IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system itself is new in India even after decade of high telecom growth and penetration. And hosted IVR was almost unknown in India till recently. But now, few companies have come up with hosted IVR solutions to cater to few specific IVR applications.
Till now, IVR systems were thought to be standalone, on premise CTI systems for answering customer calls and transfer calls to some department, record a complaint, announce train/flight status and schedule. But with increasing telecom density, both users and telecom providers have been pushing IVR companies to provide many utility services using telephone or mobiles. For example, making payment using IVR system, listening to music on voice portal etc.
Indian IVR market seems to be now rapidly waking up to hosted IVR concept. Till few years back, not many people bothered much about VXML, CCXML. But now a days even normal IVR users are aware about these ‘jargon’. Also many US-based companies who have been using IVR for many customer service related applications, CRM applications on a hosted platform, have recently been actively looking for hosted IVR service providers in India.
There are few IVR services which are available or being implemented in India are :-
1. Voice Blast or Bulk Voice Message
After success of SMS marketing, voice SMS or bulk voice messaging was a natural graduation. In voice Message service, hosted IVR calls up telephone numbers and play a recorded message. This was widely used during election campaigns. There are few IVR companies which provide this service.
Automated dialer is another variant of outbound IVR application which is available in India as hosted IVR service.
2. Click To Call Service
Click To Call service has been in Indian market as hosted IVR service for few years now. It is widely used in trading, directory websites. Recently, travel portals, job portals and real estate websites have woken up to the usefulness of click to call service.
3. Complaint Management System
This is another application which is being used by some companies as Hosted IVR service. With reducing bandwidth cost, and increasing internet penetration, IVR based complaint management system has potential to become preferred complaint management for smaller organisations.
4. IVR Survey
There has been few instances where IVR based survey had been used in India. It is still in nascent stage, but this is one potential area. IVR survey offer many benefits over other traditional form of surveys like mailer, email, face to face, SMS etc.
So, Indian market is also moving towards hosted IVR services slowly. Though biggest IVR users in India, government sectors like Indian railways, BSNL etc. may still be using on-premise IVR systems, but smaller private sector industries like private telecom service providers, ISPs, payment gateway providers, hospitality industry may opt for hosted IVR service quickly.