Cisco and du announce launch of self-service visual IVR in the Middle East

The digital IVR solution is said to be the “first of its kind” in the region, and aims to bridge the gap between digital self-service and traditional customer service contact channels, according to spokespeople from both companies.

Cisco's managing director for service providers Ali Amer (left) with EITC's deputy CEO for telco services Fahad Al Hassawi at the launch of du's visual IVR.
Cisco's managing director for service providers Ali Amer (left) with EITC's deputy CEO for telco services Fahad Al Hassawi at the launch of du's visual IVR.

UAE-based telecom service provider du, a subsidiary of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), in collaboration with IT giant Cisco, announced the introduction of visual IVR in the Middle East—a “first-of-its-kind” digital self-service solution enabling customers of the telecom provider to find answers to their queries at no extra cost. Providing a visual-interface alternative to traditional IVR, visual IVR will reportedly allow customers to see and touch their way to what they need, streamlining a process that would previously involve them having to use their phone keypad, listen to multiple options, or memorize repetitive information in the menu, thereby bridging a gap between digital self-service and traditional customer services contact channels.

With the addition of a visual menu and multimedia content—including an amalgamation of text, images and video—the new self-service solution introduces a number of new beneficial features for customers:
• On-demand digital assistance, anytime, anywhere,
• No app download needed to access visual IVR,
• Menu-based and flow driven support,
• An intuitive & easy-to-use self-service tool from web and mobile,
• Reduced time to find solutions, and
• Improved routing to specialized agents for faster support.

The aim behind the initiative, according to du, is to provide “an enhanced level of service in alignment with Dubai’s digitization vision of introducing more digital services for tech-savvy customers.” EITC’s deputy CEO of telco services Fahad Al Hassawi is quoted in a statement to have said, “As a company at the forefront of technology, we always look at exciting new ways to provide the customer with innovative new touchpoint that enhance our customer experience. Visual IVR offers us a unique and convenient way to address customer queries quickly.” He added that there would be very little in terms of the learning curve, and was confident of its solution’s positive impact toward its customers.

Ali Amer, Cisco’s managing director for service providers, had this to add to the conversation: “du is driving the introduction of visual IVR tech in the Middle East, and they are the first telecom operator to deploy it in partnership with us. Together we are aiming to empower customers with more self-service channels to resolve their enquiries with no need to visit store or call contact center.” Customers can now access the service by calling customer care on 155 (or 158 for business customers) and selecting the visual IVR option. The service will reportedly be available to both customer types in five languages—Arabic, English, Hindi, Bengali and Malayalam.

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