The IVR paradox - Talk to your browser with webrtc instead

The IVR paradox - Talk to your browser with webrtc instead

What could be hailed as one of the most annoying inventions of all time?

Press 1 if you think you know the answer.

Yes, according to a study by the Discovery Channel, IVR is the premier bane of our modern lives. 

You’re probably not surprised. 

I’m sure everyone reading this has experienced the singular pain of IVR. The multiple key presses, the repeated answers, the voice recognition systems that don’t recognise voices. 

And at the end of it, the human operator who still can’t answer your question.

Yet, underneath an awkward implementation, IVR is actually a great idea. In theory, it provides a speedy and direct line from a customer to a staff member, who should know loads about the customer before they even take the call.

The IVR paradox explains why people are so excited about WebRTC.

A quick recap: WebRTC is a Javascript API that allows rich communications through browsers. In other words, two or more people can have a voice, video or IM chat and exchange data purely from a Chrome, Opera or Firefox web page.

Now, at the moment, you can do this kind of stuff using Skype, Facetime, Lync et al. But you have to install these services, and then pre-arrange the call.

With WebRTC, there are no clients to download. Nothing to configure. 

All of which makes it ridiculously easy for a business to talk direct to a customer as long as both have access to a browser. Even better, businesses can see what’s happened in the browsing session, so they can determine the right agent to take the call. That makes exchanges quicker and more successful.

But there are many more benefits. 

For example, because WebRTC is two-way communication, there are times when the caller can show the agent something – like a faulty product – using a webcam or phone camera.

WebRTC exchanges can take place within an organisation too. Imagine a nurse reviewing a patient’s record and making a call from the same screen to review that info with a doctor in real time.

This is incredibly efficient, and can take place without the need to download new software, which is often forbidden for security reasons. 

The use cases for WebRTC are endless, and every commercial organisation should be brainstorming them. Do it now – via a browser... 

Download our nifty fact-o-graphic to see how webRTC can transform contact centre and customer communications forever.