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Maximizing IVR Value

Data is king

Tellme’s collected corpus of utterances is an order of magnitude larger than any other speech service in the world.

consideration when comparing solutions is to check whether each option leverages shared tuning data to improve the platform performance for everyone. Most IVR options limit tuning to your own call data or just a few customers in a hosted data center, which limits performance improvement potential and can be a major pain when component vendors change pieces of your IVR mix.

Pick platforms optimized for performance

Consider the car analogy in Step 2. Some companies buy all the parts separately and build their own car; this is analogous to assembling an on-premise system. Just as building one’s own car may not yield the best performance or cost- efficiency, building one’s own IVR can lead to technology choices that become obsolete or do not integrate well with one another. Before open standards became widely adopted for IVRs, many companies bought proprietary technologies and have had to deal with painful migrations during IVR upgrades.

This growing set of data allows us to improve our speech recognition based on actual speaking characteristics from a wide variety of callers.

To get the best-performing IVR, it’s best to choose an IVR platform that is designed, implemented, and maintained by experts. Just as most people buy respected car brands to get the performance, luxury, safety, or efficiency they want instead of becoming automotive experts themselves, you can select an IVR platform provider based on their performance track record without distracting internal resources from your company’s core competencies.


Tellme’s recommendation for assessing IVR performance includes three steps:

  • 1.

    Identify a strategy based on your IVR’s potential. Strategies can be economic, such as cost avoidance; customer-centric, such as caller satisfaction; or competitive, such as brand alignment across all customer contact channels.

  • 2.

    Measure task completion rate. Focus on caller success, which is the key to all three types of IVR goals listed in Step 1. The best caller success metric used in IVR analysis is Task Completion Rate.

  • 3.

    Choose IVR investments based on performance. Now that you can focus on a single performance metric, you can truly compare solutions that achieve your IVR performance goals.

PAGE 7 | APRIL 2009

© 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

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