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The other day I was looking at my bank account on my bank’s mobile app. I noticed an odd transaction and immediately called the bank to figure out what was going on. I entered my account number and phone PIN, and at that point, the IVR told me something along the lines of, “I see you were just looking at your bank account on our mobile app. Would you like to talk to a banking representative.” All I had to say was “Yes” and within seconds I was talking to someone and getting the clarification I needed.

Peeling back the layers of that brief phone interaction reveals a complex process. My bank needed to verify who I was, verify my phone PIN, cross-reference who I was with my most recent account activity, and present a fast-track service option. The fact that all of this happened quickly and seamlessly left me feeling really good about the whole situation.

Complex Processes

In the IVR world, we spend a lot of time talking about ways in which businesses can benefit from our technology. One of the reasons for this is that IVR has gotten a bad rap over the years as something that’s just used for call routing. But, when properly harnessed, IVR can do so much more.

The following examples all originate with a single piece of information: a telephone number. How the IVR acquires that phone number, whether via a call or an SMS message, doesn’t matter. In other words, you have multiple communications channels to work with when pursuing these types of use cases.

Streamline Authentication

As I described in my recent banking experience, an IVR can use automatic number recognition (ANI) to look up details about callers. This is one of the situations where you want to be sure to connect your CRM to your IVR.

The data you can get from this type of reverse look up varies depending on what kind of database(s) you have access to. With the right connections, your system can determine a wealth of information about your callers right off the bat.

Regardless of what data your company wants to use to authenticate users, your IVR can handle it. That may include the caller’s name, address, whether their phone number is valid (and even if that number is associated with their account), the type of phone line they’re calling from (mobile, landline, etc.), and more.

You can also offer voice biometrics to help streamline the authentication process.

Protect Against Fraud

The subject of voice biometrics makes for a nice segue to talking about fraud protection because it can be used for this as well. However, voice biometrics is by no means the only option.

Again, using ANI, it’s possible for your IVR to determine whether a phone number real with a valid area code associated with it. You can also determine if the current caller is on a prepaid device if the phone in question is currently in service, or the carrier associated with the phone number.

For example, if a fraudster is spoofing someone’s phone number, if that number is associated with and AT&T landline, but the ANI look up reveals that the call is coming from a Verizon mobile phone, that should raise some red flags.

By rooting out these calls before the caller has a chance to interact with your IVR helps to mitigate or eliminate any potential harm to your system or your customers’ accounts.

Call Filtering

No one likes getting spam phone calls, especially businesses. Because time is money, any time these types of calls spend clogging up your phone lines affects your bottom line.

With a call filtering process built into your IVR, it’s possible to identify spam callers and block them. Based on any incoming call or SMS it’s possible to check that number’s spam status and the spam reputation of that number. Armed with this information, your system decides whether to block the call or not.

You can even set specific thresholds for the status and reputation ratings to ensure that you don’t end up blocking the wrong phone numbers from contacting you.

Get More from Your IVR

THESE are the types of applications and processes that we’re talking about when we refer to the ability of our IVR to handle “complex” processes. An IVR will never completely replace live agents: there is both room and need for both in the customer service world.

But, it’s worth noting that arming your IVR with access to the right information can better prepare agents to field customer inquiries before they even get the caller on the line. Not only does this lead to faster problem resolution, but it also increases the amount of accurate information that gets exchanged during the interaction.

Plum Voice’s voice and IVR technology have the flexibility and features to enable these kinds of complex processes, all while delivering unmatched reliability and security for voice communications.

When it comes to custom IVR, we have the tools you need. Sign up for a trial of Plum Fuse today and see for yourself.

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Jason Myers stitches together letters and words into cogent thoughts as the Copywriter at Plum Voice.

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