…Continued from “Phone Culture”…
According to the Neilson Wire, over half of mobile users have smartphones and the trend shows no sign of stopping. (Which is both good and bad for the IVR industry, as you’ll see.)
Maybe, this time, we’ve found the real thing and can finally settle down, but it seems our relationship with the smartphone will always be an unfaithful one.
Instead of sticking with the same old model for 10+ years at a time, we can hardly wait for our two-year contract to expire. We are never out of the “crush” phase.
That’s because the smartphone is more than just a phone.
It can be all things to all people.
A new study from The O2 shows that half of us have replaced our alarm clocks and watches with smartphones. Almost one-in-five smartphone users no longer even own a camera.
Not only has the smartphone redefined the phone, but it’s changed the culture of calling.
The same O2 study found that placing calls is only the fifth most common activity on a smartphone, behind browsing the internet, checking social media, playing games and listening to music.
Now what does this mean for IVR?
For one, things are changing and companies like Plum are going to have to change with them.
Back when IVR was just starting out, the home phone was still “in” and our culture loved to call.
Now though, with the adoption of the internet (which enables mobile banking), information gathering and almost everything else formerly done with IVR, more and more people chose to dial up instead of dialing in.
Phone calls will never go away, as O2’s list shows (placing phone calls was still relatively high above other seemingly common activities). With that, IVR systems will never vanish completely either.
The challenge companies like Plum face is redefining how we use IVR and what we get out of it.
With more cutting-edge speech-recognition software and advanced features, IVR systems are on their way to being faster than navigating websites and forums, and that is what will keep IVR an important part of the telephonic world.
Maybe someday we’ll have IVR systems that also use facial representations and have other cool smartphone-enabled features. Although the tech is constantly upgrading, one thing is still for sure: our relationship with IVR was built to last, and as long as phones are around, we’ll stay faithful.