The Peanut Butter and Jelly of CRM: The IVR System and Self-Service
October 28, 2011
By Juliana Kenny, TMCnet Managing Editor
Certain things just go together. Coffee and doughnuts. Sunday and football. Laverne and Shirley. Pizza and beer. IVR and self service.
Think of self service as the peanut butter, IVR as the jelly, and your company’s customer relationship strategy as the bread. It’s the classic CRM sandwich.
Now that I’ve got your attention, and your 4 p.m. hunger pangs, let’s get serious. Self service almost can’t exist without IVR. A recent article by Geraint Chamberlain, head of consultancy at Target (News - Alert) Group, expounded upon the rapidly growing prevalence of self service, and the risks that arise when dealing with the increased need for investment in self service software.
Customers are interacting with self service portals on a daily basis, whether they realize it or not, and Chamberlain maintains, “Self service channels must portray corporate brand values whilst also being intuitive to use. After all, the main driver behind a self service strategy should be less about cost reduction and more about increased customer value and service and appropriate channel selection is integral to this. By providing self service capabilities, experienced staff can be released to perform higher value activities.”
Sounds like a win, win, right? The business’ staff has more time to handle more customers, and the customers are properly handled, in turn. But Chamberlain warns against jumping onto the self service wagon too quickly, “Many existing legacy systems are not designed to accommodate self service and will require significant additional investment to expose individual services that can be made available to customers via the web and other channels. Likewise, self service channels will require operating staff with additional skill sets in order to efficiently guide customers and provide assistance through the process.”
So, there are some considerations. IVR systems can assist with most of them. The leaders over at Interact, Inc., provide globally-recognized IVR services, and noted recently that IVR applications can be used to enhance the customers’ ability to acquire information and transact quickly through an intuitive service to influence their end choices.
Interact can provide completely customized IVR applications for any organization for self service, as well as take those applications across multiple touch points, (i.e. IVR, web, Smartphone app, etc.) With capabilities such as these, your CRM solutions can be replete with the best practices for providing optimal customer experiences.
Juliana Kenny graduated from the University of Connecticut with a double degree in English and French. After managing a small company for two years, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web Editor for TMCnet. Juliana currently focuses on the call center and CRM industries, but she also writes about cloud telephony and network gear including softswitches.
Edited by Juliana Kenny