Conversational IVR (Interactive Voice Response) is a system where the customer speaks to a machine on the phone and the machine understands what the customer wants.
In such a case the customer speaks on the phone like they would speak to another human. The customer’s speech is transcribed into text through a technology called ASR (Automated Speech Recognition). That text is then analyzed by Conversational AI intent detection mechanism, which essentially determines what the customer wants (e.g. info about a product, know the opening hours, status of their package etc). Then the answer for the customer question is made from text to speech (TTS) and the answer is played to the customer as voice.
The benefit of Conversational IVR is that customers do not need to make multiple choice selections but can simply ask their questions on the phone and the software provides them with an answer.
Conversational IVR consists of three main parts - ASR, intent detection and TTS. To build a Conversational IVR you can use vendors that provide all three or combine a Conversational AI based intent detection solution and connect ASR and TTS from other vendors.
Below we have highlighted the top vendors for Conversational IVR software platforms.
AlphaChat is a no-code end-to-end Conversational AI platform allowing anyone to build Natural Language Understanding Intelligent Virtual Assistants. The platform also offers advanced features for enterprise customers such as authentication, SSO, APIs, agent co-pilot mode and intelligent routing. You can connect 3rd party ASR and TTS into AlphaChat to build your Conversational IVR.
What’s special about this tool: Standard Package offers everything from to build your own AI. insights into customer conversations (topics discussed, customer satisfaction) and statistics on AI value performance. Enables to train the NLU chatbot in one language and have it automatically chat in any language. SLAs and AlphaOS with DIY custom code writing available for enterprise accounts.
Pricing: 10-day free trial. Paid plans from €399/month.
IBM Watson Assistant offers speech-to-text and chat automation capabilities for building your Conversational IVR for customer support.
What’s special about this tool: IBM Watson Assistant brings a variety of machine learning tools and capabilities for automating your customer support from chat to voice to internal data.
Pricing: Free up to 5 skills and 10,000 messages/month. Paid plans from $120/month.
Twilio Autopilot is an AI platform from the communications software provider to build Conversational IVRs and bots.
What’s special about this tool: Twilio Autopilot integrates with Twilio Flex contact center solutions and can be deployed across multiple channels.
Pricing: Messaging and chat $0.001/message, voice $0.04/minute.
Azure Bot Services from Microsoft allow building conversational IVR experiences for customers through speech and text.
What’s special about this tool: Azure Bot Services is a versatile tool for customer service automation.
Pricing: Free up to 10,000 messages/month, then $0.5 per 1,000 messages
Dialogflow is a Natural Language Understanding engine from Google to connect with your chatbot.
What’s special about this tool: Dialogflow NLU can be integrated in several 3rd party Conversational AI platforms.
Pricing: Essentials edition $0.002/request, CX edition $20 per 100 chat sessions.
Amazon Lex is a service for building conversational IVR using voice and text.
What’s special about this tool: Amazon Lex is the same service that also powers Alexa and is integrated with contact center software Amazon Connect.
Pricing: $0.00075 / text request and $0.004 / speech request.