Browse Prior Art Database

Useability Enhancement for Voice Response Units

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000033516D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Dec-13
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Dec-13
Document File: 1 page(s) / 30K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The ability to choose an option at any time made VRUs more useable. The ability to fast forward through or skip to the next option will make VRUs even more user friendly.

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Useability Enhancement for Voice Response Units

Main Idea

Voice response units (VRU) present an interface that is used more and more by corporations in an attempt to lower costs while still offering an acceptable level of customer service. One of the main problems with most VRUs is the pace at which the data and options are presented to the user, and the fact that in most cases an entire option is presented, before the next option is available. For example, if there are 6 menu items, and the caller is not sure which of the menu items they want (let's say they want item 5), then the user has to listen to a complete rendition of item 1, followed by item 2, followed by 3, 4 and then 5. This can be tremendously frustrating for users, and drives down the satisfaction level of the systems. This is especially true as more and more VRUs attempt to provide more complete and verbose descriptions for each item. Users are increasingly frustrated by having to hear options they don't need or want,. What is needed is a way to 'skim' VRUs auditorily, and a way to provide more control over the pace at which data is presented to the user.

Using the example above, let's say there are 6 menu items, and the user wants item 5, the payroll option. Many VRUs allow you to choose an option at any time, so if the user knows they want item 5, they can just say or key in '5' at any time and that option is chosen. What is missing from these systems however is the ability to fast forward through options, or to skip over an option completely after hearing a couple of the words in the option. Using the example above, assume the user wants option 5, the payroll option. Assume option 1 deals with health insurance, option 2 wit...