In India, not many courier companies have tracking system on IVR ( Interactive Voice Response) system, though almost everyone has web-based online tracking system. Majority of the courier companies have their offices or franchisees in many smaller cities for larger coverage as well as networks in India. Most websites of the courier companies list the phone numbers of these offices for local tracking of the shipments.
Recently, I have observed that, few employees are almost busy all the time answering telephone calls in these offices and tracking the shipment according to the consignment number. On top of that, these employees majorly check the status manually on their computer and inform status of the shipment to the caller.
All these processed could be automated completely using IVR hosting service at any location in India. It is possible since the tracking system is already cumputerised as well as accessible online. Courier tracking on IVR is being widely used in western countries like United States of America, Europe etc.
In any shipment, it has few finite status, for example, it will have the following statuses :-
1. Shipment in transit : This will state that, the shipment is on transit but it has not reached the destination. It can also announce the current city where the shipment has reached apart from expected delivery date.
2. Shipment at Destination : Shipment has reached the destination town or city, could be collected in person, but delivery will be made next day only.
3. Shipment out for delivery : Shipment is in destination city/town, and shipment is taken out for delivery. Most probably, many people would enquire during this status!
4. Shipment Delivered : Shipment has been delivered on time and date.
In hosted IVR enthronement, it should be quite easy to retrieve the status of any shipment by its consignment number. Courier
Since online tracking is already available on web, courier companies can easily provide an HTTP based API ( Application Programming Interface) to retrieve the shipment status to hosted IVR system.
Here is tentative steps, how hosted IVR service for shipment tracking can work :-
1. Caller calls the IVR number and IVR greets him in his local language as per caller id.
2. Caller dials the consignment number.
3. Hosted IVR uses Web service API to retrieve the current status and announce that.
So, hosted IVR can easily provide telephone based shipment tracking system in easy and simple ways using the local languages. Hosted IVR for shipment tracking system can be very useful as it is quick to go live and does not require any big initial investment.
While web based shipment tracking is very useful, but it can be used by many illiterate people as well as those people who do not have internet access. But now a days, majority people have access to mobile phone or public telephone booth, using which one can track shipment status on IVR. Another main advantage of IVR is use of local language which is not possible in case of websites.
Hosted IVR based tracking system can reduce burden of employees of courier companies, provide useful and time tracking system to its clients.