Reason #5 of 5 to use conversational speech: Costs are reduced and self-service options are increased

Conversational speech can transform the IVR caller experience. But in today’s economic climate, how can you justify the investment? The answer is simple: rapid payback. Natural language IVRs have been proven to reduce contact center costs (often significantly) for bottom-line impact. In the 5th part of the series on why to use conversational speech, Dena Skrbina explains how to measure ROI for conversational IVRs and presents the impressive results Nuance customers have achieved by leveraging the power of speech.
Conversational Speech

They say that talk is cheap, but adding conversational speech to your IVR does require an investment. The good news is that it starts delivering ROI really quickly, within nine months or less on average. Better yet, the payoff can be huge! In fact, some companies save millions of dollars annually by improving self-service automation and increasing contact center efficiencies.

When it comes to measuring the IVR self-service ROI, companies track improvement and savings using several different metrics. In my work with Nuance customers, I’ve seen some pretty impressive results across a number of key metrics, including:

  • 50 second decrease in call duration
  • 10% increase in successful capture of caller intent
  • Eliminated the necessity of having 30 specialized toll free numbers
  • 12% fewer opt-outs to live agents at the main menu
  • Increase automation rate by 9%

In most of these implementations, the IVR uses natural language to understand callers’ conversational spoken input and routes them to the right agent or self-service task—often in a single step.  As a result, more callers are self-serving and fewer are opting out to live agents. For example, this approach helped US Airways increase call containment rates by 5% and reduce agent handling time by 10% for huge savings. Other customers are achieving similar success. Read our case study to learn how Acer America improved IVR self-service with a Nuance natural language speech solution.

Integrate your inbound IVR with outbound communications and the payoff is even bigger! Intelligent, proactive notifications, whether sent via phone, text, or email, encourage immediate action and speech makes it easier to complete the task at hand. So whether you’re trying to increase collections, reduce fraud, accelerate loan approvals, or achieve some other business goal, proactive notifications can boost the bottom line while deflecting incoming calls.

Add up these benefits and it’s not difficult to justify the cost of adding conversational speech to your inbound and outbound IVR. By making it easier for customers to self-serve, conversational speech increases automation rates and reduces contact center costs. At the same time, it transforms the IVR experience for happier, more loyal customers. How’s that for a smart investment?

Here’s a final roundup for the 5 reasons to use conversational speech:

1)      Today’s consumers expect it

2)      To bolster your brand

3)      To encourage immediate action

4)      It offers convenience to consumers

5)      Cost is reduced when self-service is increased

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Dena Skrbina

About Dena Skrbina

Dena Skrbina is Solutions Marketing Director for the Nuance OnDemand Speech/IVR and Multi-Channel Virtual Assistant Platform. Dena is passionate about IVR and has spent her career focused on contact center solutions with a single goal: to improve the customer experience. Her attraction to this decades-old technology is simply this; consumers don’t like IVR. Or, to clarify, they don’t like *bad* IVR. Having spent her 25-year career designing, programming, and marketing innovative contact center apps for some of the world's leading companies, she is dedicated to ensuring customers have a positive experience with IVR. Previous to Nuance, Dena held positions at BeVocal, Tellme Networks, Edify, Aspect Communications, and VMX Inc. She received her B.S. in Computer Science from National University. Dena programmed her first IVR in 1989 and has never looked back.