By now I am sure we all know what IVR is and have experienced it at some point in our lives. It’s the “interactive voice response” system that thousands of companies have implemented to handle incoming customer calls. The purpose of IVR is to save both time and money by making call routing more efficient for the business by providing the customer with a menu so they are able to route the call to the correct department or person without the need for someone to answer the phone. However, this efficiency doesn’t seem extend to the customer’s experience and as a result IVR has built itself a bad reputation. Endless menu options (sometimes up to 80 options!), confusing navigation and bad voice recognition are just some of the reasons why IVR has caused much frustration for many companies over the years. I am sure we have all had a bad IVR experience before; when the IVR menus are so long and complicated you end up speaking to the wrong person and have to go through the entire menu again just to speak to the right person. As a customer service channel, it simply isn’t good enough. This is where the introduction of Visual IVR has the potential to transform the customer experience. “Visual IVR” is a technology solution that incorporates the IVR menu into a customer service mobile app, allowing customers to visually select their communication preference and navigate within seconds to their chosen service destination. This allows the customer to avoid listening to long and tedious IVR menus and provides them with a choice to progress using instant self-service channels. Visual IVR also benefits the customer by giving them the confidence that when the contact centre agent does call back, they will have all the information needed to complete the interaction. Building Visual IVR functionality into mobile customer service apps provides organisations with a fast, simple and cost-effective means of streamlining their customer service interactions – particularly when those apps are linked directly to core business processes and supported by integral features such as call back. By combining the ease-of-use of mobile apps with Visual IVR’s ability to handle increasingly complex service processes, organisations can move quickly to reduce their reliance on inflexible IVR channels and use their existing contact resources more effectively. Is this the answer to stress free customer service? Tell us what you think….