February 22, 2012
Improving Your Customers' IVR Experience with Personalization
By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor
The thing about Interactive Voice Response is that while, yes, it does save businesses a lot of time and money, it also saves the customers time too, when used correctly. Frankly this reporter prefers automated interactions when it’s simple information that’s needed.
But too many IVR systems are one size fits all, instead of having the capability to tailor to the customer. That’s the contention of IVR industry insider Jason Andersson, who wrote recently that it’s highly possible “self-service applications, such as Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solutions are looking at a slow painful death because of lack of innovation.”
Take grocery shopping. Wouldn’t it be nice, Andersson says, if you could walk into a grocery store arranged for you to fast-track your trip, with all the things you normally buy in the same place up front? Sure if you have the time go get an exotic mustard for a special dinner, but the bread, milk, beer, all that’s up front, easy to get.
Obviously grocery stores can’t do that -- but IVR can, Andersson maintains, offering what he calls a “dynamic customer experience.”
There are customers who call IVR systems so often they know all the prompts by heart, and are sitting there twiddling their thumbs while they wait for menus to be read out so they can make the choices they know they want to make anyway. Friends, we have the technology, the capability, to recognize such customers when they call, and say oh hi, Bert, you again -- the usual? And Bert hits one button and he’s taken on his most commonly-used path. He can opt out at any time, of course, but he saves a lot of time when he wants to.
Andersson calls such a process “co-creating self-service solutions with customers.” It can be a value-add, keeping your customers in your fan base. Look you can copy what everybody else is doing under the mentality of “At least I’m not worse than they are.”
No, but why not give yourself an advantage they don’t have? A personalized, streamlined IVR experience is a great, low-cost way to get an edge over your competition.
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 Juliana Kenny
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