Recently, I had a very interesting IVR enquiry. The person was looking for a hosted IVR solution for for his mobile number which will be diverted to the his ‘personal IVR’ after 9PM in the evening till 9AM in the morning. Apart from this, he also wanted the facility to divert the at will at anytime. And he does not want a mere ‘voicemail’ service which is quite common and easily available with any telephone company. Also, he wanted an SMS or Email alert for any call which a caller authenticate by entering a password ( provided by him to the caller) so that he knows it is an emergency and he may call back.
I found it quite interesting IVR application. With recent availability of online ‘DIY’ ( Do it Yourself ) IVR, most probably, IVR will become a service to be used by individual people and people may start using IVR instead of ‘mere voicemail’ in near future.
Most probably, this kind of hosted IVR solution for individual would be natural extension of voice mail which is widely used in USA. Voice mail has not picked up well in India though its availability is almost as old as mobile phones. Its glamorous cousin popularly known as ‘Voice SMS’ became popular after mobile operators promoted it in line with SMS!
This kind of arrangement can easily be achieved and implemented by using call forward feature available in mobile phone. Many telephone service providers in India provide unlimited call in their home network, so if the IVR Hosting provider and the individual person are on same network, then there will not be huge call cost for the call forwarding.
The user can have his own personalised voice greetings, menu options to choose as per requirement. For example, a travel agent could store any enquiry, phone calls form the call records. He may also choose to speak to his existing clients whom he may share some passwords, of course voice mail feature is available apart from quick information.
Apart from obvious business activities, this may even be a huge deterrent from tele callers who have been on many people’s hate list now a days! It could even have some vanity values where the IVR could act as a digital secretary for an individual.
Feature-rich, personalised hosted IVR at affordable rate might bring IVR to masses to be used by everyone which voice mail system has failed to do. With availability of hosted IVR services, many web based visual IVR tools may make this kind IVR usage a reality!