With easy availability and falling prices of internet charges on wireless, usage of smart phones for obtaining many quick information is gaining popularity and thus giving good competition to IVR usage. In India, previously many people used IVR to check their train ticket reservation status, but now a days, people mostly uses smartphone to check it.
So, I think Smartphone is already giving competition to IVR in many applications. But will IVR be able to face the competition from smartphones ?
Here are few things where IVR seems to score over Smart Phones, till now:-
While making a call to IVR, one can still do something else, for example, one could be walking while talking on phone. But if one is using a smartphone, he has keep looking at the phone screen with full concentration. But this benefit may go away with Siri in IPhone and similar voice recognition available on Android based smart phones.
2. Toll free
Many IVR uses toll free number where caller is not charged! I think, this is one advantage which Smartphone will find hard to beat! Smartphones are not only costly, but also charged for usage of internet. So accessing information using IVR on a toll free telephone number would find many users than paying for the same information while accessing from Smart Phones!
3. Ease of Use
Using IVR is still easier as it requires just dialing of phone which people are doing for centuries now. Using SmartPhone requires knowledge of English Language ( in India) as well as few more basic concepts like web browser, link, type data in right textbox etc. Pressing keys on a telephone pad, even while a mobile phone is much easier and require no learning!
There are thousands of developers who are developing many interesting mobile applications used for getting information, customer care service easier and faster. Most probably, Smart Phone developer community is increasing very fast. In IVR industry, there are fewer developers. But with Cloud IVR or Cloud Telephony gaining popularity, we can also hope for increase in IVR/Voice application developers.
I think, SmartPhone will still capture many jobs which were done by IVR previously as SMart Phone has better user interface and faster data retrieval and storing option.