Using IVR Systems to Boost Self-service Offerings
June 13, 2012
By Juliana Kenny
, TMCnet Managing Editor
Attention to customer service cannot be ignored in this day and age where customers learn about brands through portals that did not exist 10 years ago. The proliferation of social networks has necessitated the attention of businesses to the conversations that are happening amongst customers “offline,” meaning not between the agent and the customer. The bottom line of the evolution of the social customer is that businesses have to explore what technology is available to them in order to improve the overall customer experience. One of those tools is the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system.
If you’re a player in the self-service industry, the IVR system can be your boon or your bane. Customers typically despise IVR systems; they see them as ways for businesses to reroute the customer’s needs to a machine, which in turn makes them feel undervalued. But there are concrete approaches businesses can take with their IVR platforms that benefit both customer and organization.
A recent Alister & Paine piece mentions, “Most people can’t retain in memory more than 30 seconds of information at a time, so an IVR with more than thirty seconds of options or information is just going to confuse customers.” So build some escape routes into your IVR system. Make the customer feel as though he or she has the option of speaking to a live agent.
Interact Inc. provides IVR solutions that allow for this kind of flexibility on the platform level. With the option for on-premise or hosted solutions, organizations can build out IVR systems that enable them to customize for their customer bases. Service creation tools give businesses looking to deploy quality IVR systems the ability to decide how their systems will operate on the customer-facing front.
One of the important points the Alister & Paine writer states is that “self-service should be a choice for your customers—not a requirement.” Customers want to have the swiftest possible conclusion to their issues with a business just as the business does. Deploying an IVR system that is able to process a customer request with as few steps as possible, while making the customer feel valued, will result in a positive customer experience and a return on investment.
Edited by Brooke Neuman