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Inspired BlogPress 1 If You’ve Built Your Own IVR

Interactive voice response (also known as IVR) is all around us. We’ve probably all said the phrase “Hi Alexa,” “Okay Google” or “Hey Siri” in the last 24 hours. And we’ve all certainly enjoyed the schadenfreude of hearing someone else attempt to make their mobile devices, computer monitors, and even TVs cooperate with their voice commands correctly. *Whispers: Hey Siri, define schadenfreude.*

Close enough.

Voice-enabled technologies don’t just make our lives easier – they are fundamentally changing the way people shop for products and services online. What does that mean for Red Ventures? We posed that question to John Anderson, one of RV’s Directors of Front-End Development. Turns out, IVR is also totally revolutionizing the way Red Ventures approaches digital challenges for our partners.

It’s More Than Just a Game

You might be thinking that voice recognition is nothing more than a toy – an amusement for nerds. But unlike Fortnite or Dungeons & Dragons, voice recognition technology isn’t fantasy. It’s very, very real.

(Sorry, guys.)

We’ll bet that you can’t walk down the street or through the office without overhearing someone talking to their phone. (Yep, to their phone – not to someone on the other end of the line.) That’s because voice recognition has become a rapidly growing trend within technology, especially mobile. As of 2016, 20% of mobile web searches were done by voice. And this trend is only projected to rise: 43% of millennials have completed a purchase using IVR within the last year.

What that means for RV

Here at RV, we’re already saying “yes” to voice – by helping our partners integrate voice recognition technology into their businesses waaaay ahead of the curve. For example, we recently helped one of our brand partners dive headfirst into the world of IVR, despite the fact that they didn’t have any partner APIs or data to speak of.

Stick with us…

Here’s how we did it. Our engineering team put together a mock dataset of over one-thousand service providers geographically distributed across the Carolinas. Then, they used the Amazon Alexa Voice Service to create a voice IVR allowing customers to find the service they’re looking for – and schedule an appointment – completely by phone. This makes the whole process much easier for customers to connect with the products and services they need, on their schedule.

But we didn’t stop there. Next, the team built an Amazon Alexa skill on top of those same APIs, allowing customers to use their Amazon Echo to find a service provider and schedule an appointment solely by voice. (As in, “Hi Alexa, find the best service for me, and schedule my appointment right now.”) No need to dial a number. No waiting on hold, no tedious online signups. This is the future we’ve dreamed of.

The best part? Our team completed this massive project in just a week’s time. Yes, you read that right: ONE WEEK from start to finish. The spirit of innovation runs deep at RV, and we’ll continue to prove, time and time again, that we’re up for the challenge. Okay Google, your move.

Want more RV Tech? See how our team is using machine learning to create efficient shopping experiences for consumers – over the phone and online.

About the Author:
Kara Robertson | Creative Producer
Kara Robertson

Kara is a Clemson grad and creative producer who joined the RV Corporate Communications team in 2017. She manages INSPIRED, creates all kinds of content for the Red Ventures brand, and wears more orange than medically recommended. (Go Tigers!)

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