These days, the sky is the limit. Technology has come a long way and customers are very well informed. This has an impact on customer interactions, which are intensive to say the least, requiring a lot of effort, time, and therefore quite a bit of a budget. Many companies are looking for ways to cut their Actual Handling Time (AHT). Avoiding pointless interactions is also a top priority for them and ideally, where possible, responses are automated. In figures, this has resulted in the ambitious aim to reduce the volume of interactions by 25 to 30%. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is the perfect technology to help achieve these objectives.
IVR is a well-developed system that has already more than demonstrated its usefulness. As well as being able to quickly and efficiently help customers (if used properly, at least), it stops callers hanging up and calling back. Investing in IVR is therefore a sound investment, so long as you pay attention to a few do’s and don’ts.
Three do’s when it comes to Interactive Voice Response
1. Do invest in your IVR channel
Experience shows that this is one of the things that irritates us all the most. 60% of customers would prefer to skip Interactive Voice Response and immediately speak to a customer advisor. Considering that 70% of contact centre calls are answered by a computerised voice, it is obvious why the process must be as smooth and clear as possible. As a direct result of efficient IVR, your company could quickly resolve 30% of calls without the involvement of a customer advisor.
2. Do ensure that the options offered are relevant to what the specific customer needs
Make the options menu as simple as possible, tailored to customer needs and with relevant options that direct your end customer to where they need to be as quickly and easily as possible. This is better for your customers and reduces the number of people who hang up and call back. In short: it improves all-round efficiency.
3. Do immediately make it clear that your customer has called the right place
It is even more annoying to realise that you are going to be left waiting to find out whether you have dialled the right number. Beginning a telephone conversation with a computerised voice reciting a list of options is never a pleasant starting point. Letting your customers know straightaway that they have called the right place sets a much more positive tone for interaction from the outset.
And 3 dont’s
1. Don’t give too many options
Give your customers too many options and they will get lost and hang up or pick a random option, wasting their time as well as yours. Keep the list of options short (and friendly) to ensure that calls are processed quicker and guarantee a more satisfied customer.
2. Don’t make your customer repeat the same information over and over again
As a customer, you expect to have to provide information only once. Always having to repeat the same thing makes a poor impression and you feel that you are not being listened to. Ensure that you efficiently handle the information collected about a customer so that it is retained throughout their customer journey.
3. Don’t use speech recognition that fails to recognise your customer’s voice
Nothing is more frustrating than remaining calm while trying to select an option that the IVR system does not recognise. It is called speech recognition for a reason. Make sure that your system can recognise every voice.
Alongside the major advantage of being able to lead your customers to the right answer, using IVR can also eliminate a number of administrative tasks, such as contract activation, acknowledgement of receipt, and other simple confirmations. Visual IVR even goes one step further. If you ask us, this is where the future lies. Every day we work on further developing and improving technologies modelled on this concept. Just think about the integration of videos or tutorials. There are still countless solutions simplifying day-to-day communication management for both us and our customers.
Want to know more about how we can help your company to optimise your interactions with customers? Get in touch!