When Should You Consider Using an IVR? - Talkdesk - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
When calling large companies, instead of immediately speaking to a customer service agent, you’ll usually arrive at a phone tree system that asks you to make a series of numbered choices. This system is called an interactive voice response system, or IVR. IVR systems can be used to service high call volumes, reduce costs and improve the customer experience for everyone who calls in. But sometimes IVR systems are not the best choice for businesses.
Understanding IVR Technology
IVR systems allow companies to pre-record a greeting and gather information from callers using voice input or touch-tone keypad selections. From this information, the IVR system can then provide return responses in the form of voice, fax, callback or email. Usually IVR uses two types of technology to recognize what callers are asking for and route calls:
- Computer-Telephone Integration (CTI): This allows software to recognize a tone from a telephone keypad
- Speech Recognition Software: This type of technology allows a customer to communicate with the IVR system using a series of short voice commands such as, “pay my bill” or “check my balance” when you call your credit card company
Benefits of IVR Systems
IVR systems are commonly used to route calls internally within an organization instead of spending money hiring and retaining a salaried receptionist who only works 8 a.m to 5 p.m. Instead, an IVR system works around the clock so your customers receive the support they need, when they need it. IVR also saves money for a company because it reduces the phone time needed from customer service agents by providing them with some basic information before they enter the call or removing them entirely from the process entirely. An example of this is when you call your airline and automatically receive flight information without talking to someone.
Additionally, IVR systems aid companies in customer satisfaction by routing callers to the right agent quickly, depending on that agent skillset, language capabilities or expertise. Another benefit to an IVR system is that they can be used as an electronic notification system for remote employees. With the workforce increasingly moving toward telecommuting or global locations, IVR systems can trigger an alert to an employee’s cell phone, home phone or other form of contact until they are reached.
Reasons to Skip an IVR System
IVR systems can sometimes negatively impact your business because they may not work for a number of callers. Technology-challenged customers could have trouble following the prompts and options, and impatient younger customers could get frustrated with the time it takes to navigate multiple menu options instead of getting a quick response.
Sometimes, IVR systems can feel like customers are pushing a million buttons and or repeating their voice command over and over, only to receive a customer service representative who asks, “How can I help you today?” Some callers would rather quickly speak to an agent and bypass the IVR options.
Ting, a mobile phone company for individuals and businesses, is an example of one company skipping IVR and giving direct, quick access to a live customer service agent — and their customers love them for it. Check out what one of their customers has to say:
“[Ting’s] customer service is fantastic. Live human beings that answer within a couple of rings. [Their] techs are knowledgeable, friendly and follow up with emails. Most importantly they do what they say they are going to do.”
— Jeff DeVries, DeVries Companies
It’s become such a cornerstone of Ting’s business, that their “real person” customer service is one of the first value props you read about on their website:
No hold, no phone trees and no transfers. People are still getting used to this level of service.
Talkdesk supports an optional IVR, but they’re not for every company, so gather all the information you can and make the choice that works best for you.
Amy is an Account Manager at Talkdesk. When she's not busy at work, she enjoys cooking, browsing bookstores and going on hikes around the Bay Area.
Publish Date: November 18, 2016 5:00 AM
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