If done correctly, technology can greatly benefit contact centre service providers, their clients and their customers. Efforts to streamline processes and create cost efficiencies, however, should never be to the detriment of customer experience.
IVR processes have achieved notoriety for flouting this simple rule. Many of us have had poor experiences being bounced around a seemingly bottomless telephony system; ultimately left rudderless and desperately stabbing the ‘return to main menu’ option with a shaking finger.
There are times, of course, where IVR achieves its goals and the customer journey is improved by clear, succinct sign-posting. And there are some businesses, whose sheer scope would be untenable without IVR assistance. We look at making it work for your business and customers.
Getting IVR Right
- One easy instruction, or signpost is fine. This works brilliantly with triaging call types; “press one for product enquiries, two for sales” – or similar. Lengthy lists of menu options, voice prompts that are hard to understand and warren-like routings, are not.
- IVR should only be used if it is appropriate to the expectations of the customer at the stage in the buying process they are at. If the caller requires consultative support then recorded instruction is not going to cut it.
- Queries and commands must be very clear and voice recognition software extremely accurate. Sending your customers to the wrong department, or indeed around in circles, is not your goal.
- Where possible, have a contingency route leading to a live agent. The soothing balm of a competent representative from your company should keep any fraying tempers in check.
- If your customer service lines can’t be manned in-house 24/7, consider outsourcing. Customers should never get an answer phone message in this era of brand accessibility.
Pay careful consideration to your customer journey then design and adapt your processes to enhance it and you should be on to a winner. And if you find yourselves stuck, give us a shout; swift access to an agent, guaranteed.