That is not correct, despite the expanse of IVR and its history, very less thought is put into the structure and flow of IVRs and it is still not utilized to its full potential. In fact, a study recently found that 32% of the respondents found telephony and IVR to be the most frustrating way to engage with customer service.
So here are seven useful tips from our experts on improving your IVR metrics and delivering a better telephony experience.
1. Personalise as much as possible for IVR
You know your customers pretty well — so why treat every call as if it is the first time you have met? A little personalization across every customer service channel will go a long way, whether it is simply greeting a customer by name or thanking them for their continued patronage. Confirm details like name, contact number, dates etc from customers instead of asking it from them.
Personalization can go further, the IVRs from C-Zentrix understand if the incoming call is from a first time caller or from a repeat customer. If the call is from a repeat customer, the IVR can be trained to relay information from the previous interaction or action that the customer may have taken. Example – For an incoming call CZ IVR identifies a caller from their number and the CZ Helpdesk integration gives it the information that the caller has recently placed an order with its delivery details. Now, CZ IVR can greet the caller by their name and relay the order status as soon as the call connects and may take input if the call was for another reason. Many industries like Airlines, E-Commerce etc have started using this feature.
2. The Business Intent should not be to hide agents
Don’t make it difficult or impossible for callers to get to an agent. Your purpose for adopting an IVR should not be to stop calls for agents or make them highly specialised. The purpose for modern IVR implementation is to facilitate the growing need of self service.
Gartner predicts that by 2020 a customer will manage 85% of the relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human (Source: https://gtnr.it/2E9WNZW), so make sure to give your customers the direction and tools they need to accomplish their tasks themselves. Our next tip is to help you up your self service game with IVRs.
3. Adopt conversational with IVR
Our experts suggest to augment the traditional touch tone IVRs with speech IVR and specially an IVR that goes beyond recognising words to understanding the intent.
Traditionally the DTMF IVRs have restricted categorization and information transfer, but with the latest speech based IVRs, callers can speak out their requirement and the IVR not just recognizes their words but also understands the intent to decide the caller’s flow through the system.
4. Make things visual
In a recent survey by Gartner it was found that more than 65% of customers aged 18-44 use mobile to seek for service more than once a month. Another survey found that 57.8 percent of the respondents said that they would rather see the IVR options than hear. With these facts, it is clear where the investments in CX should be going next.
A visual IVR converts the regular IVR prompts and options in to an easy to use web page interface, the link of which can be shared with the caller over SMS. The magic it does for businesses is that it makes lengthy IVR flows and multi-level menus less tedious and give callers an option to go back in the menu if they forget something. With C-Zentrix’s visual IVR, customers can also raise a ticket for their issue.
5. Don’t keep your Customer Waiting
Time is precious and you cannot expect your customers to be on the call for long or go through the entire IVR flow. Help your customers speed up the service process by allowing them to request a call back. The call back facility in CZ IVR works by providing a menu option that a caller can select to request a call back. The request is updated in the agent’s dial list and is dialed out on priority.
6. Analyse, IVR data can provide you the Insights
Poor IVR performance may be increasing your operations costs and frustrating the callers by confusing prompts, difficult to find options or long wait times are some issues that become more difficult to support in the customer experience delivery process if not solved quickly. The best way to have a better future is to capture trends in your historical reporting and have a solid understanding of how to use the information to adjust processes before a trend can hurt your business. For example, the concentration of traffic at each node and the drop-off is a great resource to find out if your IVR need to be re-designed.
7. Measure your ROI with IVR for Task Completion Rate (TCR)
Putting money in an IVR tool is a significant investment, making it imperative to measure the ROI. Our experts suggest that one of the most accurate ways to measure IVR performance is TCR or Task Completion Rate.
It is important to understand that the goal with which a caller calls a business may not always complete on the same channel. Each channel plays a specific in the completion of the goal. These goals can then be converted into tasks and sub-tasks.
- A task encompasses a customer interaction, from identification of the customer’s intent to a final outcome. The final outcome may be a hang-up (due to completion in a fully automated environment) or a transfer to an agent for additional assistance. Tasks are often unique to a particular industry and roll up to a related goal. For example, to accomplish the goal of booking a flight, the related travel industry tasks might be checking mileage balances, booking a new reservation, or modifying an existing reservation.
- Sub-tasks divide tasks into commonly repeated dialogs, such as login, authentication, main menu selection, and yes/no confirmation etc.
A business should measure these tasks and sub-task completions to ascertain IVR performance and ROI generated.
One of the challenges in measuring and improving IVR performance comes in not knowing where to focus development efforts. Investment in each component of the IVR promises qualitative improvement, but businesses lack a way to identify which component will yield the greatest improvement: voice user interface (VUI) design, speech grammars, audio quality, speech recognition technology, network quality, personalization, or integration with other channels.
Therefore, improving IVR flow to optimize performance should be an ongoing task with continuous developments.