The curious case of wireless pods and bank IVRS


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Sales of wireless pods are exploding and they continue to grow in popularity with each passing day. Wireless pods continue to be top sellers on most online portals, including Amazon.

Industry analysts anticipate that Apple AirPods will continue to experience incredible growth. Estimates for 2017 sales are somewhere in the 13-14 million units range. In 2018, Apple might sell upwards of 28 million units, a figure which would effectively double AirPods sales year after year.

Whether it’s over-ear or in-ear headphones, consumers are showing themselves increasingly willing to spend the extra money to ditch the wires. The enthusiasm for wireless is also said to spill over into driving the sales of headphones with other added features.

Bank Voice Search

In essence, it’s the convenience offered by wireless pods that really makes them a great accessory. Whether listening to music or taking a call, the ease of use and quality of audio are key to the growing popularity of wireless pods. Users can browse menus or change from music to calls, etc. without having to pick up the phone from their pocket.

While adoption of wireless pods is growing at an unprecedented rate, businesses are late in adopting their digital touchpoints to meet this shift in consumer behavior. For example, imagine calling your bank’s customer care for a service request and then using your wireless pod to continue the conversation. The IVR would promptly tell you to press a number on your phone to select a particular menu. So, now you’ll have to take your phone out to press the number. Have you done it?… Now, wait! You need your phone again to input another number for the submenu and so on to finally select the service you need. Sometimes you are required to input your 16 digit card number or an activation code. This defeats the purpose of using wireless pods for convenience.

While it can be argued that this has always been the case, even when we were using earphones before wireless pods came to the scene, customer expectations for convenience are not what they used to be earlier. With AI voice services such as Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant, customers are now used to getting things done through voice commands. An IVRS that forces customers to use their hands to toggle between voice and text is counter-intuitive to users’ experience today and can end up being counter-productive for the banks.

So, it makes perfect sense for banks to update their IVRS technology to include AI voice-activated controls. For example, Payjo’s intelligent voice bot is highly effective at mimicking human agents. It understands speech and text and can have seamless, meaningful conversations with customers in natural language. Voice recognition tech combined with the customer’s registered phone number removes the need for customers to authenticate their session by typing in their PIN or the authentication can happen by the customer simply saying his/her PIN over the phone.

At banks, our AI assistants have been deployed to independently handle support and sales inquiries from prospects and customers. They can act as an intelligent personal banking assistant for customers of the bank too. Once trained, the AI assistant can reside on a bank’s IVRS and handle any customer call or inquiry that comes 24/7.

Here’s an added benefit to having AI bot handle customer support call – it does not lose the context of the conversation of the call is disconnected in the middle. The next time the customer calls the bank’s support line, the bot recognizes the customer based on his/her registered number and continues the conversation from where it was left off. So, no waiting in the queue again or selecting the menu for a required service. It is so convenient and enhances the customer experience several notches.

Reuben Bernard
Reuben Bernard, Head of Marketing @ Payjo is an experienced marketing professional with 12+ years experience in marketing and sales of software products. Reuben blogs about AI, Customer Experience and Chatbots


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