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IVR phone services can have many benefits for companies. When you automate the way your business receives customer phone calls then you can ensure the same level of service for every call.
IVR can allow organizations to reduce operating costs by lowering the number of calls they have to take, so fewer staff are required and the overall cost per call is lowered. Since they lower the number of calls that live agents need to take, they have more time to focus on and solve more complicated issues, rather than having to spend that time answering simple questions.
One of the best aspects about IVR is that it makes services available 24/7, so customers can make calls past regular business hours. Having accommodating services always makes a business more favorable in customers’ eyes.
Most importantly voice IVR provides access to vital information and services for callers and is a part of the customer experience that needs to be designed with that in mind. After all, the customer experience can ultimately make or break a business.
Unfortunately, IVR voice recognition software has gotten a bad rap since it was first introduced in the ’70s and was fleshed out in the ’80s to a more cost-effective system that could understand human responses. However, the technology has significantly improved over the years and has been a relative success for businesses who use it. As with all technologies, though, there are improvements that can be made to deliver better services to customers.
Unsurprisingly, customers can actually be an invaluable source of information when it comes to directly learning what exactly they want to see from customer service tools like IVR phone systems. If you are looking to increase first call resolution rates and reduce dropped calls then it’s time to see what your customers have to say about IVR voice recognition software.
These are some of the most common requests that customers have for IVR in 2024.
Always provide access to a live agent
While IVR systems can be convenient and helpful to people, many still prefer to talk to a real person. According to one survey by Usabilla, which is a company that specifically collects customer feedback for clients to help them optimize their services, more than half (55% to be exact) of customers still prefer to talk with a human on the phone. IVR menus can get tedious or not provide the exact option that a customer is looking for and having the option to bypass the menu might be a better choice for them.
People may not mind an automated system if it is actually going to save them time, but in cases where a customer is having a complicated issue then they will most likely want to speak with someone who has the power to do something. Most IVR systems are not intended for resolving complicated matters anyway, but to reduce call volume for agents so they can help customers with more than a quick question.
It is also important that customers not have a long wait time to talk to an agent and have the option to return to the IVR menu if they are being kept on hold.
Create better menu options for customers to select from
One of the most frustrating aspects of an automated voice response IVR system is the poor choice of menu options. A major reason businesses have an IVR solution set up is to provide customers with the ability to ask questions or resolve issues quickly and efficiently. Having menu options that go on for too long and do not properly address why the customer is calling can easily lead them to hang up. Customers want better menu options that actually cater to them.
To achieve this, keep menu option records at 30 seconds or less and use language that everyone can understand (more colloquial terminology). Be sure to list options that are actually relevant to the reasons specific to why your customers are calling.
Also, list the options for the most common queries first. You’ll reach more people and keep them on the phone by addressing the reason most are calling right away, rather than having them wait through a list of 20 menu items and becoming irritated (possibly giving up before hitting their option).
It is also noteworthy that greetings need to be brief, but still friendly and inviting. Having a greeting that goes on forever already sets a negative tone that leaves customers sighing and wondering how long this call is going to take.
Be accommodating to all types of customers
Having a one-size-fits-all mentality could actually be hurting your customers and their view of how your company conducts customer service. Customers are not all the same and they do not want to be treated like their needs are not a concern. IVR technology has come a long way over the years and is capable of meeting people’s needs in a variety of ways.
Not having different language options can be incredibly difficult for customers to navigate if they are non-native English speakers. Place other language options at the beginning of the main menu to give them the opportunity to switch over before going any further.
Also, incorporate both spoken and keypad options to be inclusive of those who may not be able to utilize the speech option due to thick accents or speech disabilities and need/want a keypad. However, having a speech option is good for those who may not be able to use a keypad because of a disability or a condition, such as arthritis, that can make it more difficult. Your IVR system should be accessible to everyone.
A visual IVR gives customers an added multichannel visual interface, along with the traditional IVR experience. By utilizing a website or company mobile app, customers have a convenient menu to navigate that can provide even more options than previous IVR systems. A live agent can also take over seamlessly if need be. So, this might be a good choice to explore.
If you’re in the market for a voice IVR system or are looking to upgrade your system then LiveVox can help you set up the right option for your organization. LiveVox is a leading next-generation contact center platform that innovates software for optimization and an exceptional agent and customer experience. Contact us today to get started.
VoIP stands for voice over internet protocol and IVR stands for interactive voice response. VoIP phone services is a type of technology that allows phone calls to be made over a broadband internet connection, rather than a regular landline phone. IVR systems can easily be integrated into VoIP phone services so that they run over the internet.
A classic example of IVR is when you make a call to a company and you reach the menu option stating “press one for technical assistance, press two for sales support, press zero to speak with an operator.” Once you make your selection you are then routed to the department/service or another submenu for further options. If no one is available to answer your call you may be sent to a voicemail.