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  • Smarter IVRs

    By CrysTelCall On Customer Experience Comments April 27, 2014

    Smarter IVRs

    We have discussed in a recent article how these telephony menu systems can elevate the standards of customer service that any contact center provides. And when it comes to a business where the majority of customer interaction is achieved via a contact center, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems are considered to be an efficient and economical self-service portal that can be very beneficial for both, the customers and the agents.


    That’s why almost all contact centers including CrysTelCall, usually employ an IVR system to save the time of the agents; for we believe that a  well-designed IVR system can be very beneficial when it comes to handling a high call volume by segmenting and routing calls to appropriate agents and departments. It is also considered to be a form of automated self-service systems; for it allows the customers access to information about special offers, discounts, events and new products without having to wait 10 minutes on hold. And it saves agents' time by providing automatic answers to frequent and repetitive inquiries (locations, office hours…) and solutions to simple operations (make reservations, check delivery status, pay bills…) as well.


    However at the end of the day, it's not a matter of simply implementing an IVR system in your contact center, you need to have a well-thought out system design also! A simple approach to IVR design would be keeping the customers in mind the whole time. The aim is for the system to be user friendly; that’s why you need to think of the design from a customer's point of view. Get as much feedback as possible; get your agents' opinion on what services and prompts they think ought to be automated, and use customer surveys to get a fresh perspective on the design. After gathering the information you need, analyze and utilize them to improve your design.


    It goes without saying that having up-to-date, accurate information at all times is crucial for a successful IVR system, but the thing that most contact centers overlook is having a professional voice talent. Make sure that there's phonetic and linguistic consistency across all areas of the system. Multi-lingual systems are great and mandatory to some extent, but what's even more important is choosing the right jargon for the prompts so customers cannot feel the robotic side of the system.


    Providing the customers with a long list of selections can leave your customers feeling like they've been lost in a labyrinth of menus and sub-menus. Design easier menus by limiting the number of options to three or four within each menu, because long prompts and menus can be confusing and hard to remember as well. Present the customers with confirmation messages once a critical transaction is completed, for a better customer experience.


    Adding to the above, one key option that all professionally designed IVR systems have is a way out! Never trap a caller in your IVR system, provide them with the option to contact a human agent if you don't want to end up with frustrated and unhappy customers. Make sure that you have experienced and trained agents ready to receive the calls that were routed by the system; as it would be a shame that after a failed attempt to resolve an issue via IVR, a customer is routed to an agent that might be unable to help.


    After integrating an IVR system into your contact center, you need to test it by running the system on a few users, checking the script and data optimizing it and setting up schedules for regular reviewing and improvement.


    Need more tips on how to get the most out of your IVR system? Contact us, and we'll provide you with the best practices.