How Intelligent Assistants Stack Up Against Visual IVR

Jacada is a provider of Visual IVR solutions. I’ve written about Jacada in the past, including a post that explains Visual IVR and provides some examples of how it can be applied to support customers across various use cases and channels. Jacada has put together an interesting chart that compares Visual IVR to four other customer support technologies.

Visual IVRThe comparison chart takes a look at how Visual IVR stacks up against Chat, Co-Browse,Click to Call, and Virtual Agents. The chart and accompanying document point out some advantages that Visual IVR has over virtual agents / intelligent assistants.

Let’s imagine a scenario in which a user needs to track the status of a repair ticket for their computer. There might be intelligent assistant solutions on the market that can respond to questions about a specific support ticket. But, as the Jacada document points out, most virtual agent implementations offer answers to more generic questions about products and services.

In the case of Visual IVR, the customer might initiate a chat session. When the chat agent learns that the customer wants the status of their repair ticket, the agent can send a link to the customer’s smartphone. When the customer clicks the link, she’ll get a visual support experience that can provide the status of her ticket. This kind of seamless transfer from a chat session to a tailored self-service session on the customer’s phone isn’t a capability of the intelligent assistant solutions I’ve seen.

However, vendors of intelligent assistants know the value of maintaining the context of a customer interaction across various channels. Many vendors either have some capabilities in that regard, or have them on the development wish list. Intelligent assistants don’t just reside on websites anymore, but can be found on mobile devices, social media platforms, and enterprise applications. Maintaining context across channels, or even offering a consistent user experience across these channels, is what separates good solutions from superior ones.

But Jacada makes valid points about how Visual IVR can offer an improved user experience in a wide range of use cases. For companies exploring ways to provide self-service options to their customers, Visual IVR should certainly be a candidate.

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