IVR Pricing and Conversational AI Comparison

IVR Pricing: How Its Value Stacks Up Against Conversational AI

They say “you get what you pay for”. So how does IVR pricing stack up when it comes to customer service? Well, for decades customers have complained about traditional interactive voice response (IVR) systems. According to Forbes, customers say they have “wasted their time and too rarely got them the information they sought.” 

Many customers are sick and tired of dialogue management done through IVR. They try to bypass difficult IVR interactions, trying to get a live agent on the line by repeatedly pressing “0” or repeating “speak to agent”. 

However, once AI is implemented, contact centers become much more effective for both customers and businesses. “AI-enabled conversational assistants aren’t just getting customers basic info they need; behind the scenes, they’re also feeding human agents intelligent data and analysis to deliver better, faster outcomes, without customers ever being aware,” the Forbes article explained.

What Are IVR systems?

As an automated phone system technology, IVR uses pre-recorded messages to allow customers to ask questions or access information. It typically uses keypad selection or keywords that route callers to the information and answers they need. 

How Expensive Is IVR Pricing?

IVR pricing tends to be relatively low, but you usually pay in the long run. In the past, many companies ran contact centers as inexpensively as possible. Though IVR seemed like the answer, it ended up frustrating customers and undermining their trust. 

Most interactive voice response solutions don’t work; they fail to eliminate wait times or resolve requests. Customers respond to IVR by simply trying to get out of “bot land”. Because customers want to talk to live agents, IVR doesn’t do much to reduce agents’ workloads. Even when customers get a live agent, they typically have to repeat personal information and questions before anything can be resolved. In the end, though it may be cheaper than other contact center solutions, most IVR systems waste hours of time for customers and call center agents. 

Looking at an IVR’s Value

Many businesses have noticed decreased customer satisfaction resulting from poor interactive voice response systems. Yet, IVR solutions continue to be popular. The global market is projected to reach $6.7 billion by 2026 according to a report by BusinessWire

The problem is, IVR pricing should be measured in more than dollars. Poor IVR customer service irritates customers and makes them more likely to leave a brand entirely. Agents’ jobs are harder as they must deal with annoyed customers who have already wasted precious time talking to a bot. 

But there’s hope. Just because interactive voice response solutions haven’t worked well in the past doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re completely useless. When paired with contact center automation and conversational AI technology, IVR can become what it was meant to be. 

Automation and AI add much more value to a business by answering requests with no wait times over a variety of communication channels. Together with IVR, they accumulate millions in savings every year.

Where Does AI Come In?

With AI reinforced IVR, the software can begin resolving requests the instant customers pick up the phone. AI eliminates the need for keywords, allowing customers to speak naturally and have a more enjoyable and effective experience. 

AI also knows its limits – when it can’t handle a question, it hands the conversation over to an agent before frustrated customers start forcing their way through to a live staff member. When agents take up conversations, they have access to notes, auto-generated summaries, and other information so that customers don’t have to repeat themselves every step of the way. This is just one of the types of conversational AI integrations that can bolster existing call center operations. 

Try Replicant’s Conversational IVR Solution

To sum it up, while standard IVR pricing can be relatively low and attractive, it can also be a frustrating solution for customers. To really enhance your customers’ experience, you need solutions that also include conversational IVR

Understand what Replicant could do for your business. Calculate the ROI you could achieve and request a live demo.

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