Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What are the Limitations of Voice IVR?

Many organizations have adopted Interactive Voice Response (IVR) to improve the quality and reduce the cost of customer service. This technology provides a number of benefits including automated prioritization of calls, call routing, call volume management, limited self-service, and reduced operating expense. However, due to the limited input capabilities (touchtone and poor voice recognition), IVR has a vast number of limitations for servicing a customer effectively.

How can Visual IVR eliminate the limitations of IVR?

Visual IVR looks to dramatically improve and enhance the current capabilities of existing IVR by adding a digital experience to the flow and by connecting multiple channels used by the customer, effectively increasing the efficiency of service provided to the customer. With Visual IVR, customers can now opt-in to a digital presentation of the IVR menu system on their mobile device or computer with much more capabilities than the traditional IVR.

What are the key benefits of a Visual IVR solution?

Simply put, Visual IVR takes existing Voice IVR menus and transforms them into a visual menu. Now, when a customer calls a company, instead of having to listen to endless menus trees, confusing options, and in many cases, poor voice recognition; they can simply touch their way through the IVR. The visual navigation is easier, lets the customer control the pace, and provides other capabilities that are not possible with a traditional voice IVR: items such as entering alphanumeric data, sharing photos and locations, uploading, and even exchanging documents.

How does Visual IVR impact the business?

Traditional IVR systems are known for creating consumer frustration. Such frustration causes “zero-outs" and IVR abandonment leading to dissatisfaction and lack of loyalty on the consumer side. In the US alone, the cost of poor customer service is $41 billion per year, and recent studies show that following a negative customer experience, 58% of Americans would never use that company again. Visual IVR enables organizations to overcome such obstacles by offering customers a differentiated customer experience, improving customer loyalty and preventing the financial impact of customer abandonments.

Is Visual IVR a mobile self-service solution?

Visual IVR is able to collect and submit more information than a standard voice IVR. In that respect, it is indeed a significant self-service enabler. Users are able to enter alphanumeric data such as email addresses to track order status, upload photos of defective merchandise, send and receive documents, view instructional videos, and even scan a QR code. Bill payment, order tracking, subscription renewal, scheduling a service, product activation, editing information, and many more self-service options can be performed in the Visual IVR, thus increasing self-service containment and lowering the call load to the contact center.

Visual IVR is also a digital channel that enables a seamless connection into the contact center. The entire history of the Visual IVR navigation and data entry is visible to the agent when a call is transferred. In this respect, Visual IVR is a customer service channel that enables customers to traverse from channel to channel while maintaining interaction context and yet again, improving the overall customer experience.

How does Visual IVR fit within a company's omnichannel strategy?

Visual IVR spans across Web, Voice, and Mobile channels to enable an omnichannel customer experience. A visual interaction can be started on the mobile phone, continued on the Website, and eventually transferred to the contact center with the entire history and context remaining. This cross channel experience enables seamless continuity from self-service to assisted service and is particularly important in today's hectic lifestyle in which customers are accustomed to getting instant gratification even while on the go.

We already have a mobile app, how is Visual IVR different?

Mobile app for customer service is generally only utilized when the issue arises while the customer is already using the app. A large majority of your customers still prefer to call first when seeking assistance. Visual IVR channel pivots your voice callers back into the more cost effective digital channel, saving your organization both time and money. Additionally, app usage/adoption is still really low among the majority of customers.

How can Visual IVR be used in my industry?

We have deployments in every major (and not so major!) vertical. Please see the industries page for examples on how it can be used within your vertical.

How long does it take to implement Visual IVR?

Depending on the circumstances, in some cases a matter of weeks. Visual IVR leverages your existing assets. As the only Visual IVR vendor that supports both immediate deployment via reusing your VXML, as well as a graphical designer to create improved self-service flows, you can be in production in a matter of weeks.

Visual IVR is just a visual representation of my existing voice IVR, right?

Jacada Visual IVR can be an identical visualization of your voice prompts using the Jacada VXML Connector. The other recommended approach is using the Jacada Interaction Designer, part of the Interact platform to build visual flows that will leverage smartphone capabilities that do not exist in Voice IVR like geo-location, camera, alphanumeric data entry and more.

Can Visual IVR work with my existing telephony?

Yes. Jacada Visual IVR is agnostic to the telephony infrastructure layer and is fully compatible with Cisco, Genesys, Avaya and Interactive Intelligence. We have not yet found an existing telephony we are not able to work with.

How does Visual IVR compare to other similar offerings?

Jacada is a pioneer in Visual IVR. We are the only Visual IVR vendor that offers a complete engagement solution for your customers and your agents. Please see this comparison chart for additional details.

Do I need my IVR if running Visual IVR from Jacada?

No. Nevertheless, the option to integrate Visual IVR with a native app is available and utilized by many organizations today.

Do I need a native app for Visual IVR?

No. But nevertheless the option to integrate Visual IVR with a native app is available and utilized by many organizations today.

What does Visual IVR offer beyond the native app?

Visual IVR provides a seamless method for all customers (not just those that have decided to use your app) to opt-in to a digital engagement experience that offers the same or often better self-service capabilities as what is provided in the mobile app. In addition, if an agent is required at some point, the agent is aware of everything the customer has tried up to the time the dialog begins. Most native apps offer no ability for the customer to “channel hop.”

Why MongoDB for the database?

MongoDB was selected after a thorough technological assessment, to make sure it answers Jacada's Interact Platform requirements for performance, high-availability, scalability and flexibility which are of paramount importance for the information being captured during Visual IVR sessions. It is the leading NoSql database in the industry, with wide spread adoption across multiple verticals (see here). It offers a very high-performance database, supporting large workloads matching our platform's requirements, while still maintaining operational simplicity. It is easy to setup and operate, including advanced yet simple support of data replication, sharing and security.

What skill profile do we need to build the Visual IVR flows?

Visual IVR is a rapid implementation business and customer experience improvement digital engagement platform, utilizing a modern drop and drag highly intuitive visual designer front end which is simple to learn and use.

How do you “put this in front” of your customers or get them to adopt it?

We are always finding new approaches but the most popular seem to include a “contact us” button that starts your Visual IVR session right from your website. Or for your voice callers, you can offer the ability for them to opt-in to a visual IVR session which is launched from a link you send them in a text message. Some choose to include the link in their mobile app. Since this is a web based engagement platform, it is very simple to find ways for your customer to launch a session.

What languages are supported with Visual IVR?

All languages are supported including the various text directions of the supported languages.

How do you typically put a business case behind Visual IVR to sell it internally?

It is a combination of hard metrics and soft metrics. The soft metrics of course are customer satisfaction and how customers prefer this type of interaction, but we know it’s hard to make a business case around that. The three biggest drivers behind the ROI for a visual IVR solution is an average handle time (AHT) reduction by collecting more in-depth information on the visual channel and presenting it to the agent, a reduction in internal transfers because of less “zero-outs” and an increase in call containment/deflection.

What can we expect from an Average Handle Time reduction?

This of course depends on the complexity of your call types, the type of information you can collect visually and what changes you may want to make to your IVR flows – There really isn’t a one size fits all answer here. However, to give you some context, we generally expect 20 to 60 seconds AHT savings by moving to a visual solution whereby you collect some data upfront. We can definitely help you model the savings and ROI.

How is the information transferred to the agent?

When a customer starts the Visual IVR session, the journey is being logged. Each web page that is viewed, information that is inputted by the customer and systems accessed are all recorded as part of the journey. If the agent is needed, the customer can be presented with options like hold for the next available agent, receive a call back or launch a chat session. At this point when the agent is contacted, the agent receives a screen pop on their workstation containing the details of the customer journey including everything the customer has tried before the dialog began.

How is this licensed?

Currently the product is licensed according capacity units. A single capacity unit can handle up to 10,000 sessions. Therefore, the number of capacity units your organization would require can be determined by your monthly call volume. We offer perpetual or subscription licensing models. Other fees apply related to the platform and SMS capabilities. Contact Jacada today to inquire about specific pricing for your Visual IVR implementation.

How is the information to the agent displayed when a customer calls?

The agent receives a screen pop containing the history of the customer journey once the customer opts to connect to an agent. The screen will contain a summary of what webpages were viewed, what information the customer put in like account number and any issues encountered.

Does Visual IVR interrupt the flow of the call?

Visual IVR is an alternate path for a call that starts as a voice call. It is rare to transition to visual after you’ve completed a good portion of the voice call. Typically someone opts into Visual right at the beginning, so it really isn’t a call interruption.

How does Visual IVR start the visual navigation?

When the call comes in, we detect the device the caller is coming from and the carrier the user is on. We can then either send them a text message to start an HTML session, or do a push.

How can you make your existing IVR visual?

Jacada Visual IVR can work with your existing IVR by reusing the VXML of your voice IVR. You don’t even need to make changes to the voice IVR. This means you can stand up visual IVR very quickly. In addition, you can then use the designer to create new enhanced self-service flow.

How can you start Visual IVR on the customer’s smartphone?

When the call comes in, we detect the device the caller is coming from and the carrier the user is on. We can then either send them a text message to start an HTML session, or do a push.

Will Visual IVR work with my current voice IVR system?

The way Jacada Visual IVR works with your existing IVR is by reusing the VXML of your voice IVR to transition the flow into a visual interaction. No changes need to be made to the voice IVR. When the customer calls, they are given the option of which IVR system they would prefer to use.

What is the advantage of Visual IVR versus a normal website with the same options?

It comes down to the point at which you engage your customers. Web self-service is great, but industry statistics show that despite the investment in WSS, 82% of your interactions still end up in the contact center. Visual IVR engages your voice callers digitally, drives self-service and drives digital habits.

What does the research say about the customer satisfaction of Visual IVR?

Because this is a new approach to customer service, many of our customers are actively measuring satisfaction by using surveys embedded as part of the interaction. In addition, we know the demand for digital is growing tremendously, especially by age/demographic. What the quantitative results show a consistent 98-99% satisfaction rating.

What industries seem to be adopting Visual IVR the most and why?

We’re seeing it adopted across such a broad array of industries that it isn’t really concentrated in any one particular vertical. Some verticals such as banks have particularly high mobile app adoption as compared to other verticals, yet even they are struggling with call volume. To get a sense of vertical use cases, please visit: and look at the Industries top level menu item.

What is the difference between Visual IVR and a regular app?

This is a great question we get all the time. Visual IVR engages your voice callers digitally – what we see with mobile apps is that they don’t stem the tide of inbound calls. Second, Visual IVR doesn’t require any install, so adoption is high. Third, the two solutions can be quite complimentary – Visual IVR helps establish digital habits for your voice callers and can even drive them to better usage of the mobile app.

Does Visual IVR work with 'Bots'/AI solutions?

Definitely … Bots are another self-service channel. If they deflect an inbound call, then it’s a win. In terms of working with bots, first, Visual IVR will digitally engage the people calling you. Second, you can also integrate with an AI solution to provide a more rich experience within the visual IVR session.

How does Visual IVR work with mobile apps and QR codes?

It can work with both….you can either integrate into your existing mobile app, or use it to drive better adoption of your mobile app … by pivoting your voice callers into the digital channel instead. And QR codes can be scanned to start a visual IVR session. You can see an example of that on our own contact us page on our website:

How can I redesign a Visual IVR so that it is consistent with our other channels?

Consistency is paramount as you deliver an omnichannel experience, so a good question. We provide a graphical designer with Visual IVR that actually allows you to build cross channel interactions, so instead of just reusing your voice IVR flow, you can provide more optimized consistent self-service interactions across all your channels.

What is the minimum infrastructure necessary to build a Visual IVR System?

We can stand up Visual IVR to work with your Voice IVR, without requiring changes to your voice IVR, plus with the optional cloud deployment, you may not need any additional infrastructure.

Can you escalate from a text based medium to a call without going back in queue and can you talk to the same agent?

A customer is not connected to an agent until they opt to do so, during a Visual IVR interaction. If someone wants to speak to an agent after attempting a visual session and for whatever reason didn’t self-serve, then it is imperative to connect them seamlessly to an agent. Options are provided to the customer that include being placed in the call queue, call back, chat and others. When the customer connects with the agent, the agent can see the journey of the customer including everything that was attempted leading up to the connection.

Should you always capitalize the phrase IVR?

My off the cuff answer was Yes of course because it’s an abbreviation. But then we researched it and found out that technically this is called an Initialism (letter by letter) v Abbreviation (can pronounce) eg AWOL. So yes, we say keep capitalizing it.

Can Visual IVR replace online banking?

That really isn’t the intent of Visual IVR. It’s about offering channel choice for your customers, and driving digital engagement. In fact, the argument can be made that it will enhance your online banking services and lower your inbound call volume.

Does Visual IVR have application integration and api?

At its most basic level, it can reuse the flows developed for your voice IVR and hence reuse the integration you’ve already built. However, you can create new enhanced self-service flows, and then you can integrate with any application and API, whether through open standard technologies such as REST, or, for closed proprietary applications, using the adaptors we provide.

How does Visual IVR compete with voice?

An intriguing question – from a truly competitive point of view, both solutions can be attached and compete for the same budget. Ultimately you should give your customers channel choice and let them choose. From a customer experience perspective, digital and visual seem to have far better customer satisfaction than voice. Visual is also better in noisy environments and where voice recognition is problematic. There are times though when Voice may be better, such as when driving.

Is Visual IVR imei/imsi aware?

The imei is tied to the sim card and is not identified through any iOS api due to privacy issues and misues of the identifier. You would need to do your own mapping from the inbound caller ID. I believe android may allow access to this information but I’d be happy to hear from any technical people on this call to correct me if I’m wrong.

How easy is it to visualize existing IVR applications from other vendors?

Regardless of the vendor, Visual IVR is capable of pulling the existing flows and prompts through the VXML connector which initially configures the product to visualize your IVR.

What if the customer doesn't have a smart phone or a good signal?

We will do a carrier look up to ensure that the caller is on a smartphone before offering Visual IVR. A smart device is required for the interaction.

What does the client need to download to use Visual IVR?

There is no app install requirement, ensuring maximum adoption. And yes, you can escalate to an agent whenever the customer needs to. Once transferred, the agent has full context of the customer journey, so there is no repeating of information.

What are the technical and logistic challenges to transition from a standard call center management software product to a Visual IVR?

Fortunately standing up Visual IVR can be done really quickly, and then improved over time. There really isn’t a technical challenge, but certainly there must be a readiness of the organization to “become digital.”

Will we need to apply a learning program for Agents to learn Visual IVR?

Agents should be trained on the technology, but we do provide step-by-step agent guidance on their desktop to walk them through the best way to handle the call.

What additional or specialized skills does the agent need to have when working in the Visual IVR environment compared to the voice IVR environment?

Often the Voice IVR environment is very limited in providing important information to the agent like account verification, call intent, and details of the customer’s journey. Visual IVR provides the agent with a very simple interface showing just what is important for the agent to effectively assist the customer. The agent will no longer need to re-verify the account, figure out why the customer is calling and learn what the customer has tried because this is all presented to them in a clear and concise way.

How can Visual IVR integrate with other CCaaS solutions?

Visual IVR can be deployed on-premises or cloud. To avoid the need for the CCaaS solution to open ports, we provide all the necessary API’s to allow “reverse” integration.

What are the integration opportunities of Visual IVR and messengers?

The two technologies work well together. In fact, you can drive your voice callers into the digital channel with visual IVR, and should they need assistance, offer them a choice of channels to speak to an advisor, including messenger.