When you get an automated outbound IVR voice notification call, alerting you to an issue like a flight delay or utility outage do you find the experience different – than if you called the same firm and interacted with its inbound system – and sufficiently so to be annoying? Or when you respond to such a notification finding yourself stuck in an endless queue? (So much for urgency…)
If so you’re probably not alone. Over the course of a relationship with a business – such as bank, a credit card company, a pharmacy or a utility – consumers (and we are all consumers) frequently have to contend with disparate experiences and uncoordinated treatment. The inbound and outbound experiences are branded differently, use different terminology and do not appear to be aware of the other. For us consumers this leads to confusion – and more time spent on the phone trying to manage our accounts – which in turn drives up organizations’ costs and forcing them to either cut back services or raise prices.
Nuance has come up with Nuance (News - Alert) Complete Care, an integrated inbound/outbound, speech-rec-enabled multi-channel solution that can literally provide the answer. Available on-premises or hosted it intuitively integrates these channels for arguably smarter (and more successful) automated interactions, resulting in fewer calls to live agents and lowered costs while satisfying customers:
* Inbound IVR applications are linked with outbound voice notifications. Typical outbound notifications are just that – notifications. They are unconnected to other self-service interactions and do not allow callers to do anything with the information they are provided, like change the appointment or pay the bill they are getting a reminder for
* Inbound IVR applications with outbound voice, SMS or e-mail. When the caller is in the IVR, Complete Care solutions offer an outbound notification as a follow up with relevant information via the channel of choice. One such example is a Claims Status management solution offers to sign you up for a notification when the status of your claim is available so that you do not have to keep calling back
* Outbound SMS or e-mail with Web. Outbound SMS and e-mails can link to Web applications to facilitate additional customer transactions
Unlike traditional customer care solutions that simply notify callers or direct them toward lengthy IVR menus, Nuance Complete Care engages customers i.e. us by offering logical choices relevant to their/our initial interactions. For example, if a customer is calling the inbound IVR for the status of a health insurance claim that is still in process, Nuance Complete Care might suggest and initiate a claims status proactive notification when the claim has been processed. Or after initiating an outbound payment reminder, it asks the caller if they would like to pay now using the checking account on file.
For some solutions, a notification will prompt a need to talk to a live agent, specifically, if a claim was denied; experience shows that callers want explanations from persons rather than from the automated systems. In the case where a firm knows a caller will likely want to connect to an agent after getting their information, it will use business rules to time the delivery of those notifications when agents are available to field questions. This avoids sending notifications during peak call times and tossing the customers into the infamous and aggravating “eternity queues”.
Companies have long realized that providing a coherent, intuitive customer experience across service channels is a competitive differentiator, and that poor service experiences are a key driver of customer disloyalty, reports Nuance. Nuance Complete Care it says enables businesses to manage the long-term customer conversation over the multiple touch points that occur throughout the customer lifecycle – whether the interaction is initiated by the company or the consumer.
“While traditionally, businesses have focused on serving their customers well within a single channel such as inbound IVR, with Nuance Complete Care we are taking it a step further by offering a business solution that exploits multiple channels to better manage relationships over the entire customer lifecycle,” said Dan Faulkner, vice president of products and marketing, Nuance Communications (News - Alert). “How does each customer want to interact with us? How can we better serve that individual? When it comes to addressing account questions, should it matter who initiated the conversation? Answering these types of questions has contributed to a solution that we believe will be welcomed by consumers who crave more personalized, flexible customer service.”
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.
Brendan B. Read is TMCnet’s Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell