IVR Survey Systems: An Integral Part of a Healthy Customer Service Strategy
January 31, 2012
By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Hey, take it from Snooozy, “The biggest benefit of the IVR system is how quickly an organization can collect information from a person.”
We don’t care what online handle he or she uses, that’s pretty good advice.
Snooozy has some other tidbits for you as well, in case you were wondering just what the advantages of IVR systems might be when it comes to collecting survey information. The fact that yes, it can get a boatload of information pretty quickly is up there, but there are others.
One is that, simply, it can be a critical part of a positive customer experience, and that’s old news -- way back in 2010, TMC (News - Alert) noted a survey conducted by Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) found that “three-quarters of 4,200 respondents said they would continue to business with a company with which they had a great contact center experience.”
In fact, half of all respondents told Alcatel-Lucent they’d dropped a company based on a poor contact center experience.
First, the terms: Snooozy’s talking about the kind of voice response system where you say “Yes” if you’re a Republican or Democrat, and then you’re tracked onto that menu of questions. You don’t need to pay someone to sit there and ask “Would you identify yourself as a Republican or Democrat?” when a machine can do it.
Using a recorded script, then, the system gets the survey subjects to indicate, by voice or by pressing numbers on their phones, their responses. No, the respondent can’t ask questions of the survey, which is both good and bad. Bad in that some folks might get confused and hang up; good in that there’s less bias in answers attributable to the survey taker -- “Would you identify yourself as a Republican or Democrat?” “I’m sorry, can you clarify that?” “Do you love America and freedom or are you a Commie?” “Oh, right, option A.”
An IVR system’s good for customer service-style surveys as well, which is probably what primarily concerns us here. Snooozy estimates that a good IVR system can get substantial, actionable feedback from a customer in anywhere from two to five minutes.
At that point administrators can sift the answers to determine if anything’s particularly problematic, to the point of needing a follow-up call to save the customer relationship.
And when it comes to cost, no, these systems don’t grow on trees -- sorry, IVR inside joke there -- they do have relatively high fixed costs, but low ongoing expenses, as opposed to parking ten people in a room with ten phones. Low overhead, sure, but the hours add up.
You don’t want to rely on an IVR system for all your customer survey interactions, of course, but used correctly, it will save you money and improve your customers’ experience. And that’s what it’s all about, right?
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Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO. Follow us on Twitter.David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Rich Steeves