This is where IVR comes in.
Let’s focus for a moment inside the classroom.
Developers and educators have long weighed the merits of computer programs that use speech-rec tech to teach students. The most popular examples of these types of programs are language learning based, like Rosetta Stone.
Some school districts have even replaced their less-popular language programs (like German or French) with an online option for students.
Regardless of what side of the debate you may fall on, perhaps these programs could offer a solution to a different problem confronting teachers.
The incorporation of self-learning computer-based speech-enabled educational tools actually in the classroom would not only help students to receive more 1-on-1 time, but would save some of the vocal strength of teachers.
This would mean that for a portion of class time, students could interact with a speech-rec program to do a particular activity or assignment, and teachers could give their voices a small break as they monitor progress and assist individual students.
Now, I doubt this will happen anytime soon, as school districts continue to tighten their belts and strain for resources (especially computers), but it would be an interesting prospect, nevertheless.
For call centers, though, the application of IVR has certainly worked.
By having an IVR system in place, people calling in with frequently asked questions or in need of a brief and routine service don’t need to speak to a human and can complete their call very quickly.
This means fewer customer service representatives needed, and less talking for the ones you have. I imagine that would lead to less vocal strain and a hopefully lower percentage of call center operators suffering from vocal strain or pain.
It seems to me that we might be overlooking a huge benefit of IVR.
If you’re a teacher or a call center operator, this could mean being able to keep your voice healthy for longer.