I can’t believe I never knew this. You’d think you would’ve known this too, seeing how almost every human has met their unfortunate demise as associated with an unconventional IVR system. It turns out, every time a caller presses zero or requests a live agent, they knock down that organization’s bottom line further and further. But, it’s not the customer’s fault if the IVR is of no help; sometimes, we find ourselves inevitably stuck on this merry-go-round of repeated questions, dial-pad options and increasing frustrations. It’s time for a revolutionary change to take place that puts IVR solutions directly in the hands of the customer as strategically designed by business operators.
Nuance (News - Alert), a leader in the voice-recognition industry, discusses this more in depth in a recent company blog, explaining that for a mid-sized bank, even one percent of callers who bail out of IVR can raise its customer care costs by $2-3 million. While these ‘menu mazes’ are slowly becoming history, companies are starting to realize that they need to creatively step out of the box to focus on what should be their number one priority – the customer.
“Companies are realizing that focusing on customer convenience is truly the best way to ensure cost savings and customer retention,” Nuance adds. Can you imagine all of the money you’ll be saving by making the insanely simple adjustment of putting your customers at the forefront of every decision? Doing this, however, requires that you first work with your IVR service provider to design and document your specific IVR application requirements.
Many organizations are now turning to structuring a more conversational IVR system designed to be more convenient for customers, or in other words, avoiding the most ‘zero-outs’ as humanly possible.
“Conventional IVR systems allow callers to speak only a limited set of words or phrases in response to menus, such as departing or arriving in the case of airlines,” explains Nuance. “If the caller instead uses vernacular terms such as leaving or landing, these IVR systems become confused because they have no recognizable match in their database.”
Conversely, an IVR system which embraces an open flow of communication, or in other words, uses the newest and most advanced natural language technologies, will lessen the amount of zeroes pressed because it will be able to understand the caller’s intent immediately and easily.
Finally – the time has come when callers can simply speak the reason for their call with the system listening like a friend or relative, then seamlessly and immediately handing you over to the perfect automated service or agent to finish up the job. By embracing more modern forms of IVR, businesses can drastically reduce these burdening costs.
“When a caller is transferred to an agent though, it shouldn’t be considered an IVR failure. Every organization’s goal should be to provide the best customer service possible, and sometimes an agent is the ideal,” Nuance explains. “In fact, IVRs can improve the experience for callers who end up with an agent while reducing the average agent cost per call. For example, if there's a wait for the next available agent, the IVR can use that time to gather information from the caller. The system then can present those responses to the agent as text in a screen pop when the caller is connected.”
A cloud-based IVR solution can be just the fix you need to increase customer experience, convenience and ultimately customer care. Plum Voice, an expert in IVR solutions and cloud-based services, considers its first step in building the perfect IVR system as designing your specific IVR application requirements, then building your application, where its team of skilled engineers conduct rigorous testing before production deployment to guarantee efficiency and flawless performance. Even better, Plum is there for you even after the end of the process, where they will stand by you as you work to provide unmatched technical support.
If more companies looked at IVR the way Plum Voice does, we’d sure have a lot less problems!
To learn more about Plum Voice’s offerings, visit www.plumvoice.com.
Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli