Visual IVR: Press 1 to Annoy Your Customers Before Even Speaking to Them

According to a study by New York University, only 15% of customers feel that they, as customers, receive any benefit whatsoever from IVR systems.

That’s a whopping 85% who (presumably) feel it either has no effect or – more likely – a negative effect on their customer experience.

Customers struggle to see benefits of IVR

Let’s be honest here – why wouldn’t they feel that way? Many IVRs have serious limitations: endless menu trees, confusing options, error prone voice recognition, and a very limited ability to collect information. What’s more, if a customer dials your number, it’s probably because they actually want to speak to somebody!

Open all hours demands

And yet, with a growing resource crisis in call centers, open-all-hours business demands, data protection requirements, and the ever-increasing use of mobile technology making telephony the natural choice for many customers, the chances are that the use of IVR is on the rise.

So how can you handle more inquiries through the IVR without really, really irritating your customers? The neat solution is to make your IVR visual, by leveraging the technology which your customers already hold in their hands. Read more about the benefits of Visual IVR

IVR black hole loop

The main reason for customer frustration with IVR is the disconnect: not just the lack of being able to talk to somebody directly, but the absence of personalization, as often the categories offered just don’t fit their own circumstances, and there’s no mechanism for the caller to correct this or take control of the call.

Motivated customers go round the IVR loops again and again, listening carefully, even taking notes, waiting to hear any option that fits their need, only to give up eventually – or even worse, to wait on hold to speak to an operator who tells them they’ve come through to the wrong department and who then hangs up on them whilst trying to transfer their call!

This really is IVR hell. You’re in the dark, with no control, uncertain of your fate for what seems an eternity.

Now you can visually navigate IVR

Visual IVR is a way to put the customer in control, using technology they are already familiar with. A visual interface can support the existing IVR, showing menus on a tablet or smartphone screen, allowing the customer to verify their choices and go back to correct any errors. Increased use of smartphones and tablets for accessing customer care services allows you to eliminate some of the major obstacles to IVR acceptance. Customers are able to see potential IVR routes, and steer their call without having to memorize or jot down their choices. This not only applies to customers on the move, but will also be true of the growing number of callers using smart devices from their home or office, as seems to be the current trend.

To find out more on how Visual IVR can improve the customer relationship, click here

Personalize your offer

Adding a presentation layer on a smart device also allows you to personalise IVR sessions in the same way as online retail and services companies personalise their offers. To promote the acceptance and adoption of IVR, you can create a ‘smart IVR’ that will be able to learn from customer choices, provide shortcuts, and move more commonly selected options to the top of the menu as it learns a specific customer’s preferences. And as an added bonus, those email addresses or account details which were impossible to enter via touchtone, can now be typed on the keyboard!

How Eckoh can help

Eckoh is a leading authority on the integration of Visual IVR services in the contact center. We offer advice, technology and custom development to help you handle your customers in a way, which suits them, and suits your business.


To find out more on how Eckoh can help with Visual IVR contact us

By: Tony Porter, Head of Global Marketing
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Posted by eckoh at 4:15 PM on Mar 30, 2015


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