Every so often, a rock band enjoys a massive comeback. They reinvent themselves — and success follows. The same could be true for your IVR ... if you show it some love.
In today's world of dazzling new mobile apps, popular social media channels and Web Chat, it's easy for your Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system to get neglected.
Sometimes seen as a 'yesterday's tech', an IVR can be left to mumble away in the background. It can slip into the backwaters ... like a faded country singer, reduced to playing deserted bars at lunchtimes.
As long as it stays out of trouble, things will be OK. But even though they may not be getting so much 'air time' in boardrooms, IVRs can still have a profound influence on customer experience and satisfaction.
The penalty for turning in a bad performance is deadly. It's reckoned that 86% of customers are likely to stop spending money with companies because of a bad experience*.
All of this suggests that IVRs still have huge influence. But they need to keep pace with today's demanding audiences and their changing, soaring expectations. And that means reinvention.
Reborn in the USA ... or wherever you are
If you decide to overhaul your IVR, there are the obvious questions to consider: Does your IVR reflect your services — as they stand today?Can menus be shortened?Do customers sometimes get trapped in 'IVR jail'? All of this is helpful, but don't be content with a mere makeover. Recent innovations in IVR technology can change consumer reactions radically for the better — and propel your business forwards rather than hold it back.
Five ways you can dramatically improve your IVR by showing it some love
#1: Handle caller verification in seconds. Like having to sit through a dreadful warm-up act, lengthy caller identification is something people have learned to endure. However, you can remove this hurdle for your customers with ultra-fast automated caller authentication that will also save valuable time for your agents.
#2: Remove long phone menus ... forever. Do your customers get sick of endless options? With our Natural Speech Recognition technology, they can take control of their interactions, avoid frustration and get to the right place in seconds by simply saying exactly what they want and getting a result in moments.
#3: Allow callers to self-serve, visually. Many callers have smartphones, so why not give them the choice of selecting options on-screen while still interacting with your IVR? That way, they can see information on everything from order tracking to network coverage and bill details. Some information works so much better visually. Visual IVR makes this possible. #4: Satisfy people's thirst for information You don't have to limit the information your IVR can provide simply to prevent menus from getting too long. Vast amounts of basic information about your products and services can be made available easily, 24/7, with general enquiries enhancements for your IVR.
#5 Be radical: Get outside help It's possible to decrease customer wait times, boost satisfaction and save money at the same time. Find a partner with the experience and best practice know-how to help you with design and enable you to keep your IVR fresh and in touch with customers, using whatever new tools come along. It's crunch time for the IVR Despite the growth of digital channels, speaking over the phone is still the first choice for most consumers, especially for urgent, important conversations.
On average, 90 per cent of inbound communications today are still received as voice, email or IVR. So if it’s important to your customers – and you want to keep them happy, how much love are you showing it today? Re-inventing your IVR doesn't mean you got it all wrong before — it just means you've moved with the times.
Discover more — try advanced IVR for yourself Vue cinemas has been pioneering smarter IVR, which can anticipate and answer questions in an intelligent and diverse way - read the eGuide to Self-Service to find out more.
Sources: *Harris Interactive ** Real Business
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