User Identification Options
Users are identified on the network using alphanumeric login IDs. Since most IVR systems do not offer a reliable speech-to-text mechanism, they can only accept numeric input. This presents a challenge for a telephone password reset system: users must enter an alpha-numeric login ID, but the system can only accept a numeric ID.
Assigning unique, numeric IDs
In organizations where each network login ID is already associated with some unique numeric ID, the simple solution is to ask users to sign into the IVR system by keying in their numeric ID on the telephone touch pad.
Examples of such numeric ID include employee numbers, or home telephone numbers.
Alternately, if a user registration process will be used (e.g., to collect personal Q-A data for user authentication), then users may be asked to key in or select a new numeric personal identifier. An example might be the user's driver's license number. In this case, users will sign into the IVR with their new numeric ID.
Numeric mapping of alphanumeric login IDs
In some cases, numeric IDs are not available. This may happen if there are no existing numeric IDs available for all users, or if what numeric IDs exist are not correlated to network login IDs, or if a registration process is undesirable.
In these cases, users may be asked to sign in by pressing the keys on their telephone marked with the letters and numbers of their network login ID. For example, the user smith01 would type 7648401.
Since the digit mapping of two different alpha-numeric login IDs may produce the same number (e.g., poguh01 also maps to 7648401), an IVR system that uses this technique must allow for number collisions, and ask the caller to select the correct ID when the entered number resolves to more than one alpha-numeric login ID.