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The Demise of the IVR

With the growth of the mobile web, more and more consumers are initiating their contact to a business using the web and then interacting on another channel if the web does not meet their needs. Click-to-connect applications offer a quick and rich communication experience by integrating the information already gleaned from web usage and the ability to share information while interacting.

When a consumer wishes to talk to a business, if they start out on the web, a click-to-call application can offer a quicker and richer experience than a traditional IVR. Starting a call from a web browser offers:

* Cache/Cookie--Store information locally so that when one returns the same information does not have to be re-entered. Most phones do not have a web cookie capability. A consumer already tried the web, so the IVR is a frustrating, slow, experience on the way to talking to the right person. This is particularly applicable for the power user (someone who interacts with the business on a regular basis)

* Co-browsing--Ability to link web channel and call together and to push content while talking. Visual communication is richer and quicker than audio communication, and putting the two together optimizes the efficiency and effectiveness of communication.

* Asynchronous--Can start on the web, call in to get a question answered then come back and pick-up where one left off, then call again. Complex transactions require a lot of interaction. Having to start at the beginning every time one communicates, which is what usually occurs, is frustrating.

Businesses should continue to encourage consumers to start on the Web since it is usually the lowest cost communication channel. IVRs should be moved from a strategic platform to a "maintain" platform, with the new investment in click-to-connect applications. IVRs are slow and "clunky" and should only be used when only the phone channel is available. And yes, #0##00 is the secret code to bypass the IVR....