Increasing IVR Utilization for Mobile Phone Users


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For many call centers today, over fifty percent of inquiries to voice applications originate from mobile devices.

The mobile phone customer channel is subject to network congestion, weather, geographic and other variables that make automated customer service calls particularly difficult on the caller. This presents an interesting set of challenges for voice user interface designers, application developers and even OEM’s.

According to Pew Internet:

• Eighty-three percent of US adults own a cell phone
• Thirty-five percent of US adults own a Smartphone.
• African-Americans and Latinos (44% of each) are leading US Smartphone ownership
• Fifty-one percent of consumers says they have made a mobile payment within the past 3 months

Our earlier white papers discuss the human, environmental and cultural factors affecting the effectiveness of IVR applications. This article discusses the impact callers using mobile phones have in the equation.

Table 1 below itemizes some of these challenges and how they impact Speech and DTMF input modalities when it comes to caller interaction. A weighting of 0 – 3 is assigned to represent the relative significance of each factor when using Speech and DTMF as a means of input.

Table 1

Factors affecting Mobile Phone to IVR communication

0 = No significant impact 1 = Minor impact 2 = Moderate impact 3 = Significant impact

Table 2 below itemizes some of the challenges presented when it comes to caller interaction with the IVR from any phone. This table identifies mostly Human Factors and Environmental considerations. Again, a weighting is assigned as a measure of the relative importance of each factor.

Table 2

Factors affecting all Phone to IVR communications

0 = No significant impact 1 = Minor impact 2 = Moderate impact 3 = Significant impact

Daniel O'Sullivan
CEO, innovator and technologist in software engineering and product development. Created and implemented Adaptive Technology and Fastrack Software products that have optimized over 1.5 Billion self-service phone calls worldwide and saved clients over $100M to date. Electrical Engineering undergrad with a Masters in Computer Science. Lucent/Bell Labs alumni. Winner of worldwide eco-design project and received several patents. Currently CEO of Software Technology Partners.Focus: Business Development, Technology Partnering, Mobile, Web and Cloud Technologies and Human-Computer Interaction.


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