Engage Hub launches AI-powered NextGen IVR to help navigate a voice-first world

London, UK, 6th March 2019 Engage Hub, the data-driven customer engagement company, today announced the latest release of its NextGen Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solution. The new features of the AI-driven technology enable a fully-personalised experience for customers and full cross-channel integration.

The solution, part of the Engage Hub platform, gives IT and contact centre managers the ability to add voice to their systems and provide automation while still offering the best customer experience. It also integrates easily with all other customer channels, simplifying what for many customer-facing businesses is a daunting problem.

The new features include:

  • Natural language speech recognition – AI-powered speech recognition to allow callers to speak naturally in their own words, intelligently capturing intent and dramatically increasing self-service.
  • Fully personalised experience – Match anything from phone numbers to account numbers and order details, with existing customer data to proactively identify callers and create a personalised experience that anticipates customer needs and proactively addresses issues.
  • Real-time journey tracking – View the entire customer journey across multiple channels including; IVR, SMS and email to optimise the customer experience.
  • A true cross-channel experience – Empower front-line staff to follow up with customers across multiple channels including email, SMS, Facebook Messenger and Rich Communication Services (RCS).

IVR is often a complex problem due to legacy technology that prevents businesses taking advantage of the latest advances in voice recognition and natural language processing. NextGen IVR integrates with other CX systems to create a unified experience. CRM data is updated so that customer data is the same no matter the channel used, and the natural language processing is used for both online chatbots and IVR – meaning conversations can play out in the same way on both channels.

“With conversational IVR” said Chris Crombie, Senior Product Owner, Engage Hub. “But it’s the integration with other channels that really makes the difference – this isn’t a simple add-on, but instead offers unified customer service. A customer calling at peak time can, for example, get answers to their simple questions quickly, and then request an SMS to join a web chat with a customer service representative when they are free.

“One of our clients, a major UK health and beauty retailer, has seen two-thirds of common queries dealt with by conversational IVR. This means agents are now free from mundane tasks so they can focus on more complex customer care cases. After digitising its offering and using our NextGen IVR, another client, a large tier one bank, also saw a 13% increase in customers self-serving.”

“What makes our IVR solution unique, is that it learns in the same way as a call centre agent does,” said Chris. “AI-powered natural language processing (NLP) means that the IVR does not simply react to keywords, but continually improves its understanding. So a query that the IVR may not understand today, perhaps because it’s too complex or expressed in an unusual way, will be understood and automated in the future.”

The solution has also been rolled out across 600 Sainsbury’s superstores: “Having an IVR solution fully integrated into our in-house systems means that more and more calls are being dealt with away from our superstores, enabling workers to focus on delivering great instore customer service,” said Paul White, Head of Partner Performance, Customer Management Centres Sainsbury’s. “Engage Hub has helped us drive a significant and immediate reduction in the number of lost calls and our customers are able to get the answer they need in the timescales they expect.”