Interactive voice response (IVR) systems make a lot of promises. They strive to give customers easily accessible, efficient ways to communicate. This is supposed to limit the stress placed on the contact center while also lowering costs.
Traditional voice IVR systems aren’t pulling their weight, though.
There’s a lot of call abandonment. Customer satisfaction scores are low. Lengthy call trees with a multitude of options lead to dead ends. Even the voice quality is poor.
When a customer wants to speak with a live rep, they press “0” to be transferred to one, and even then the experience is lacking. They have to speak with an operator first, explain their issue, wait while they’re routed to the correct department, explain everything again…
Cost benefits of IVR only exist if customers actually like it. If it’s not increasing customer satisfaction (or, even worse, decreasing it), you won’t see a return on investment, and the expense becomes not worth it.
The solution is this: visual IVR, something that modern contact centers are utilizing more and more.
Customers have sophisticated devices (even the iPhone is essentially a mini computer that people carry around in their pocket), and contact center IVR should be just as sophisticated, too. With so many screen-enabled gadgets out there, visual IVR is quickly replacing voice IVR.
Visual IVR menus can be attractive, intuitive and a cinch to use. People can read the menu and touch the buttons or links they need, or they can request a call back or see how long the hold time would be to chat with an agent. Even if a customer wants to speak with an agent, there’s virtually no hold time, routing is much more reliable and the experience is better overall.
Visual IVR is helpful for agents, too.
If a customer decides to speak with a live agent, they can start the process through the visual IVR menu. By the time they reach an agent, the agent can see the breadcrumb trail of everything the customer did. This will help them pick up the query where the customer left off instead of asking them to start explaining their issue from the beginning.
Whichever type of support they choose – self-service, live or a combination of both – modern IVR solutions allow customers to get quick, accurate support without putting unnecessary strain on contact center agents.