At some point in time, we have all experienced difficulties maneuvering through a company’s automated messaging system on the phone. The process is not always as simple as many companies hope it will be for the caller. However, thanks to the advancement of smart device technology, maybe someday soon this experience will be an easier process for all. Visual Interactive Voice Response (Visual IVR) is an innovative approach to customer service which creates an enhanced experience for customers by giving them a visual navigation tree directly on their smartphone via AT&T’s mobile data network.
Many of today’s enterprise mobile applications and applications are lacking in functionality, as well as integration to customer service. This deficiency typically results in customers defaulting to calling a toll-free number, where they encounter a standard automated self-service system. As they prefer to use their smart device in a visual manner, this default immediately increases the effort they have to put forth to satisfy their inquiry.
The Visual IVR solution allows these customers to opt-in to a visual session by simply pressing one button on their smart device and following a text link to a visual IVR, which provides a similar experience as a mobile app except with more service options.
The internal idea for Visual IVR was submitted to AT&T’s Innovation Pipeline (TIP) by an employee and promoted through the channel. It was then brought into the AT&T Foundry® innovation center.
As with all AT&T Foundry® projects, a major emphasis was placed on getting the idea from concept to market three times as fast. In order to make this happen, the AT&T Foundry® quickly turned to Genesys to expand on the concept.
By working closely with the team at Genesys, including Mike Moors, Sales Director, Chad Hendren, Principal Solutions Engineer, Innovation Leaders Dan Stoops and Ethan Francis, and their Advanced Solutions team, AT&T was able to deploy a custom solution using existing Genesys products, such as Conversation Manager, which Genesys had developed over the last several years. This greatly expedited the solution development and allowed for both parties to make the customer experience a frictionless one by working together to ensure that customers do not have to download a mobile app or take unnecessary steps to enable the benefits of visual IVR.
Moors, who has held sales and sales management positions in the Telecom and IT industries for more than 25 years, has focused most of his efforts on self and assisted service solutions for Enterprise customers, working with several industry leading organizations.
Hendren, who has been in the telecommunications industry since 1995, has experience in engineering, management, and sales and has co-invented numerous patent-pending solutions based on his extensive experience with VoIP, IVR and telephony solutions.
Visual IVR is still a work in progress, but it provides an exciting look at what’s possible for the future of how customers interact with companies. The demo has now completed the proof of concept stage. The results of this stage are being evaluated and any necessary adjustments to the solution will be made in order to proceed to a market trial. These would include:
- Future Customer Impact. Visual IVR boils down to one goal — making life easier on the customer. If realized, this project will allow for more seamless interaction and communication between customers and companies.
- The Network Advantage. Genesys and the AT&T Foundry® are already exploring ways to add special functionality to Visual IVR that will build off the AT&T Network.
- After Market Trial. The next steps in the AT&T Foundry® business model for this project are targeted and full deployments of Visual IVR at large enterprises.