Operating customer service in present scenario without interactive Voice Response (IVR) is the most amateur decision a growing company can take. Even a research by JD Power & Associates reported that IVR constitutes 27 percent of total call experience. Therefore, it is essential for every firm to implement this inevitable technology in the customer care process as it comes with multiple benefits.
Let’s first go through techniques that must be implemented by call center firms to optimize the IVR system.
Limit the Number of Options
A caller uses customer support to clarify its doubts and confusions. But an IVR menu with too many options will add more confusion among the customers.
Therefore, the number of options at each level of IVR menu should be four (five in extreme cases). There should also be an option at each level to connect with the customer support agent directly.
Avoid Disconnecting the Call of Customers
There are two types of customer service departments. First ones are those which hang out on customers if wrong options of IVR are pressed by the customers. Other ones simply transfer the call of customers to the right agents.
So, which one is right?
From customer’s point of view, second one is always the preferred one as it does not disconnect the call even after the customer gets confused. On the other hand, customers will hate to do the business with first one as it frustrating task to call again and again.
Use Simplified Language
One thing should be remembered as a thumb rule that customers don’t know technical terms and abbreviations of your company. Therefore, you should employ simple conversational language while designing menu of the IVR.
Test it with Your Employees
Ask employees to use the IVR menu designed by your company and provide the feedback for the same. They will definitely provide some useful insights on what is needed to improve the menu. Get the feedback in terms of ease of use, understanding of options and problem solution.
Remove Unnecessary Messages
Make sure to avoid messages that are not required in solving the issue of the customers. Messages like extremely long greetings, statutory messages and promotional messages etc. can irritate the customers. Therefore, make sure to get rid of them to enhance the satisfaction level of customers.
All these techniques are guaranteed improve the quality of your IVR system.
A properly designed IVR system with the use of above mentioned techniques is linked to multiple benefits for both callers and companies. Improvement in customer satisfaction is the obvious benefit linked to this technology. Let’s focus on other perks associated to it.
- Less Dependency on Agents
The reliance of call center firms on customer support agents decrease substantially if the IVR is able to solve various common issues and queries of the callers.
Let’s take an example of banking industry. The properly designed IVR system can perform multiple functions for customers like enquiry of account balance, request for check book, registration for loyalty programs or request for new ATM pin. All these and various other functions can be performed automatically through IVR which ultimately decreases the dependency on agents.
- Customer Satisfaction Surveys are Conducted Easily
Every company, which seeks loyalty of customers, knows the importance of satisfaction surveys. And use of outbound IVR can help in conducting surveys in an efficient manner. Good thing about surveys through IVR is that participation of customers is more as they don’t consider it a complicated task.
- Positive Image of the Company
By integrating a well-designed IVR system, small and medium sized companies can reflect their professionalism to the callers. The IVR system definitely magnifies the image of the companies among the callers. As a result, a trust factor is developed and more customers prefer to do business with the company.
- 24×7 Availability Round the Year
Not all customer support processes operate round the clock. Some prefer to work only for 8-9 hours per day due to budget constraints or nature of the business. But an active IVR System Operates without any break 24 hours a day for whole year ensuring that customers can resolve their basic issues even at odd hours of the day.
Therefore, companies can transform the level of their services and improve engagement of customers through this technology.