3 Things You Can Learn About IVR from Star Wars image c 3PO3 Things You Can Learn About IVR from Star WarsSome of the lessons that Star Wars offers are of the basic moral fiber variety: Friendship conquers all. Don’t be evil and try to take over the universe. Let the Wookie win. You know, the basics. But someone with business on the brain might be able to learn a few other things, especially from the sci-fi technology. In fact, if one looks beyond the X-wings and the blaster guns, one might see evidence that the folks in Star Wars were big fans of interactive voice response (IVR).

C-3PO—Automated Support with a Human Touch

C-3PO knows everything—he’s a robot. Well, technically, he’s even better: he’s a protocol droid; designed to serve humans and be a provider of information. Wouldn’t your business run a little more smoothly if you had a C-3PO to handle your calls? He could answer the phone, provide information and transfer callers—and because he’s C-3PO and not R2-D2, callers would actually be able to understand him. Luke Skywalker was basically traveling the universe with a walking, talking IVR. C-3PO was fluent in over six million forms of communication, so that may be beyond the scope of any earthly IVR, but a good system will still let you record your menu options in whatever language you speak, so it’s pretty much Star Wars worthy. All in all, you get the knowledge and efficiency of the android paired with a human touch—plus the ability to transfer the caller to a real human when they have more in-depth questions that C-3PO can’t handle.

Relay messages like Princess Leia—except better

Leia was a princess. She was busy. She didn’t have time to call Obi-Wan Kenobi—partially because she was about to be captured by Darth Vader—so instead she sent him the equivalent of a voice broadcast. She recorded her message in R2-D2’s memory, and off the little droid went. Except voice broadcasting is even better! If Leia had used a voice broadcast as a call for help, Obi-Wan Kenobi would have actually gotten it. Instead, R2-D2 wandered around the galaxy and eventually relayed the message to Luke Skywalker. This wouldn’t have been an issue with voice broadcasting: Leia could have sent out the same call for help to all the Jedis if she had wanted to—with an on-time delivery guarantee. Plus, with the interactive capabilities of a good voice broadcasting service, she could have set up more than just a blasted message. She could have made it an interactive voice broadcast with an option to speak to a human in the menu: the recipient would hear her SOS call and then, “Press one to rescue Leia now. Press two to connect with the another Jedi and organize a rescue mission.”

Your voice broadcasting/IVR needs are probably less life-threatening, so you could use the same tools to send out appointment reminders, delivery confirmations, and more. And since your communications are all earth-bound, you don’t have to worry about the recipient getting the message hours (or light-years) too late.

Track your calls like Darth Maul—except don’t be a bad guy

One thing every Star Wars fan wants to know is how the heck the evil Darth Maul was able to track down the royal yacht of Queen Amidala! Many nerds speculate that some traitor onboard the yacht must have called the bad guy and that Darth Maul used a communication tracing device to determine the origin of the call.

What you can learn from this is two-pronged: 1) Don’t be a bad guy like Darth Maul, and 2) You can track your calls too! You can set up your phone system so that it recognizes the caller’s area code and then routes them to the appropriate location. You can then use call tracking reports to attribute the call back to the media source or advertisement that inspired them to pick up the phone. There are probably no traitors in your marketing plan, so this is even simpler for you than it was for Darth Maul.

Star Wars may still be way ahead of us when it comes to traveling at light speed and hanging out with Wookies. But for now we can satisfy ourselves with at least being able to communicate as efficiently—and perhaps even more efficiently, since we’re stuck on Earth—as our Star Wars role models. Maybe next we can work on getting those X-wing cruisers for our morning commute.

Also, if Princess Leia and her crew inspired you to learn more about IVR, you can be a Marketing Jedi and get our free white paper here to see how B2B experts are using IVR to generate, score, and nurture leads.

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