Recently, I happened to call up my friend who works in another country. As our working time zones are different and as his personal contact number was switched off, I left a voice message asking him to respond at the earliest.
He responded within no time and I passed on the information that I had to. The work went on time and the purpose was served.
This is how the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) works. But what is IVR?
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Interactive voice response (IVR) is a technology that allows a computer to interact with humans through the use of voice and DTMF tones input through a keypad (Wikipedia). It started with a touch tone keypad system, but now it has been extended to voice recognition, usually through a telephone.
Applying this to businesses, customers can navigate through preexisting menus for information access without the need of actually speaking to a customer service representative, saving their time.
Let’s take a look at some of the interesting statistics and benefits of implementing IVR:
- Companies measure the success of support center services using email, chat, web, and voice, and 62% use integrated voice response (IVR). (Source: Aberdeen Group).
- About 79% of customers that had a negative experience with a company told (word of mouth) others about it. (Source: Harris Interactive).
- About 86% of customers quit doing business with a company because of a bad customer service experience. This has increased from 59%, which was the percentage of customers 4 years ago. (Source: Harris Interactive).
- About 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. (Source: Harris Interactive).
- By 2020, customers will be able to manage 85% of their relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human. (Source: Gartner).
The last point highlights the importance of interaction without using humans as a medium of communication.
Historically, IVR solutions used pre-recorded voice prompts and menus to present information and options to callers, and touch-tone telephone keypad entry to gather responses. Modern IVR solutions enable responses to be gathered using spoken words with voice recognition. Using IVR solutions, users can retrieve important information including bank balances, flight schedules, order status, movie show times, and more from any telephone. Increasingly, this method is also being used to place calls to deliver or gather information for appointments, past due bills, and time critical events and activities.
Let’s dig deeper to understand more about these devices and see if this technology can be of any help in the learning scenario.
Applying IVR to E-learning
Just like any other process, the process of learning needs simplification. The simpler the learning methodology the more the chances for a learner to absorb the information you teach. However, it is important not only to implement learning; you also need to assess the learner’s performance, which in turn is very challenging.
Let’s take a look at this with a detailed example. Imagine a scenario of a Multinational Pharmaceutical company. Most of the employees constitute medical representatives and sales personnel who are always on the work field. Delivering training to on-the-ground staff is very tough. Several challenges including multiple locations, availability of trainers, travel expenses, diverse learner backgrounds and most importantly, the speed of reach are involved when it comes to imparting training. However, it is vital that training and information have to be delivered and that too frequently. Besides, there is always a need to run new campaigns running and train new staff all the time.
So how can we arrive at a solution that uses basic mobile or landline phones as a powerful knowledge tool?
With this learning solution, you can train diverse learners cost effectively and at a great speed. You can also address their linguistic issues and deliver training and assessments in their local language. You don’t need to call the learners to training rooms for every update on assessments and refresher trainings. You can post product updates, regulatory and compliance requirements in minutes using your phones or even landlines. You can provide updated information to your staff using surveys and assessments and by integrating the solutions on to the LMS, and detailed reports can be obtained. All these initiatives keep the motivation levels of the staff high.
Let’s expect to see the learning industry make good use of this technology in the coming days. Hope this blog post is informative.
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