Companies that are looking to transform their contact centers into hubs of customer engagement need to listen closely to what customers are saying – and how they are saying it. When a customer is faced with an IVR system, he or she can react to an open-ended prompt in any number of ways. Some customers are more comfortable with these systems than others, and of course customers have a wide variety of personalities as well. Contact center transformation expert West Interactive (News - Alert) identifies four different types of responses to IVR prompts and suggests ways to deal with those customers.
First of all, some people will just be confused and perplexed. They might not realize that they are talking to a machine, or they might not have been paying attention to the script. These customers are likely to give a response like “I don’t know,” and it is important to direct these customers into a more specific environment with more concrete choices.
The second type of customer personality outlined in West’s blog is the overly detailed caller. These customers give responses that can be sentences long and crammed full of specific details. In this case, it’s important to make sure your system can pick out the key words that will route the call to the proper location. It’s a good idea to ask the customer to confirm the computer’s decision so as to avoid confusion.
Some callers deal with IVR on a regular basis, and can handle your system the way an experienced traveler navigates the security checkpoints at the airport. These customers are easy for the system to handle, but it’s important not to assume that all callers will be adroit with their IVR navigation. Don’t let the other callers suffer because your system has evolved to deal with experienced callers.
Finally, there are some people who simply don’t want to play ball. They don’t want to deal with a computer system, preferring to talk to a live person instead. These people may never be comfortable with IVR no matter how they evolve, but West recommends trying to keep them in the system as long as possible so they have the chance to adapt.
Dealing with a variety of personalities is a huge part of customer service, so keep these personality types in mind when making your contact center transformation decisions.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein