Thursday, November 3, 2016

How to Make an Interactive Voice Response System More User-Friendly

An Interactive Voice Response system (IVR) is very useful to both customers and businesses. It is the system that is used when you make a call and hear, “To reach billing, press 1; to reach accounts, press 2…”

To clients, the system is usually fast, can be accessed at any time of the day or night, and simple to follow. To the business, the system is cost-effective, effective, accurate, and solves the problem of how to sort through high volumes of calls.

However, a large number of clients still prefer interacting with live personnel as opposed to an IVR system due to the following:

  • It can take a while to arrive at the right option
  • They seem not to understand what the voice prompt is saying
  • The solutions offered do not match with their needs

Most of the IVRs have so many prompts that can be confusing, which make impatient callers irate. Moreover, some have to repeat the verbalized menu due to poor voice quality or forgetting which number to press. To eliminate the problem, most press the ‘0’ button to talk to customer service members. Unfortunately, they are put on hold for several minutes or moved from one department to the other, as their call is not sorted by the IVR. They end up hanging up in anger after wasting several minutes. These customers later vent the anger on the social media and forums messing up the brand reputation.

Organizations can escape the problem by designing an IVR system that is able to meet the needs of all the publics including the clients, customer service agents, and the IT personnel. Here are some easy ways to achieve this.

  • Know what the customers need most and design a menu that captures the needs accordingly. Get rid of menu options to problems for which they rarely seek assistance.
  • Do not automate all solutions. Overstuffing your system with an IVR only makes it confusing and cumbersome. Have call center agents to deal with more complex and creative problems with your products.
  • Keep the voice prompt language simple. Use a friendly tone in the voice prompt. Avoid the industry jargon as well as unfamiliar acronyms. Moreover, use concise sentences for menu items and following explanations.
  • Identify the callers by name. If callers use numbers stored in the database, have the IVR address them by their names. If not, design an IVR system that can capture their names when they identify themselves.
  • Go visual in IVR selection. Customers are more likely to use the IVR when they get a visual interactive menu either on the website or on their phones. It makes it easier to navigate through a complex menu. Include an option to have them called by an agent later.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Spam will be automatically removed, and reported to the authorities.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.