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IVRS as Voice Portal – Commercial Challenges

Continuing with earlier articles of Voice Portal, Use IVRS as Voice Portal and Voice Portal – Technical Challenges, here is my thinking about IVRS as Voice Portal and its challenges as a commercial revenue generator.

We are operating a Voice Portal with various services.  The challenges we face can be explained as follows:-

1. New Application

As the name suggests, new applications need to kept added to the Voice Portal Services. It is not easy to predict if new applications will be a success in terms of popularity or not. But new application has to be properly timed, back up by advertisement and up-to-date contents. Also, if you launch many new applications in quick succession, it confuses users and some really good applications may fail. And if you do not keep adding new applications periodically, regular users get bored and stops using the portal.  So new application must be launched like any other product in an industry.

2. New Contents

As I mentioned above, new contents must be added regularly. For services like, Music, Jokes, Astrology, Travel etc. new contents must be added regularly on daily basis so that even regular user get new contents.  Contest is one application which does not require to be updated for the period of contest. News must be updated at least thrice a day. If the voice portal supports multi-language, then new content is quite a challenge! It requires script in every langauge, recording, editing !

3. Advertising and Promotion

Advertising and promotion of new applications as well as regular applications is a must like any other product.  This one aspect where many Voice Portal operators lack in experience and expertise. At least we did during our initial months as there was no expert consultant or not budgeted. Voice Portal contains many applications. Each application needs to be promoted singly. IVR itself is a very serial operation and it is not always easy to use for first time voice portal or IVRS caller. So each product must be given its own gestation period before doing any analysis. This is one mistake we did. SMS bulk message is a very good form advertising. FM, News paper and other visual media advertisement has its own pros and cons. In Print Media, oen can explain the call flow better while it may not be easy on FM and SMS.

4. Review and User Analysis

Analysis of CDR and usage of applications, contents is a must! Without analyzing user activities of the voice portal, one should not waste in advertising. Profiling of user is very helpful.

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5. Interactive

Interactive Applications in Voice Portals normally do well! It keeps people happy and feel connected. All applications should be made interactive.

6. Localization

Local content is useful. Also the voice prompts should have a local accent which helps users connect with.  Choice of Local language is almost compulsory in India. Other countries which has one language can be happy here!

Finally, Voice Portal does not mean only a technically sound Voice Portal Application, but it must have constantly update contents. Without content, voice portal is like a gun without ammunition! So, one might be tempted with low cost Voice Portal Applications to launch his/her won Voice Portal, but one must be aware of the content generation part.There are IPR for Music content too which many people seem to ignore!

Easiest way to start Voice Portal by Media houses is to outsource the Technical Part of the Voice Portal and manage the operating and promotion part.

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