Top 5 Uses for IVR (that customers love)

Spoken | August 9, 2016

Man on phone happy This week’s top five links is a little different. We talk a lot about IVR (Interactive Voice Response) usage here and about how customer cries against IVR tend to be against badly-designed IVRs, not IVR in general. IVR is like most customer service: when it works well, you don’t really notice it. But when it works badly, it feels like your fingernails are being ripped out. Slowly.

Lately, quite a few organizations have done studies to determine the best uses for IVR. And time after time, studies show that well-designed IVRs that actually do what they intend to do, easily and effectively, are beloved by customers, not reviled. It’s the call trees with eight menu options, the speech recognition systems that condescend to tell you, “I’m sorry; I didn’t understand that” and the systems that take longer to complete a simple task with an agent than if the IVR had simply worked correctly to begin with that rouse customer ire.

That being said, it’s all about the customer experience. What proof do we have that IVR (a well-designed IVR, that is) actually improves the customer experience?

  • Well, there’s the fact that a study shows that customers prefer automated solutions for simple or routine tasks, such prescriptions refills, checking flight status and tracking checking balance.
  • Customers also prefer IVRs for polls and surveys, office call routing, selective information lookup and call center forwarding
  • Tips for a good IVR design that customers will respond to, including language caliber, artificial intelligence and dynamic design  [Edited 7-14-11 — link no longer active]
  • And don’t underestimate the importance of choosing the right voice for your IVR system
  • And always keep in mind that we live in a multichannel world in which customers will use three or more channels to get their issues solved, and the IVR experience should be consistent with the chat and email experiences

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