Best Practices for Designing a Modern IVR


Unknown.jpgAre you showing your phone channel and IVR enough love? Maybe you are concentrating more on improving or adding digital channels. This is the “digital age,” right? Or, maybe you are trying to improve agent performance. These are good investments, but most of the time your customers may be using another channel to contact you — the phone. Are you investing there?

You might be surprised to know that just 11% of respondents in an Ovum survey on customer service published in August 2015 said they successfully resolved their issues on a website and 5% via social media. This, compared with 75% who successfully resolved their issues over the phone, which shows how superior phone support is to alternatives. Although data may vary depending on the survey you are looking at, this survey indicates that you may need to give your phone channel and IVR interactions more attention.

Is your neglect showing?

This Ovum research also showed that 43% of customers who were surveyed about their customer service frustrations say the IVR is the biggest issue. Not a surprise, right? Five of the top six frustrations had to do with a poorly designed IVR: difficulty reaching a representative, being transferred, taking too long to find an answer, and having to repeat information. You’ve probably heard these same complaints from your customers.

IVR Best Practices

How do you fix these pain points? Aphrodite Brinsmead, Senior Analyst of Customer Engagement at Ovum says, “There’s a disconnect between where customers go to resolve their issues and the lack of investment in the phone channel.” She recently wrote a white paper, Best Practices for Deploying a Modern, Predictive IVR System, which suggests these best practices for designing a modern IVR:

  • Integrate your IVR – Today’s customer journeys are omnichannel. Your customers change channels all the time, and interact on multiple channels, sometimes simultaneously.
  • Capitalize on mobile capabilities – You can get location information and visual options directly from the IVR before the interaction reaches the agent. Use this information to provide a more personalized customer experience.
  • Simplify self-service options – Are your IVR menus too long and confusing? You can revamp them to streamline interactions for your customers.
  • Take advantage of more data – You can integrate the IVR with a CRM and/or other databases to personalize your CX. With this data, you can become more predictive and proactive in your customer interactions.
  • Continuously improve your strategy – Your business isn’t static, so your IVR and CX strategies shouldn’t be either. Continuously improve and optimize the customer experience.

There’s a two-fold message here. There’s no doubt that this is the digital age. Digital will continue to grow in popularity, and it’s important for you to develop these channels. But, the research shows that a majority of your customers still prefer well-designed self-service IVR options. Be sure you are not neglecting your IVR in your omnichannel customer experience strategy.

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