Usage Scenarios (Microsoft.Speech)

Interactive voice response (IVR) applications can be used in a wide variety of scenarios. The following is an overview of types of businesses that can use IVR applications to improve customer service while reducing the cost of providing customer care.

A large enterprise, government agency, educational institution, or other organization deploys an interactive voice response (IVR) application to reduce the cost of supporting customers or members. The VoiceXML-enabled IVR allows callers to obtain support without human intervention. The IVR application uses the industry standard VoiceXML format, which means that the organization is not locked into a single application vendor.

A customer places a telephone call to a business such as a travel agency or a video rental service. The business processes calls with an IVR that includes menus that guide the customer to a particular item, and forms that can be used to order products. The VoiceXML-enabled IVR enables cost-effective telephone sales for customers without internet access. Because the IVR is authored using the industry-standard VoiceXML format, the business is not locked in to one application vendor.

A customer places a telephone call to a service to obtain a weather forecast, flight information, stock prices, news, or other information. The information service uses a VoiceXML-based IVR application, which responds with the required information, delivering it to the customer in a time-sensitive and cost-effective way.

Call centers use IVR applications to determine the most suitable destination for a call, based on information obtained from the caller. The IVR application can question the caller about the purpose of a call and transfer the caller appropriately. A caller can be given options such as transfer to an automated response line, transfer to a live agent, or request a call back.

Airline customers have increasingly limited patience for frustrating customer care experiences and endless wait times. Airlines can put their customers at ease with voice applications that provide up-to-the minute information and relevant options without ever making them hold for an agent. In this scenario, the VoiceXML browser interacts with a speech recognition engine to understand caller requests, plays pre-recorded audio files to recite menu options, and connects to flight databases to provide details like arrival and departure times, cancellations, and rebooking opportunities.

Voice applications let users interact with their financial institutions at any time from any location. In this scenario, the VoiceXML Browser may interact with real-time stock data feeds and specialized ticker symbol grammars, or write customer data to the institution’s customer database.

Voice applications help connect patients with their providers and insurers by offering answers to common questions, appointment scheduling/reminders, and proactive contacts when changes occur. In this scenario, a VoiceXML application may instruct the Browser to access audio files that play spoken answers to common health questions, to interact with a scheduling system that helps patients book appointments, or to access a test results database.