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The Technology of IVR and Speech Recognition

By Mark Bennett Subscribe to RSS | February 24th 2012 | Views:
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One of the recent technology in the telecommunication industry is the IVR ( Interactive Voice Response). This technology allows users to interact with the computer and vice-versa through voice and dial-tone keypads. A user communicates with the computer with the help of voice recognition software that analyzes the voice and message.

in many of the industries. Nowadays, the IVR technology is also being introduced into automobile systems for hands-free operation. It is quite efficient and gaining more recognition. If you have an internet connection like Time Warner Internet, you can check it out for yourself.

The history of IVR dates back to the age of Digital Computers. Seriously, the research for an efficient and cost effective mode of technology was going on and by the late 1970’s a full fledge system had been introduced. That time it was used in call centers and BPO, but the technology was complicated and expensive. Many of the companies were not able to afford it and it was a premium technology for huge multinational corporations.

Besides the complicated technology and cost, the speech recognition system could identify limited keywords and sentences. But as years passed by and in the early 90’s lot of competitors started bombarding the market who introduced more better and innovative IVR services. The network configuration and the speech recognition software were improved and there were latest of them too. Slowly, the majority of the companies all around the world started investing in this technology and it became a vital one for their process.

The typical usage of the IVR technology was to service high volume of calls, reduce cost, and improve the customer experience. It enabled to reduce the cost by resolving the customer’s need without queuing and incurring the cost of a live agent. Usually a live agent would have to sit down and deal with the issues and doubts for 24/7. With the IVR technology if customers do not find the information they need, or requires further assistance, the call can then be transferred to an agent. This makes for a more efficient system in which agents have more time to deal with complex interactions like customer retention, up selling, cross selling and issue resolution. This way, the customer is more likely to be satisfied with a personalized service and the interaction is likely to be more fulfilling and rewarding for the agent, as opposed to dealing with basic inquiries that require good responses, such as obtaining customer detail.

The basic technology used in the IVR system is the voice recognition software and the dial-tone keypads. The dial tone keypads are quite similar to the normal ones we have, but with a slight modification. They are more advanced and user-friendly. The voice recognition software is the major one and the important part of this service. This software has the capabilities of recognizing the sounds of the users and their accents. The way people speak, their voice modulation, accents are recoded and programmed; making it quite efficient.

Since every good technology has advantages, in the same way the IVR system has also got a lot of criticism and demerits. Some people have criticized the IVR system of being unhelpful and difficult due to the improper design and lack of appreciation of caller’s need. Some callers object to providing voice response to an automated system and prefer speaking with a human respondent.IVR is sometimes criticized as being unhelpful and difficult to use due to poor design and lack of appreciation of the caller's needs.

Many companies have also been criticized for using IVR to reduce operational costs but not offering similar services using agents. Such methods tend to frustrate customers who feel that their right to speak to an agent is being restricted.

Anyway the technology is good and if you want something that is fast and efficient, then go ahead for it.

Mark Bennett - About Author:
Being a freelance writer and active blogger, I like to share my thoughts with the rest of the world and to source out some great deals on home services like the one offered by Time Warner Internet

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