You’d be hard-pressed to find a consumer who doesn’t become flustered by a poorly designed interactive voice response (IVR) system. In fact, 42 percent of consumers polled in a recent survey said they’d take their business elsewhere after a frustrating experience with an IVR. And, with 48% of respondents in agreement that the telephone is their preferred method for contacting businesses for the first time, initial impressions over the phone are crucial.
Many contact centers, however, don’t thoroughly vet their IVR systems before putting them into action. In fact, unfortunately, for many organizations, the IVR is an afterthought, something constructed in a few days and never revisited, even as the organization grows and changes. And this is a fatal flaw when the IVR is often your customers’ first point of contact in their customer experience. If callers are asked to repeat their responses or if they aren’t offered personalized choices, they’re bound to become confused or annoyed.
And what's worse, they begin hitting zero in the desperate hope to get to agent faster--which, ironically, makes the interaction longer (due to misrouting) and even less satisfactory. In short, if your IVR is forcing your customers to opt out, your customer satisfaction scores will be directly affected.
Indeed, 77% of customers rank bad IVRs as the top contributor to a negative brand experience. And if you don’t employ technology that enables you to gain important metrics about your IVR system, you risk aggravating more than three-quarters of your customer base with your telephony services.
To reverse any possible harm being caused by your IVR, consider investing in innovative technology that affords end-to-end call recording, speech recognition and security, helping you to ensure that your consumers experience the most reliable and accommodating customer service.
Let’s have a deeper look at these innovative technologies that can help you create more positive customers interactions with your auto attendant and your brand:
- Call recording: Ensure your contact center software provider includes cradle-to-grave recording so that you can access your customers’ real-time interactions.This way, you can glean important insights about the efficiency of your IVR and engage in a practice of continual testing and improvement.
- Speech recognition: Choose a provider that utilizes grammar-based speech recognition compatible with a range of languages. This feature will boast increased convenience for your consumers as the IVR will recognize their language and respond accordingly. Even better, seek a provider that offers human-assisted speech recognition to improve completion rates and avoid the can-you-repeat-that cycle.
- Security: In addition to an efficient IVR, make certain your consumers feel safe in your hands. That is, ensure your IVR software provider complies with PCI regulations when obtaining consumer data—such as credit card information. Your IVR should be able to collect sensitive consumer data without the call center agent hearing, or gaining access to, it.
If you haven't reviewed your IVR lately, give it a call. Can you get to the right queue quickly and intuitively? Did you have to repeat yourself? Were you routed correctly the first time without transfers? If not, consider refreshing your IVR with speech recognition, human-assisted speech recognition or extra security measures.