Bad customer service experiences tend to stay with you for long and leaves a negative impression of the brand which affects your next decision like whether to interact with that brand in future. I had a similar experience while shopping online for gifts this Christmas season. To ensure that all the gifts reach on time I placed the orders way in advance, but still faced late delivery issues, I understand it’s the peak season and a slight delay was expected. But, things got worst when I called the customer service of the e-commerce giant whom I trusted with all my festive gifts. I was stuck at the initial customer service IVR which was unable to lead me anywhere to resolve my queries! Brands need to understand that an IVR system is supposed to help customers and not spoil their service experience.
An IVR might be the first touchpoint in a brand’s customer service cycle, and if it is not managed in the right way then it will simply to push away the customers because today’s customers want instant gratification and will not take delay or errors for granted. So, now the onus lies on the businesses to take charge and ensure they facilitate a better experience for their customers.
If you are in a business-to-customer (B2C) domain, then this blog might help you understand the basic anatomy of an IVR system and how you can optimize your IVR solution to deliver better customer experience instead of driving them away from your business.
What is an IVR and Types of IVR
As per the simple definition, interactive voice response (IVR) is a technology that allows a computer to interact with humans through the use of voice and DTMF tones input using a keypad. An IVR software interacts with callers, gathers information and routes calls to the appropriate recipient.
A simple IVR system for call center seamlessly route your customers to the right agent or department using customizable call flow mechanisms. There can be different types of IVRs used in a call center :
IVR for Self-Service
Intelligent IVR System, also called auto attendant or automated voice, allows businesses to service high call volumes at a lower cost. It can identify & segment callers, and resolve their query without transferring to a live agent. Calls are transferred to live agents only when the caller is unable to find the information they require, helping call center agents be more productive & effective by giving them more time to deal with complex interactions.
Hosted IVR Solution
An IVR solution installed on a hosted software platform that allows businesses to access the IVR application on the internet. This enables the organization to deliver 24/7 customer service, even after office hours. Having a hosted IVR System is the best way for enterprises to gain loyalty and improve satisfaction.
An agent-assisted IVR solution helps the contact center to optimize the cost of operations and along with delivering a consistent customer service. The agent can dynamically direct pre-recorded phrases to initiate a dialog with the customer, without the customer knowing an agent is involved. This helps in eliminating customer frustrations caused by complex-structured menu options.
Why IVR System Is Important For Business
Interactive Voice Response software have used pre-recorded voice prompts and menus to present information and options to callers, and touch-tone telephone keypad entry to gather responses. Modern, Smart IVR solutions also enable input and responses to be gathered via spoken words with voice recognition. They use Speech to Text(STT) and Text to Speech(TTS) technologies to interact with customers and keep a tab on number of Agents. Enterprises are increasingly looking for an IVR service provider which helps them in managing their Inbound and Outbound call centers to reduce the cost of common sales, service, collections, inquiry and support calls to and from their company.
Here are some of the major business benefits of an IVR system.
First Call Resolution
Companies need to implement intelligent call routing to the best-qualified agent to ensure the customer’s query is resolved at the earliest. Do not make your customers wait on the IVR, rather design your IVR flow in a smart manner to minimize customer wait time by expediting the query resolution.
24*7 Customer Service
The primary purpose of an IVR is to ensure that customers are attended even if the human agents are not available due to time constraints. Smart IVR systems lets you play a pre-recorded message on off-days to allow self-service for the customers.
Handle High Call Volume
A smart IVR software facilitates designing effective IVR workflows to streamline the calls to enable seamless customer support and reduce customer waiting time to great extent keeping in mind the call center resource availability.
Handle Multilevel IVR
An intelligent IVR software is one that allows multi-level flow in the IVR. Using multiple pre-recorded messages companies can ensure the customer is routed to the right agent for specific product or process related queries without any need for human assistance.
IVR Call Backs
Often inbound Call centers struggle with congestion owing to call spikes, which means more customers waiting on an ivr. This can hamper the customer experience as Turnaround time for Customer query resolution gets very high. To cater to this issue businesses can configure auto IVR call backs or go for an IVR solution that helps them to convert Inbound calls into call backs.
It helps customers with the confidence that they have been heard and sson someone form the organisation will reach out to them.