Artificial Intelligence, IVR Customer Service and the Promise of Zero

Imagine a customer is calling a travel or hospitality industry reservations center outfitted with an interactive voice response, or IVR, application. The call may go one of several ways.The menu tree might offer seemingly static options misaligned with the caller’s needs. His or her next option–possibly even the first–is to zero out to reach a live agent. ADVERTISEMENT For any customer contact center, that option translates to money lost. Now, imagine an IVR solution outfitted with the latest artificial intelligence, or AI, software. The greeting might begin with “Please tell us in a few words why you’re calling today. You can say, book a new reservation, change my reservation, or something else.” Using algorithms behind speech-to-text technology, the solution maps the call, even anticipating new paths based on each response.…


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