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IVR Featured Article

An Effective IVR Provides Quality Customer Service

February 28, 2012

Companies today implement IVR (Interactive Voice Response) technology to take care of their customers. In today’s self-sufficient world, many businesses are simply putting together a process that enables the customer to answer their own questions over the phone with an on-demand option.

From online banking, to self-service gas to self-checkout lines, IVR is another self-service option that has the capabilities of giving customers all the tools they need to figure out the platform for themselves. However, when a customer calls a business for answers, there should be a plan in place to help them, especially if the current IVR system isn’t doing its job.

Cost cutting becomes a priority among call centers when trying to contain self-service callers in an IVR system, according to this Destination CRM report. In a world that is all about industry numbers, call centers relying on IVR can lose focus on the customer. Ignoring ways to improve quality customer service can surely drive away customers.

Poorly executed IVR systems attempt to trap callers with obstacles in an effort to keep them within the IVR. But consumers are smart and will find a way out of the system, or simply hang up. Containment has always provided a way of measuring the success of such applications like voice, but this tool can be pretty short sighted.

In order to keep the focus on resolution and customer service, businesses and consumers should approach IVR containment from that angle. Voice applications are easily transitioned for the purpose of callers and are easier to use for resolutions.

There are many methods out there to gauge how your customer perceives their experience with your company. Net Promoter Score is a well-known tool used to measure the overall customer experience and has grown to be a highly recognized customer service outlet by J.D. Power and Associates.

While this offers a comparative assessment of how an organization compares within its industry, it isn’t the best way to accumulate data. A metric solution used to measure the success of an IVR would be a much more useful tool.

Customer Effort Score is a strongly recommended metric. This system is simple because it measures the caller’s perception on how they navigated the system. By assessing how much effort was involved to successfully get the answers they needed in the IVR, a company can easily determine if changes need to be made.

Broader measures aren’t the best at predicting future behavior on an individual service interaction level. CES (News - Alert) has the capabilities to do this as random as possible, with no self-selected sampling. Surveys need to be done right away and cover the entire IVR experience to obtain the most accurate results possible.

The information collected from these surveys also needs to be used for cross-referencing to call recordings and any other call-related information. This will help exemplify a broader rating for customer satisfaction, providing a true picture of the customer experience to evaluate potential improvements.

Edited by Tammy Wolf


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