How Really IVR Services Help The Client
Interactive Voice Response (IVR Services) has been around for a while. The technology that allows a computer to interact with people via a keypad using a voice and dual-tone multi-frequency signaling tones, has been a devoted companion to the businesses in customer support.
However, recently, IVR received a ton of criticism from consumers. While people are used to this technology aiding them in communication with brands, in the wake of new technologies, like chatbots and other automated features, IVR seems less helpful.
According to SmallBiz Trends, 61% of consumers blame IVR for poor customer experience. Out of that percentage of respondents:
● 63% claim the IVR is annoying because they are forced to listen to a list of irrelevant options
● 54% complain that they waste time listening to the IVR, which doesn’t let them get to talk to a real person
● 47% are frustrated when their first experience talking to a brand’s customer support is through IVR
● a whopping 85% of the respondents say they have abandoned the brand because it used IVR
After these numbers, it’s hard to imagine that IVR can still live to its full potential.
Yet, in this article, we will try to let IVR redeem itself and take a look at how IVR services can really be helpful to the client.
1. Accuracy of Response
The performance of a customer support service is measured by first contact resolution (FCR) – a contact center’s ability to quickly resolve queries from customers without any follow-ups. FCR is measured yearly and is a direct reflection of the efficiency of the work of a brand’s customer service.
How does IVR fit into this?
Let’s take a look at how IVR can be used to improve first contact resolution:
● IVR can be used to conduct post-call customer surveys to determine the percentage of customer satisfaction
● It can be used to ask customers to rate the helpfulness of the customer service
● IVR can be employed to deal with basic information and answering frequently asked questions.
IVR can be used to reduce call volume, taking some work off the agents’ shoulders and allowing them to deal with more complicated queries.
The biggest benefit of the IVR, however, is that it can connect a customer to a customer support agent, specializing in a particular issue, after having a customer answer a set of simple Yes/No questions.
The agent who receives the call will be more qualified to give an accurate answer, hence, IVR increases the accuracy of response and the overall performance of customer support.
2. Unlimited Access to Customer Support
Unlike what many of your customers might think, not every call deserves attention of a customer support agent. Especially when such calls are received at night and resolved within a few minutes.
IVR helps your customer support filter basic queries from more complicated ones. Since IVR systems can be used to handle FAQs and basic issues, there’s no need to involve a living breathing human to resolve them.
In the meantime, customers still have unlimited access to customer support.
Not a long time ago, the Customer Service Manager Journal posted an article, touching upon the 8 wastes of customer service (inspired by Toyota Lean Manufacturing philosophy). Not delegating a chunk of simple tasks to technology is one of the mistakes that many brands make in terms of customer support.
Another question is which technology to choose.
IVR or a chatbot?
While IVR is tried and tested, customers don’t dislike chatbots as much as they dislike IVR.
Yet, why not benefit from both?
Both chatbots and IVR are helpful in terms of creating high-quality customer service. Yet, they are accessed through different channels. Some customers might prefer communicating with a chatbot, while others prefer to listen to an IVR navigating them through different options. Thus, for brand success, both technologies are necessary.
No matter how hated IVR is, it is still a viable technology to use to help customers access customer support 24/7.
3. Reduced Expenses
Back in 2013, when live chats and chatbots weren’t so popular, IVR was thriving. A study from that time showed that companies spent less than $1 per contact with IVR, while live chat costs $5 per contact and telephone-based customer support cost from $6 to $12 per contact.
Today, IVR is as affordable as back in 2013, and businesses can purchase in-house IVR for $1,500 per line. Of course, the expenses are determined by the size of your business. The bigger your business is, the more you’ll have to spend on IVR since your customer service will be dealing with more inquiries.
IVR can also replace a part of your customer service team, which is a great benefit for startups and small businesses, which often have limited budgets.
Due to high performance and low expenses, IVR has a very good ROI and will pay off soon after you invest in it.
IVR Is Not As Outdated As You Think
Like many other technologies that serve to our benefit, IVR too has evolved.
Right now, we are on the edge of the third generation of IVR systems, which use VoiceXML – a digital document standard that serves to specify voice dialogs between humans and computers. New additions to the IVR technology has also introduced new features, like media viewers and scratchpads, which allow the users to scan the list of options instead of listening to them.
In the future, IVR is expected to continue evolving, with VoiceXML 3.0 and other features that will improve the quality of interaction between a brand and its customers.
You can see why many customers are mad at IVR services. It can be rather annoying to listen to the huge list of options when you’re rushing to report an issue.
However, what consumers don’t understand that talking to a real person to resolve an issue can take much longer than listening to the list of options delivered by an IVR service. Besides, IVRs often have answers for the basic questions ready, which makes resolving a query much quicker.
Thus, no matter what consumers think of IVR, they still can benefit from this service, so as your business. It delivers seamless customer support and doesn’t hurt your business’s budget. And, with new features and improvements, IVR is definitely here to stay.
Lisa R. Taylor is a 32-year-old self-driven specialist who enjoys blogging in the IT field.She writes and manages Subjecto and Panelhc. She is kindness and considerate, but can also be very evil and a bit stingy. She is American. Born in Santa Fe,New Mexico. She has a post-graduate degree in literature. She grew up in an upper class neighbourhood. Her hobbies are: writing, sports, website management. She inspiried by travelling. Follow her on Facebook.