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Radish Systems Executive Interview

Theresa Szczurek, CEO, Radish Systems, Radish Systems

1. What are the consequences of negative customer experiences caused by frustrating IVR systems? 

There is no disguising the fact…IVR systems are a serious point of pain for most callers. A recent Purdue University study revealed that 92 percent of US consumers form their image of a company based on their experience using the company's call center. More strikingly, the study found that 63 percent of consumers stop using a company's products based on a negative call center experience. That number rises to 100 percent for consumers between ages 18 and 25.   IVR systems are often the first experience a caller has with a company.

According to Boston-based consultancy Yankee Group, "If self-service is not done right, the results can be worse than not doing it at all. Failure can result in increased call volumes, dissatisfied customers and defections." Poor application design can also increase agent turnover, as customers take out their frustrations on harried agents.

The 2012 nationwide poll of more than 2000 respondents, commissioned by Interaction Corporation, indicated that 83% of consumers will avoid or stop giving a company business after a poor experience with an automated phone system, also known as an Interactive Voice Response (IVR).

Frustrating IVR systems cause pain – Bad IVRs result in unhappy customers, lost revenues, increases costs, and a poor company image for those firms with them.

2. Why do you think so many companies continue to force customers to use IVR systems that perform poorly when there are viable and affordable options available? 

IVRs save time and money for companies and now that they are installed, they are the status quo.  Companies need to hear that customers are screaming for a better solution with Visual IVR.  Until Radish System’s ChoiceView™ Visual IVR there has not been a viable and affordable option available.  ChoiceView REST API for Visual IVR is the first-ever solution to transform traditional Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems from many vendors into next generation Visual IVRs that work with any network, any phone, and most mobile devices.  Both new and existing IVRs with a web-services interface can now easily be augmented for ‘voice with visual’ mobility communications. 

3. Why has it become more crucial for companies to better serve the evolving needs of mobile users?  

The world has gone mobile.  Morgan Stanley reports that by the end of 2011 there were 835M smartphones globally. Mobile callers want ever-faster, ever-easier transactions. IVRs in Mobility are a disaster for the customer experience due to any number of interface and device issues which result in poor transmission and even higher abandonment rates.  Companies struggle to provide mobile customer support that increases customer satisfaction while allowing efficient completion of business transactions.

4. Why is important that your Visual IVR enables end users to both hear and see information as it’s being transmitted? 

With ChoiceView, your callers can both hear and see information transmitted by the IVR system.  With the ChoiceView App on their 3G/4G+ mobile device, users instantly see the menu options instead of listening to long sequential lists. They quickly navigate the phone tree submenus by tapping their selection from a ChoiceView visual menu delivered by the IVR to their mobile display device, and receive pertinent visual information in response instead of the typical, sometimes lengthy audible messages.

Studies, reviewed in the best-selling book Brain Rules by John Medina, show that stimulating multiple senses by delivering audio and visual information increases understanding, recall, and comprehensive by 50% or more. Random inquiry of individuals shows that if offered a choice between a ‘voice with visual’ menu on their mobile phone versus only listening to a long-winded phone tree, most would opt for the ‘voice with visual’ menu.  ChoiceView-enabled IVR systems can significantly reduce the pain and call length for your callers, improve overall customer satisfaction levels, and drive more business to your organization.

5. What specific benefits does Visual IVR technology provide in B-to-B and B-to-C transactions? 

With a True Visual IVR, customers involved in B to B and B to C transactions instantly see menus while hearing information, tap choices on their smart device, rapidly move through screens in much less time than it takes to speak the options, and receive visual and voice responses.   Visual IVRs cut call time and costs, by more than half in most situations, increase understanding by 50% or more, and improve mobile user satisfaction and engagement. 

Visual IVRs offer a new opportunity for Call Center service level improvement. Transforming current IVRs to Visual IVRs is a solution which provides ease of use, fast self-service with a better customer experience, and a bridge when needed to ‘voice with visuals' live assistance.

6. How does your product leverage the power of nearly all mobile smart devices? 

Smart mobile devices are powerful – they have the ability to make a phone call as well as access the Internet. With ChoiceView, a data session is seamlessly joined to a phone call in order to deliver next generation integrated voice/data services today.

Mobile users access ChoiceView-enabled visual IVRs with the ChoiceView Mobile App that's available for free at the iOS and Android App Stores.  An SDK is also available so ChoiceView capabilities can easily be wrapped into any current iOS mobile application.  The SDK is available for free to developers.

7. What factors make Visual IVR an easily adaptable solution for upgrading both legacy and new IVRs? 

The ChoiceView Visual IVR API solution transforms an IVR into a “true, full-function Visual IVR” that integrates with live assistance, the current IVR, and business processes rather than just offering coded screens delivered via a mobile app that's separated from the voice call. Radish Systems designed the ChoiceView solution to follow the voice call and leverage current IVR capabilities on a wide range of industry standard IVR platforms. 

Visual IVRs with ChoiceView are not difficult to implement.  No longer will IVRs impede service optimization. Rather than be a road block to meeting business needs, ChoiceView-enabled Visual IVRs can enhance the customer experience as business processes improve and change.   

“ChoiceView provides a new communication channel for IVRs, allowing visual menus and visual response as well as data and photo input.  Our solution allows a legacy or a new IVR with a web services interface to become visually-enabled with a script change only.  It doesn't affect the IVR's call processing or hardware, and mobile users simply call an IVR in the usual way to begin,” stated Richard A. Davis, Chief Technical Officer and co-founder, Radish Systems. 

8. You have been asking end users which organizations they thought should be using Visual IVR: has this effort helped you make a stronger case to companies on their wish lists? 

Yes.  Through our “Ease the Pain” campaign, people share companies that they would like to use a Visual IVR. Go to and join the discussion.  When a company is publicly listed as one that should ease the pain for its callers, Radish can make a stronger case for a transition to a Visual IVR. 


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