Top 5 Advantages of Interactive Voice Response System
Here are some key benefits of having a robust IVR system with advanced features for creating memorable experiences that customers will love.
16:57 02 May 2022
Over the years, there has been plenty of evidence showing that customers really despise the experience of phoning a contact center. Some of the common pet peeves people have with traditional Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems is about the slow response time and navigating the phone-trees.
Customers often talk about how exasperating it could be to move through painful IVR loops hoping to reach a living, breathing person on the other end of the line. And how infuriating it could be to put on hold after finally managing to make contact with a real representative. The process was neither convenient nor enjoyable, and ended up taking too longer than usual leaving the customer infuriated.
The service inconsistencies of these traditional IVR systems resulted in poor customer experience overall, forcing companies to turn to modern digital channels such as live chat and virtual assistants. Although modern channels are useful in addressing certain types of queries and requests from customers, they leave a lot to be desired when it comes to resolving problems that require extensive support.
These companies learned it the hard way that digital channels are not the be-all end-all of customer service as they were touted to be, and that voice still remains relevant in this modern era. And, with the technology evolving at a rapid rate, present day systems put forward an appealing proposition in the form of a unified communication platform, at the heart of which sits the IVR system.
An improvement on the pain points of the painful IVR experience of the past, such a system will enable them to deliver a consistent level of service across all channels and give them the flexibility to adapt to the changing expectations of the customers. These companies believe such a system will allow them to provide their customers the best of both worlds: the comfort of having a dedicated phone support along with fast service resolution that they’ve come to expect from digital channels like live chat and AI bot chats.
In this article, we’ll be going over some key benefits of having a customer service platform with robust interactive voice response system and other modern channels.
Intelligent Routing Opens up a New World of Possibilities
A sophisticated IVR system with predictive routing capabilities will help you iron out the kinks in your customer journeys. Based on previous interactions and any additional information you may have about your customer, you can put down certain criteria, such as customer status, to give them faster service. For times when the volume of incoming calls is higher than average, you can switch the calls to some of your best agents with the track record of handling calls efficiently and offering quicker resolution to queries. All this translates to reduced queue times and much-improved abandon rates and more, thereby enhancing customer experience in every way possible.
A lot can be achieved when you design your IVR system to work in tandem with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM). When connected to a CRM suite, the possibilities opened up by an intelligent IVR system boasting advanced routing capabilities become virtually limitless. Here’s a gist: customer calls can be directly forwarded to the agent they last spoke to. In addition, calls can be dynamically assigned to agents who can fluently speak in the language preferred by the customer. And for times when your team finds itself struggling with a barrage of incoming calls, you can leverage agents from a different region to help meet the additional demand, thereby significantly reducing hold times during peak hours.
Frees Up Agents in a Big Way
How your team of agents perform as a group largely depends on how well your IVR is set up to help them get through their tasks during normal business conditions and in times of distress. And automation plays a crucial role in freeing up your agent from taking calls from customers seeking basic information with regard to account status, flight tracking, checking the balance of a bank account etc.
Automating the IVR process to get the system to dole out relevant information to frequently asked questions holds the key to improved performance. Letting your self-service IVR system take care of your customers frees up agents in a big way, allowing them to cater to more customers with special requests or far more serious issues requiring a comprehensive solution. They can assist these premium customers with their queries or handle much more complex questions coming through different channels like phone calls, chat boxes etc. This is where having a modern IVR system comes in handy. The service is easily customizable and flexible to allow for easily tweaking menu options, messages during peak times and revert to normal service when the volume of calls goes down.
Provides Your Customers a Personalized Touch
Research shows that customers often feel valued and appreciated when their interactions extend beyond the run-off-the-mill “Press ‘Yes’ for English” and similar commands and veers into the conversational zone. Thankfully, today’s modern IVR systems, loaded with predictive artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities and Natural Language Understanding (NLU), offer just that. Armed with a sophisticated IVR system, your business will be able to deliver exceptional customer experiences by personalizing interactions, responding to customers a lot more proactively, and tailoring every interaction at every touch point to customer preferences.
Faster Resolution to Issues Demanding Personal Attention
Resolving issues for customers takes little time and feels a lot less cumbersome with a self-service IVR system that makes voice bots, chat agents, reusable models and back-end systems work as one using modern IVR technology. Each element in this design not just operates independently to help the customer looking for information or a quick fix, but also aids with a seamless transition to an available agent if the customer is having a hard time moving through IVR loops and the menu options. Then, necessary data along with the context from all the interaction with the customer gets passed to the agent, allowing them to have a clear view of the exact problem facing the customer. For instance, in an insurance setting, a prospect looking for a quote can be forwarded automatically to a salesperson, based on where he is currently in the sales cycle. But, if the call coming in is about an emergency, say of a customer caught in an accident, the NLU powered system can understand that the communication should be escalated to a live agent immediately.
Enhances your Customer Journey
Over the years, IVR systems, both inbound and outbound, have developed a bit of a bad rap for having complex designs that customers find hard to navigate through and frustrating. Luckily, today’s IVR systems are a class apart. They’ve simply transformed the whole customer experience, making it easier for businesses to lay out their business rules for a pleasing customer journey.
Imagine using a well-crafted self-service IVR system with clear and concise messages that your customers can follow to get their queries resolved in an efficient manner. That said, pre-recorded messages and instructions may not prove to be much of a help all the time. Whenever a customer finds it difficult to navigate customer service with a few taps, they’re presented with the choice to talk to an agent and get immediate assistance to untangle their problem. And, the best part is this design works well even in an omnichannel environment which has often proved to be a serious challenge for businesses to manage.
In the omnichannel context, a customer interacting with a voice bot on a browser could be seamlessly ported to a phone line and then assigned to the best agent for quicker resolution. All it takes is a few clicks of a button. That’s all.
Create your IVR routine just once and deploy it across all channels and touchpoints to provide your customers a robust on-demand self-service system. The perks of having such a self-service system with a fairly clean customer journey far outweigh the costs you might incur to get it up and running, but some of these benefits stand out. Done right, any business in any niche can design these systems to enhance agent productivity and boost employee morale while reducing caller frustration to a great extent. Having successfully implemented an advanced automated telephone system with modern capabilities, several businesses report that their customers eagerly look forward to contacting their support teams rather than shy away from it.
Switching to an intelligent IVR system will be your first step towards improving customer delight and employee morale. So when are you taking your first step?