Improving Customer Experience with IVR
By Donna Fluss
Interactive voice response systems (IVRs) – love them or hate them, you need them. Whether you receive 200 calls per day or a million, a well-designed and up- to-date IVR can improve the effectiveness of your sales, service and collections departments. IVR technology, platforms and capabilities are undergoing a much- needed transformation. IVRs have been effective cost savings tools for years. (Companies that claimed to be using IVRs to enhance their service quality were deceiving themselves, but that is a topic for a different white paper.)
The top issue with IVR systems today, from the customer perspective, is that the user interfaces are cumbersome, time-consuming and infuriating. This has been the number-one problem with IVRs for so long that either companies are not listening to their customers’ complaints, or there is another reason why they are not investing to improve them. For some companies, it may be because they are not customer-centric and use IVR as a way to reduce access to live (and expensive) agents, while others do not have the IT budget, knowledge or resources to make the necessary investments. This reflects a technology challenge. Most organizations do not know how to identify where customers are having trouble in their IVRs. And even if they can identify the pain points, they don’t know how to modify their IVR programs, scripts and voice user interfaces (VUIs). It’s taken too long – over 20 years – but some IVR vendors have finally figured out that they can improve usability and, ultimately, the customer experience, by enhancing their platforms, analytics and development tools.
There is a new generation of IVR solutions coming to market with vastly enhanced technical environments that address the needs of today’s contact centers. These enhanced IVR solutions accommodate the requirement for continuous change and improvement. This white paper will review the top 5 IVR technical and platform enhancements that are currently being introduced to the market. What’s striking about these improvements is that they are geared toward business users and not IT, as IVR vendors now appreciate that it’s contact center managers and supervisors who are responsible for managing these solutions on a day-to-day basis, particularly if they are in the cloud.