Video IVR – Hot or Not?

While Joe Staples has been spending time in Japan, I’ve been visiting Turkey, specifically in Istanbul. Here video IVR is an increasingly popular application for the contact center. 3G phones open up the opportunity for consumers to visually navigate IVR menus while on the move: browse their accounts, transfer funds, review their insurance policies, check the status of requests, change appointment times, etc. Proponents of video IVR claim it will improve success rates in completing IVR functions. It is easier to understand the options when you can read the choices all together, instead of frantically trying to remember whether option 3 or 4 was the one to check your account balance, all while your youngest child screams at the top of his or her lungs. 

The ability to play video on demand covering products, services, or even using video to troubleshoot products appeals to many companies. Marketing departments see it as a way to reinforce a brand. Support departments see it as a way to extend self-service further.

The hitch for Americans is the need for a network that can handle the demand. Not all providers will be able to support video IVR. And customers who can use it but find a slow response rate may stop using the technology. A possible alternative until we have those networks in the U.S. will be providing web pages designed for smaller smartphone screens, with self-service knowledge management applications that can play video. Each has its business value and its appeal. Also, depending upon the country, costs to the user can vary widely: one technology may be the better choice because of mobile provider charges and infrastructure limitations.

So my question to you is this, no matter what country you’re residing in: in an increasingly visual world, do you think video IVR is hot, and do you see real business applications for it in your contact center? Or are you in the "not so much" category, and feel that it is overhyped? What’s your opinion? And in our active, mobile world, where are you located these days?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts,

Rachel Wentink