Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Hosted Speech and IVR Show Strong Growth in Sluggish Economy

August 19, 2008

Contact centers throughout the world are discovering the benefits that can be realized with speech and outbound IVR services. When such applications are implemented into the contact center, agents have more time to focus on core business accounts and customers receive better service.

Now, with the introduction of hosted speech and outbound IVR services, contact centers are finding it easier to migrate to such a platform as it requires little in the way of upfront investments and it provides the scalability and flexibility that the growing company needs, allowing for changes in the application as the needs of the organization change.

According to recent research from Datamonitor, the introduction of these solutions is helping vendors to scale up the value stack in a rapidly commoditizing and price-competitive hosted IVR market.

These hosted solutions are appealing to the organization as they are increasingly seeking scalable solutions that can cater to high call volumes. These organizations are also searching for minimal capital investments and are turning to solutions that offer expertise with developing sophisticated speech projects.

Datamonitor has found in its research that hosting is becoming more accepted and this model is gaining traction in the area of IVR. Hosted speech is realizing a faster growth rate than that of DTMF as speech applications are often complex to develop and enterprises are relying on limited internal expertise. As a result, hosted solutions are proving to be a more feasible option.

Outbound services are being offered in addition to hosted speech in an effort to maximize IVR port usage. It can also help to generate an additional revenue stream for vendors when hosted IVR growth is slower than expected. Outbound automated speech services are ideal for identification verification to identify the caller before other applications are introduced to the caller. This helps to protect privacy and adhere to regulations.

The increased in outbound IVR in debt collections is in large part being driven by the current economic climate. Loan companies, banks and other financial institutions are turning to cheaper alternatives to reach out to customers in order to communicate with the rapidly increasing number of customers in debt.

The current economic climate is helping to drive business for outbound IVR in debt collections. In order to communicate with the rapidly increasing number of customers in debt, loans companies and banks are looking for cheaper alternatives to reach out to customers.

The applications for hosted speech and IVR solutions reach beyond the contact center, but their strongest growth will be in this area, especially that of collections as the economy continues to struggle. Over time, growth will likely be most obvious in areas where companies need contact center services, but have yet to make the investment in on-premise solutions.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.

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