Interactive voice response systems continue to see increased usage and are more popular than ever before, with the global market on track to reach a value of $5.5 billion by 2023. But while the use of this technology is intended to increase call center efficiency and lower costs, poor deployment can backfire in decreased customer service satisfaction.
In fact, call center satisfaction rates plunged to their lowest level in nine years in 2016, according to CFI Group, with dissatisfaction with IVR systems identified as one of the chief culprits. One mistake companies are making is using IVR systems exclusively to offer phone self-service support options, without taking into account many customers have already tried to get their issues addressed through online automated options, leaving them frustrated and wanting to speak with a live agent.
Fortunately, there’s a smarter way to deploy IVR technology. For example, cloud contact center provider Aspect has developed an innovative approach toward deploying IVR systems that incorporate the technology into a comprehensive, step-by-step solution for better customer care. Here’s how Aspect’s IVR strategy can help your business improve its call center efficiency, boost customer satisfaction rates, and retain more customers.
Personalize Your Customer Service
Aspect’s seven-step approach to IVR is best represented through its IVR innovation wheel, with the first three steps geared toward making better use of digital data to better customize and personalize consumers’ experience with IVR systems.
For instance, if a support request is first addressed via live chat and then moves to the phone, call center reps who are handling the phone end of the conversation should have access to information previously discussed through live chat. This avoids frustrating the customer by asking them to repeat information they already explained to another rep. It also improves call center efficiency by reducing response and resolution time.
Another way preserving customer interactions and data can better personalize the overall support experience is by selecting a contact center platform that allows you to predict the caller’s intent. For example, if a customer recently placed an order and hasn’t received it, odds are they may be calling your support line to inquire about its delivery status. Thus, having an IVR system that can access customer account data immediately when a support call is placed can present the customer with relevant menu options, rather than make them jump through hoops to get their issue rectified.
Finally, a third way to better personalize your IVR system is by selecting a platform that adapts to the caller’s experience when using the system. For instance, allowing callers to skip unnecessary menu options can speed up their call and provide a better overall support experience — and without them deciding to cancel an order or service.
Proactively Address Customer Concerns
It’s no secret using an IVR system to maintain customer information and data enables you to better anticipate their concerns. But the next step is to use this information proactively, including setting up automated reminders related to any upcoming appointments.
For example, to better serve patients and reduce wait times, St. Joseph’s Health Care London has rolled out automated phone reminders to all patients scheduled for a diagnostic imaging appointment at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Parkwood Hospital in London, Ontario. Much like St. Joseph’s automated system, your company can send out automated prompts to serve as payment reminders and announce changes in hours of operation.
Offer User-Friendly Digital Service Options
Yet another way to make your IVR system more user-friendly is by tapping into the capabilities of today’s smartphones to integrate voice communication and text messages. For example, converting text to IVR (Text2IVR) can make it easier for customers to enter account numbers.
Additionally, Text2IVR can reduce interaction times with live agents by an average of several minutes per call, while providing a 60 percent to 70 percent cost savings on each subsequent avoided call, according to Aspect. Your company can also make it easier for customers to see and use IVR navigation prompts by displaying them visually on their smartphone screen.
Reduce Customer Wait Time
Ultimately, the IVR innovation wheel’s strategies are all geared toward decreasing customer wait time. You can also save customers time by offering options to request a callback or use mobile self-service instead of waiting. Support tickets that are successfully resolved through self-service can then be taken out of your queue, saving your support staff time and cutting your labor costs. By deploying an IVR system to save your customers time, you can increase satisfaction and retention rates, while boosting repeat business and referrals.