Customer experience is not just about the live agents but also your IVR technology. From redirecting your customers to the right department to enhancing self-service capabilities, the IVR application serves as a strong support system for serving and growing your customer base. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a common feature that comes tagged with your call center software.
IVR system is a crucial factor for the quality of customer service for businesses. A poorly designed IVR can lead to a negative customer experience. However, with the right IVR call center software, you can unlock new business possibilities through automation and enhanced efficiency. Let’s delve deep into the details of interactive voice response software to strengthen your IVR strategy.
What is IVR?
Interactive Voice Response software is the computerized interaction most customers hear after making the first contact with the business through phone calls. IVR phone system automates customer interaction through keypad selection or voice that directs the customer to a specific destination.
Most web-based call center software comes with an in-built IVR application while some providers offer it as an add-on feature. You can use IVR software to engage your customers while your call center software connects them to the right live agent.
Perks of IVR
IVR software comes with multiple advantages that help businesses fetch more profitability.
- Workflow automation enables businesses to handle a larger volume of calls
- Boost employee productivity by freeing up more time and effort
- Cuts down long call queues
- Reduces call abandonment rate
- Improves customer experience through call routing
Downsides of IVR: Reasons customers dislike IVR
While large organizations are investing in IVR technology, there is an adverse response to IVR application among consumers.
According to Vonage’s survey, 54% of people feel frustrated to interact with the IVR phone system. Here are some highlights of the most prominent reasons for their dislike.
- The menu does not include specific issues
- The menu is too long and leads to time waste
- Makes callers wait too long for connecting to a live agent
- Fails to recognize the voice or even keypad inputs
- The lengthy process makes callers lose patience
Today, traditional IVR software is experiencing the above-mentioned challenges. But how is the IVR technology market still growing and even expected to grow further in the upcoming years?
IVR call center software is evolving with more features such as AI integration. Moreover, consumer behavior has changed drastically in the last few years. Today, 79% of customers prefer self-service to talk to a live agent.
How to strengthen IVR strategy?
The success or failure of IVR implementation does not depend only on the IVR software but also on the IVR strategy. Here are a few tips to enhance the efficiency of your IVR phone system with minor tweaks in the IVR strategy.
- Focus on customer expectations:
IVR applications must enlist menus keeping in mind the questions customers may ask. Finding it hard to assess which questions to enlist? Run a survey among your live agents. They know best what clients ask them every day.
- Provide the option of human contact:
Don’t bore the caller with a long list of menus when they want to talk to a human. Provide the option for talking to a live agent before your caller hangs up.
- Segregate calls as per departments:
When an IVR system can anticipate the customer issue, it is essential to implement a strategy that enables it to route the call to the right department. This leads to quicker customer issue resolution adding up to customer satisfaction.
- Integrate Self-service:
Instead of making your customer go in rounds before connecting to a live agent, there’s a better way to serve them. Let your IVR guide them to solve their own problem. Yes, that’s what self-service is all about. Implement it and enjoy a more satisfied customer base.
- Adopt omnichannel communication:
Who loves repeating themselves? No one. Today, customers contact businesses through multiple channels, like social media, email, etc. Implement an IVR strategy that prevents the frustration of repeating when customers are interacting through different channels. Integrating an omnichannel approach for your IVR technology enables you to serve customers with consistent service across various channels.
5 best practices to implement for your IVR
- Identify the ‘REAL QUESTION’
Most customers detest IVR software just because it fails to understand their questions. Invest in an IVR call center software that has the capability of anticipating customer issues by detecting the real question.
- Implement Skill-based routing
Implement skilled-based routing through IVR application for improving the customer service experience. IVR software identifies the customer’s concern and directs the call to a live agent with matching skills to resolve the issue.
- Skip long introductions
Customer’s time is indeed precious so cut down the monologue of your IVR system. Use a welcome note that’s short or even better just a ‘hello’ would do. Customers appreciate it when they can get to the point directly.
- Update prompt replies
Use IVR software that allows editing and change of prompt replies. For instance, you may include “Merry Christmas” as a prompt reply during December. Check the process with your IVR software provide. Make sure that it’s an easy process so that you can make frequent changes.
- Do NOT neglect security
Customer information is often relayed through your IVR application. Therefore, it is essential to choose an IVR call center software that abides by security compliances. Also, security measures such as encryption are essential for safety.
What the future holds for IVR
The emergence of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning has revolutionized IVR technology. Consequently, conversational IVR phone systems and personalization are trending in the business communication industry. As IVR software is a crucial touchpoint for customers and businesses, it is essential to upgrade your IVR software for meeting future business needs. The transformation of IVR call center software has opened up more ways for businesses to make customers’ lives easier and improve the satisfaction rate. HoduSoft is a leading UC product manufacturer that offers advanced interactive voice response capabilities with its call center software. Explore more about HoduSoft’s call center software from their website.