational user interfaces, and Internet of Things (IoT). These will reduce the need for human agents, as customer service needs will, increasingly, be resolved by AI that anticipates, translates, and acts on customer inputs to lower customer support costs and increase customer satisfaction.”

Bright Pattern’s conversational IVR was created to address the next wave of customer experience envisioned by Gartner with virtual customer assistants and AI.

Bright Pattern customer Roger Meador, Principal and Co-founder of TruSouce Labs, commented: “Bright Pattern is unique in their ability to offer enterprise power in an easy-to-use customer experience platform. They were among the first to offer emerging channels like Facebook Messenger in a true omnichannel platform and they are again changing the world of customer service with an IVR that customers will actually like to use. Power, unparalleled ease of use, and innovation are at the core of their cloud offering and it’s why we chose them.”

Sergey Menshikov

About Sergey Menshikov

Vice President of Product Management at Bright Pattern with 20+ years in the contact center space.

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