Self-service applications can either add value to customer service or give callers an unnecessary headache and an unpleasant experience that results in negative corporate image.
It all depends on how these tools work and how useful they prove to be.
The first thing you must consider when implementing an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system is why you need it.
This way, you’ll be able to analyze different options based on your targets and budget.
Call centers tend to think that IVR menus are better than live agents when it comes to customer service. However, this is not always the case.
As a matter of fact, what is advisable is using IVR technology to complement other communication channels, and consequently deliver an improved experience.
In help desks, for instance, options must be configured in an easy, crystal-clear way for effortless self-service.
Customers must be able to access their information with great ease in next to no time.
They need to feel that companies are readily available to service and hear them.
Therefore, developing well-thought-out IVR call flows is crucial.
IVR Uses and Types
In addition to help desks, IVR technology streamlines other services offered by companies.
There are different resources for setting up self-service applications.
Customers can use touch-tone (DTMF) and voice commands to go through the range of options available.
Which are linked to a database that identifies each type of input and retrieves data or triggers an action accordingly.
The purpose of IVR menus varies depending on the nature of companies.
They can be used to provide information, conduct surveys, complete a registration process, deliver notices, receive payments, etc.
When they’re integrated with other solutions for service and sales, they’re capable of improving companies’ communication with customers.
In multichannel contact centers, self-service applications allow to operate outside business hours and provide assistance on a 24-hour basis while reducing wait times and helping to service a larger number of callers.
They also allow to cut operating costs as they require less human resources and increase the call traffic capacity of contact centers.
Recommendations for Building your IVR
Once you’re convinced that a self-service application is what your company or contact center needs, it’s important that you follow a series of recommendations, like:
- Make sure to meet the minimum requirements for implementing IVR technology (PBX phone systems, IP ports, user licenses, etc.).
- Determine the way customers will navigate the menu of options (i.e. by pressing the keypad and/or by speaking short phrases).
- Design logical call flows.
- Use concise prompts.
- Search for a platform that builds self-service applications in quick, simple steps.
These are just some of the top recommendations for developing and implementing IVR menus.