December 23, 2014

IVR Solutions Can Lead to Better Customer Service

The facts are that IVR Solutions are well designed and user friendly can really save the caller time.

This is by answering easily the most frequently asked questions and also by connecting them to the most suitable and available agent for more complex questions.

However the issue is that most IVR solutions just don’t do this very well at all!

The reason customers call the organizations that they do business with is to get something done. These companies have deployed IVR solutions in order to route callers quickly to the right place, and to speed up the process – actually helping callers find the answers themselves wherever possible.

There isn’t anything fundamentally wrong with empowering your customers to self-serve themselves over the phone. We’ve taken to self-service in other areas of life, with very few complaints with online travel, ATMs and checkout at grocery store. When handled quickly and efficiently there’s nothing wrong with phone services that enable customers to help themselves. Unfortunately when it’s not done well and done poorly there is rightly a lot to get frustrated with IVR solutions.

Far too frequently in the Contact Center sector, focus is driven by numbers solely around on management of calls within self-service, with an underlying goal of IVR solutions is to bring a reduction in call center costs. This has been the primary goal of call centers across industries for many years. However, just focusing solely on this cost has been at the cost of the more obvious benefit of making the business easier and better to do business with. The reality is that this has in many cases led to not providing a great level of service experience. Customers are happy to use automation if it is quicker and easier for them and not just cheaper for their provider! Getting this wrong has created a backlash from customers. The barriers and snags can trap callers in an attempt to contain them in IVR solutions. A bigger issue then presents itself as customers try and find alternative routes around IVR solutions, whether it means calling other departments sending email or engaging in chat putting further strain on a companies resources.

The organization and the customer would benefit if companies switched their focus away from just cost to resolution and the customer experience by making the process quicker and easier to use and repositioning voice applications as useful tools that callers actually like to use.

The other major impact on Contact Center IVR Solutions is customers increasingly wanting to use multiple channels such as email, web and chat—often in tandem—for business dealings, growing the number of interactions and driving the traditional contact center to become a customer experience media center. Contact Centers use disparate technologies to deliver these various communication channels that customers want to use today.

These are so different and have been installed at different times that it is a real struggle to have experience in all of them. It’s hard enough to get them installed and actually working – But to get them to work together and optimised as they were designed to work is even harder.

If you look at the technologies they are not really complementary. IVR solutions are designed to automate calls and reduce the agent work and WFO is designed to allocate work to agents.

Equally inbound and outbound calls work differently. One is designed to maximise the speed of response and the other is designed to make the highest amounts of calls to any one they can find to talk to.

So back to IVR, well the reality is that there is a huge difference between understanding the benefits of speech IVR solutions and actually delivering them properly! There is often a complete lack of understanding of the end users’ requirements when deciding where speech can play an appropriate role or not.

Too many times well intentioned plans by “Speech Champions” to use speech for everything don’t work and result in poor delivery and unsatisfactory customer feedback. This is the single largest reason why speech has not become as ubiquitous in the contact center as it should be.

The other challenge with speech is the COST!  There are only a few practitioners who know how to do speech properly.

So  the way to acquire cost effective and powerful speech IVR solutions that will deliver real benefit to customers is to talk to PSS.

PSS don’t just talk about the value and benefits of speech – they have been delivered to customers time and time again with great case studies that demonstrate the return on investment and end user satisfaction.  The differentiator is because of the focus is on delivering value in the long term and not just in the initial period of delivering the project.

PSS understand what can and can’t be automated, understand where speech can add value and where it is an unnecessary and costly complication. The focus is to drive long term value rather than simply just short term benefits to sell speech technology licenses

In the current business environment, when everyone needs to deliver MORE for a lower cost, speech solutions have an awful lot to offer – BUT ONLY when appropriately used and deployed.

We offer you a FREE ProPSS evaluation where we will expertly assess the performance of your existing IVR solutions and pinpoint a strategic path that lead to improving customer satisfaction and the return on investment of the applications and technologies.

Learn about how we could help you achieve your business goals - contact us for a no obligation, informal conversation that’s completely free of charge so we can learn more about your challenges, objectives and priorities. 

Call us now in US on  1.877.289.7770  or in the UK and Europe +44080 0012 40541 or complete the form below. 

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