IVR (interactive voice response) can be a huge asset to businesses looking to enhance their business image, simplify their transfer process, increase customer satisfaction, save money, and increase productivity.
IVR is capable of taking over simple transactions, such as common sales, services, collections, inquiry, and support calls to their company. It can also be an easy way to route callers to the correct agents that are most capable of helping them, saving both customers and call center agents a substantial amount of time.
While IVR can be incredibly beneficial to agents and customers alike, when set up improperly, call centers will receive only negative feedback about it. However, there are tips and best practices to ensure that call center IVR is a helpful tool, rather than a nuisance.
- Limit customers’ options. There are few things more frustrating than getting into an IVR queue with a million different options, followed by endless levels. By keeping your IVR system short and sweet, with limited options, call completion rates will increase.
- Always provide an out. No matter how simplified your IVR system is, there will be some people who are just not interested in speaking to a computer, or those who don’t fall into any of the provided categories. In these cases, there should always be a way for customers to get out of the IVR queue and speak to a live agent. Most commonly, the way out is to press “0”.
- Provide the most common options first: If you know that 85% of your customers are calling with a billing inquiry, make a billing inquiry the first option in the IVR queue. This will save your customers time, increasing their satisfaction.
- Have trained agents available. When a customer gets through the IVR queue, they are expecting to speak to someone who is able to help them with their inquiry. Customers will get frustrated easily if they follow the IVR queue, and reach an agent who is neither helpful nor friendly.
- If you ask your customers for information, use it. If customers are providing your IVR queue with their name, account number, or any other information, they’re going to expect the agent at the end to already have that information. No one has the patience to repeat the same information over and over again.
One of the simplest ways to figure out the effectiveness of your IVR is to test it yourself. If you find that you have little to no patience for the questions being asked, chances are, your customers will feel the same. However, if customers are still having issues with the system, set up an IVR survey that takes place at the end of a call. Your customers’ feedback is the best way to tell you how to improve the queue.
Halli Crouch is Marketing Content Specialist for AVOXI.