Interactive voice response systems (IVR for short) properly administered can be a much welcomed addition to your call center operations. Customer frustration can actually be lowered, critical 'of the moment' information can be delivered without the use of call center agents and moreover, high volumes incoming calls can be efficiently routed the proper departments. In a recent survey 66% of respondents believe that "self-service" systems such as Call Center IVR is more convenient than speaking with an agent. Consider also, that this preference is 82% among Gen-Y consumer respondents. With the majority of consumers still preferring customer service via telephone - the future looks bright for IVR in your hands.
COMMANDMENT NO. 1.
Use simple direct language. Callers are confused and angered by complex, obscure language. Constantly repeat the K.I.S.S. mantra at every phase of planning, scripting and the IVR QA process.
COMMANDMENT NO. 2.
Make sure your IVR terminology is consistent with other channels. Prompting your IVR caller to "Press 1 for technical support" when they have just received a call from "solutions support" may not sound like a big deal but it is one of many little points of pause/confusion that hurt your business. Create a standard list of terms, simplify them and apply this "company glossary" across all communications channels.
COMMANDMENT NO. 3.
Make your most popular/highest volume option the first IVR option. Sounds simple enough right? If "customer service" receives more inquiries than "sales" then your IVR should offer callers the option "Press 1 for Customer service" and then "Press 2 for Sales."
COMMANDMENT NO. 4.
Combine IVR and Intelligent ACD routing in order to speed up processes that do not immediately require an agent. For example you could deploy an agentless dialing camapaign during the Q4 holiday advising customers of shipping delays due to weather.
The process flow is pretty simple:
- Use the inbound caller ID to route the caller into the IVR flow.
- Customer confirms identity using PIN code information.
- The system confirms shipment date/tracking number/ etc.
- Advises the caller that the tracking/shipment confirmation is being sent the email address currently on file.
- If package hasn't shipped, the customer is automatically connected to a live agent for further assistance.