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Can IVR replace Live Agents – Dial Zero to Speak to a Representative


Interactive Voice Response (IVR system) is extremely beneficial for both companies and the customers. Companies can easily increase their sales and reduce costs drastically as the efficiency of live agents is greatly maximized with the use of an IVR. On the other hand, customers save their time as they get the opportunity to solve their problems without interacting with an agent.

However, designing proper and efficient IVR trees is really crucial for companies for offering seamless customer experience. They must ensure that the design is customer friendly so that the customers get to the right place quickly with minimum key presses. To achieve this, companies must analyze the customer’s needs and requirements carefully to determine the correct order of the IVR menu options. For example, if making payments is the most common reason for a call, then it should appear as option one in the IVR menu. Likewise, companies must identify all the top reasons and make sure that they offer them at the top of your IVR list, based on priority.

IVR is really effective when the customers are looking for easy and straightforward information such as checking balance, making payments, checking current offers/discounts, confirming order status and so on. But, if the person requires something more to what this automated system could give, then talking to a live agent is the only option available.

Importance of Live Agents

To cater to the customer’s complex needs, companies must have live agents in place so that they do not miss on any opportunity of satisfying them and boosting loyalty. Providing an option in the IVR software to reach to a live operator will definitely increase customer’s trust on the brand and decrease their frustration as they have the faith that their queries are going to be resolved. Companies must implement the option of call back in case of long waiting time, when a customer wishes to speak to an agent.

In order to improve the customer service operations, companies must focus on agent training from time to time, so that they deal with customer’s issues promptly and effectively. They should have complete knowledge about the company and its products and should be educated to deal with the customers with a positive attitude that leads to long-term customer relationships.

To make sure that the customer reaches the right agent, organizations should have intelligent routing capability feature. This will surely enhance customer experience and increase operational efficiency by assigning each customer to the most skilled and available agent who is best suited for the interaction. Customers with complicated questions would definitely appreciate talking to a well-informed agent rather than getting infuriated due to endless call transfers.

Agents can have personalized customer interaction with the help of CRM connectors which would immediately display the caller’s transaction history and past information. This would save both agent’s and customer’s time and will lead to a smarter conversation.

Even now there are many customers who prefer speaking to a live agent instead of dealing with a machine. But the customer calls received are generally very high in number to be dealt by the number of agents available at that point in time. Also, it will not be able to make the agents available 24*7. This is where the existence of IVR becomes critical. Smartly and carefully balancing a well-designed Interactive Voice Response system with live agent engagement will help make the customer experience simple, quick, and effortless.