The most important point of communication between the company and the client is direct service by a call center consultant. Appropriate shaping of customer journey has a huge impact on the level of customer satisfaction in terms of the form of communication. So what is IVR and what is its importance for CX?
IVR – Positive or Negative Customer Experience
A consulting company has prepared a report which shows that the level of investment in innovative tools that will allow you to effectively manage customer experiences will increase over the next few years. By 2022, this budget will increase from USD 5.06 billion to USD 13.8 billion. Where does the upward trend come from? Experts emphasize that it is a quick and natural reaction to a number of changes taking place on the consumer market.
In turn, analysts showed that by the end of 2021, as many as 89% of companies will implement modern technological solutions in terms of customer service – knowing that this positive consumer experience will distinguish the brand from the competition. To achieve a satisfactory level of CX, it is worth implementing multi-level communication channels with the call center, taking into account the network where most points of contact between the center and the customer take place, as well as mobile applications supporting the fulfillment of their needs and expectations.
The IVR system, i.e. Interactive Voice Response, is one of the tools aimed at facilitating the customer’s contact with the service. The purpose of IVR is to obtain information that allows the consumer to be directed directly to the appropriate department of the company. Well-prepared investments in this system allow to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the call center and lead the client, simplifying all processes as much as possible and reliably building a positive CX.
At the same time, it should be remembered that customer experience is a subjective perception of the brand. To avoid the risks associated with the use of IVR, it is worth analyzing the customer journey of each customer persona and improving service processes.
The IVR boom began in the early 1990s, when companies rapidly began to change their ICT infrastructure. Nowadays, interaction with the customer in voice communication is modernized and offers many possibilities.
The essence of IVR is efficient customer navigation, thanks to which it will quickly connect with the right consultant. The elementary functionalities of the system include: tone dialing, forwarding, voice announcements or call recording. In addition, the Text-to-Speech and Speech-to-Text services, i.e. speech synthesizers that mechanically modify the written content into speech, as well as the conversion of audio into text.
Currently, the technology of the IVR system is so optimized and advanced that its capabilities allow for quick and direct contact with a consultant. The most important amenities are:
- Automatic customer authorization (contact with an external database, phone number verification, saving time of service staff),
- Automatic authorization of his phone number (data entry in the database, which allows consultants to create a customer zone and personalize the menu structure for him),
- Payment service (variant of telephone payment – tone dialing allows payment by card,
- Reply with the help of other omnichannel channels (option to choose other forms of contact during the call, e.g. SMS, fax or e-mail).
IVR – Benefit or Threat?
Does IVR increase customer satisfaction? There is no one answer to this. Positive customer experience depends on the nature of voice communication, its expansion and the time it takes to connect with a consultant.
It is worth using IVR when it is actually supposed to help the customer: choose a person who supports a specific department or service language or authorize his or her telephone number. However, you should test solutions and choose those that actually shorten the service time and do not constitute a barrier for the user. The key is to avoid complexity, balance and simplicity.
Professional advice and skillful solving of consumer problems with the support of modern technologies definitely fit into the model of a reliable company. A wisely implemented IVR system will undoubtedly help build a positive customer experience, which consists of both trust, loyalty and the right form of communication.