The technology known as IVR has certainly come a long way since “the Voder” was demonstrated at the 1939 World Fair in New York. Three years earlier, the Bell Telephone Laboratory began investigating how to electronically synthesize the human voice and while the quality of the speech was somewhat limited – they had broken important experimental ground. It would however take another three decades before the deployment of IVR technology would be commercially available.
Today that ubiquitous voice at the other end of the telephone seems to be everywhere – whether you’re calling a bank to get the balance on our account, you’re calling a gym to find out their opening hours or you’re calling a store to place an order.
But IVR is so much than simply press one for sales, press two for technical support or press three for customer support. Delacon offers a range of sophisticated IVR functionality that can help businesses maximise the ways customers interact with them if the said customer picks up a telephone and dials the business’ phone number.
Take postcode routing as an example. Under this scenario, the business would advertise one common toll free number. When the customer dials the number they would be invited to either say the postcode or enter the postcode using the telephone keypad of the store that they would like to visit. The system then routes the call through to the nearest store to the nominated postcode. This is particularly useful if a customer calls from a separate location to where they want to visit – they might phone from work but want to visit a store closer to their home for example. By using postcode routing, the customer experience is enhanced and the chance of converting the enquiry is increased.
The flip side of postcode routing is mobile call routing – where the call is automatically diverted to the nearest location without the customer even being aware that there are multiple termination points around the country. The solution uses the mobile cell tower to determine where to send the call. If the customer uses a landline phone, then the system uses the telephone exchange where to direct the call. Mobile call routing is fantastic for franchised businesses that have locations in many suburbs. Big brand restaurants that offer take-away can benefit from this specialised IVR solution.
Here at Delacon, we regularly work with businesses that would like customised solutions that enable their customers to more effectively interact with them using the telephone. And perhaps IVR works best when it operates in conjunction with Delacon’s other call solutions.