Optimizing Self-Service Calls For Mobile Phone Users


Share on LinkedIn

The hallmarks of a great self-service voice application are not a whole lot different from that of a great CSR. After all, they serve (or are supposed to serve) the same purpose; your customers need for service and information via telephone. In fact, from the caller’s perspective, engaging with an IVR application is similar to engaging with another human. Callers are, generally speaking, fair and reasonable individuals that are willing to work with a CSR or technology as long as that engagement seems to be working for them.

Figure 1 shows how an “engagement threshold” exists for the caller when they use an IVR application the first few times. Notice that, though it may be slightly different for Speech and DTMF, there is a significant threshold after 2 – 3 successful interactions by the caller. This critical period is when callers ask themselves whether this automated process will work for them so they don’t have to wait for a CSR, or whether they are wasting their time when they may end up talking to a CSR anyway.

Reaching this “buy in” point is critical to the success of any voice application. The likelihood that a returning caller will use the automated system depends heavily on their past experience with that same voice application. If their prior experience(s) were positive, they will view the IVR as a great shortcut to make their life easier. If not, they will view it as a complete waste of time and avoid it altogether. This kind of loyalty or distain is very similar to how we treat store personnel whom we know from prior experience to be either not helpful, rude or ineffective. We just go around them.

Some of our earlier white papers discuss the human, environmental and cultural factors eroding the effectiveness of IVR applications. This paper discusses the impact callers using mobile phones have in the equation.

For further details, please see the white paper at:

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.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here