According to Reuters.com,
“The Interactive Voice Response Market is expected to witness growth at a CAGR of 7% during the forecast period from 2017 to 2023. Increasingly being employed by a variety of business organisations, the global market is expected to reach an estimated value of USD 3.7 Bn by the end of 2023.”
The above forecast depicts the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems are being employed across industry verticals to boost customer relationship activities. The cloud-based technologies make it easier for enterprises to take advantage of new age IVR solutions without increasing upfront and operational cost. Many enterprises nowadays deploy IVR in the cloud to improve their customer relationships.
Unlike conventional telephone systems, IVR accepts voice inputs and supports touch-tone keypad selection. The automated telephony systems are designed with features to interact with callers, gather relevant information, and to route the calls to the right agents.
The right IVR system will help your business to improve call centre operations by making your call centre agents more productive and delivering better customer support. But your organisation cannot optimise customer experience without addressing challenges such as confusing menus or long wait time. You must implement following set of best practices to enhance your IVR system.
6 Best Practices to Enhance Your IVR System and Deliver Better Customer Service
1. Allow Callers to Use Their Preferred Communication Channels
The customers and prospects nowadays interact with businesses through multiple communication channels – voice calls, emails, text messages and faxes. But most customers look for the option to gather relevant information or solve their problems without focusing on the communication channel. You cannot determine a caller’s preferred communication channel accurately.
But you can always improve customer experience by making the IVR support multiple communication channels and allow callers to choose the channel. For instance, the IVR solution must allow callers to choose between self-help options or direct communication with a live agent. IVR should also provide a route to connect with the live agent even with self-help options.
2. Keep the Self-Service Options Easy to Remember
Many customers nowadays prefer interacting with businesses and brands without speaking with a live agent. The IVR systems enable callers to avail relevant information through various self-service options. But as these options are not visually present in front of the callers, it becomes difficult to remember all the options.
Here, you should remember that the callers may forget the options when the IVR provides them with many self-service options in one go. You need to ensure that a caller is not required to remember more than four options at a time. Also, you should keep the recorded messages crisp and clear to make it easier for the caller to remember the options.
3. Gather Relevant Customer Information
The IVR systems come with a built-in database to store a variety of customer data. Your business can take advantage of the feature to personalise and improve customer experience. When a customer interacts with your business for the first time, the IVR system must capture relevant information like name, residential address, and phone number.
The information collected during the initial interaction will enable the IVR system to deliver customer service in future directly without asking for these details. For instance, if you are running a food delivery business, the IVR system will receive orders directly without asking the customer to provide information about his/her location.
4. Keep the Customer Data Secure
The new age IVR systems help your business to collect a variety of customer data. But you cannot improve customer experience without keeping the customer data safe and secure. Many customers hesitate to share personal data with businesses due to data breach concerns. Hence, you must keep the IVR system secure to store and access customer data safely.
The cloud-based IVR systems store customer data securely by implementing data security and privacy best practices. Also, it needs to eliminate the chances of data loss by keeping an elaborate data backup and disaster recovery plan in place.
5. Integrate IVR with CMS and Other Support Channels
The cloud-based IVR solutions can be integrated seamlessly with your existing CRM and ERP systems. The integration will enable agents to access updated customer data while handling calls. They can further access the information to eliminate the need of asking callers the same question over every call.
Likewise, your organization can facilitate omni channel customer service delivery by integrating the IVR system with commonly used support channels like emails, text messages and web chats. As the new age IVR systems support multiple customer support channels, it becomes easier for you to deliver seamless customer service and support.
6. Allow Callers to Bypass the IVR System
A large percentage of callers nowadays prefer using self-service options provided by IVR systems. But many callers still prefer talking to a live agent directly and quickly. You can easily improve customer experience by allowing callers to speak with a live agent directly by skipping the self-service options.
You need to ensure that the IVR system clearly conveys the option to interact with a live agent directly. Also, it should also allow callers to communicate with a live agent while using various self-service options. For instance, the callers must have the option to talk with a live agent directly by pressing the * or # key while using the self-service options.
The cloud-based IVR systems enable your business to improve customer relationship management activities by eliminating the need for on-premise IT infrastructure. You even have the option to choose from a wide range of cloud-hosted IVR solution. But you must enhance the IVR performance to maximise agent utilisation and optimise customer experience.