This guest post was written by Elhum Vahdat, Executive Vice President, APEX Communications

Services, Services, Services…  you can practically hear the cry of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) all over the world pleading for new (or even old) services that can run on their shiny new LTE networks.  Of course, this is nothing new, as this repeated cry for services is generated with the roll-out of every new generation of network (e.g. 2G, 3G), because MNOs are well aware that the serious payoff comes primarily from running  new services, which in turn can justify their investment.

Keep in mind, in this blog I won’t address what over-the-top (OTT) services are doing to the bottom line of MNOs, which goes without saying is why new services offered by the MNOs are so critical.

One service that is ideal for LTE is Visual Interactive Voice Response, or Visual IVR (different than Video IVR).  At this point I know what a lot of you are thinking…  IVR is dead, so why resuscitate it for a new network?  My short answer is that Visual IVR is not your parent’s IVR.

In this blog I also won’t address the fact that IVR is not dead, but rather it is one of those unique applications that is continuously morphing itself into new services.  For example, Visual IVR extends the capabilities of the IVR by transforming it into a collaborative web-based voice and visual mobile application for smartphones, tablets, and computers.

As the name clearly implies, Visual IVR adds a visual interface to the audio-only IVR by visually representing an IVR  menu on the caller’s smartphone, tablet, or computer.  What makes Visual IVR ideal for LTE is the need for speed since the visual content is web-based (unlike Video IVR where the content is streaming together with the audio).  In many cases, LTE also provides the added ability to simultaneously manage a voice call and data to a network.  In short, Visual IVR enables the caller to make choices both visually and audibly by syncing the audio and visual portions of the call and LTE’s rollout helps make this happen.   In fact, Visual IVR not only visually represents the menu, but also allows for more content to be pushed out to the caller, content such as videos, documents, and visual media.  For a short demonstration of how Visual IVR works, click on the phone below.

PHONE Play Button

Click to play Video

Visual IVR brings with it a lot of benefits…

  • Increased selection accuracy lowers average handling times/call duration (visual navigation is faster than listening to audio prompts).
  • Intuitive visual navigation improves first call self-service resolution rates better than speech recognition.
  • Information rich input allows for the easy collection of complex alpha-numeric data better than speech recognition.
  • Simultaneous interactive two-way voice and data interaction reduces the need for agent involvement.
  • Omni-channel experience enables the caller to start a chat or text session, send an e-mail, request a callback, or transfer to an agent.
  • Secure communication channel for data exchange to and from the IVR eliminates data theft.
  • Single Service Creation Environment supports both visual and voice-only IVR services maximizing return-on-investment.
  • Sharing visual content during conversations can boost comprehension and recall up to 600%1.

As you can see, Visual IVR is an ideal service for MNOs to run on their new LTE networks.  It is simple to use yet offers callers great benefits, especially when it comes to Contact Center services such as self-service customer care.  That said, as is always the case, the success of any service, including Visual IVR, comes through the MNO’s knowledge of their subscribers and how they best want their information delivered on this new and shiny network.

1John Medina, Brain Rules

APEX Communications will be exhibiting at LTE North America (stand 52) and showcasing its Visual IVR solution for MNOs.  For more information visit or send an e-mail to

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