Interactive Voice Response, or IVR, is an automated business phone system feature that interacts with callers and gathers information by giving them choices via a menu. Callers have the ability to enter responses using the keypad on their phone to either manage the task they are trying to accomplish, or to direct them to the proper agent. You’ve likely interacted with IVR technology when you've called your bank, booked a flight, or made a reservation and were asked by a friendly, automated voice to press 1 for X, 2 for Y, or 3 to speak with a representative.
IVRs are fundamental pieces of technology in contact centers. In fact, according to this survey, 86.1% of contact centers had reportedly installed an IVR system by 2018. So, what is the magic behind IVR technology and why are so many companies utilizing the technology to improve their business? Check out these four reasons IVRs are an integral part of the contact center.
1. IVRs Simplify Call Routing
A robust IVR system with routing rules implemented in the customer journey design phase can actually reduce customer and agent frustration, and improve average handle time (AHT) by routing callers to the appropriate department or agent. This helps to ensure the customer is connected to the most-qualified specialist and receives personalized service in a timely fashion. This is only the case, of course, if contact centers can ensure that the customer journeys they’ve designed are working properly, which requires rigorous and continuous IVR testing to ensure quality customer experiences.
2. IVRs Help Measure Customer Satisfaction
Telling agents to ask customers to rate their service on a scale of one to ten may sound good in theory, but it can end in inaccurate results. Instead, at the end of a transaction with an agent, sending callers through an IVR for a post-call survey can help organizations better understand metrics, like customer satisfaction (CSAT).
3. IVRs Facilitate Time-Saving Self-Service
Allowing callers to choose the kind of help they want via an IVR can help organizations save resources. A caller may find it easier to self-serve for quick inquires such as account balance, store hours, or order status updates. Performing these tasks through the IVR allows callers to quickly get the information they need without ever needing to speak with an agent. This translates to cost-savings by reducing the number of agents a call center needs.
4. IVRs Reduce Call Transfers
No one likes to be put on hold — especially customers looking to get their question answered or issue resolved. IVR technology can be used as a method to prequalify callers and connect them with the right agent, the first time. Using an IVR greatly reduces the possibility of callers being transferred to multiple agents, which will likely only add to their frustration.
To get the most out of IVR technology and take advantage of these benefits, it’s imperative that contact centers continually test and monitor the performance of IVR systems to ensure the designed customer journeys are hitting the mark and performing as intended. This is especially important when new steps, options, or elements are added and deployed.
Need help with IVR testing? Cyara’s automated CX assurance platform can help you test every customer journeys with our IVR testing and monitoring services.