When a customer calls into your contact center they have a task they want to see accomplished. Ideally, that task is completed in the shortest amount of time and to the fullest degree possible. Quality inbound customer service limits the amount of time your customer spends on a call, anticipates your customers’ needs and answers their inquiries completely.
Today, a well conceived inbound customer service strategy is more important than ever. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic inbound call volumes have increased by about 16% so there;s a big demand to deliver experiences that are transformational, especially as so many customers find themselves in challenging situations.
With this increase in inbound call volume comes some significant hurdles:
- Staffing issues
- Wait times
- Efficiency of service
By integrating an advanced IVR with AI capabilities and digital messaging into your contact center, inbound customer service can be improved dramatically.
Inbound customer service: 2 ways
IVR has been around for ages. It has been a useful tool in routing customers and gathering information prior to human agent interaction. But the IVRs of the past are clunky. Customer’s were forced to sit through menu options that didn’t apply to them, were put on hold without knowing the wait time (which, studies show, makes the wait time feel even longer), and were often misheard by the IVR software. Today’s IVR can do so much more. It is more intuitive, easier to interact with and “smart.” Advanced IVR features tools such as virtual hold queue, front end qualification, and even payment capability.
3 benefits to using an Advanced IVR in your call center
Advanced IVR ideally integrates customer data from a CRM. By answering a few identification verifying questions, IVR can access a breadth of information about the customers. Using this information IVR can help get customers farther along the customer service path before they even speak to an agent. Furthermore, it enables intelligent routing in the call center. This saves time and frustration on both the customer’s and agent’s parts.
Ease of use
Quality customer service means getting it right the first time. Using front end qualification questions IVR establishes the nature of the customer’s call. IVR is then able to assign customers to agents with correct and relevant knowledge to their inquiries. Calls routed using IVR help customers spend less time on hold (good!) and have their inquiries resolved accurately, the first time (also, good!). IVR simplifies the customer experience.
Customers can use IVR to fill out forms, find answers to FAQ, or even schedule a service request. Many of the tools IVR provides reduces routine call volumes. IVR can usually handle 80% of inbound volume on its own. This reduction allows agents to jump in when their knowledge is really needed. They can put their expertise to use rather than answer questions about business hours or bill due dates.
A word on wait times
Wait times are the worst. Whether you’re waiting in line at the grocery or on hold listening to muzak, waiting has the feeling of purgatory. Luckily, advance IVR has tools like in-queue self service, queue position information and estimated wait time. Passive wait times can even be eliminated with the use of call-back and digital messaging in the call center.
IVR has come a long way and is more useful at managing inbound call volume than ever before. But, there are some areas that can be improved. Digital messaging picks up where IVR leaves off— and can even be used to supplement or augment your IVR.
Sometimes existing customers need to change contact information. IVR isn’t always great at comprehending words spoken by customers. To get accurate information such as addresses, call centers can utilize messaging.
Digital messaging can also be used to confirm appointments, send reminders, or as an IVR supplement while customers are waiting. Instead of tethering your customer to a phone call, digital messaging can provide on the go assistance when appropriate.
Messaging can also help in handling inbound call volumes. Messaging shifts the customer service environment from 1:1 to many:one. An agent can service multiple customers at once, saving precious time.
But, it’s not only about all the ways advanced IVR and digital messaging help create an effective call center. Customers tell us they want it. According to a customer survey commissioned by Nuance Enterprises, 67% of participants preferred using self service over interacting with another human. A LiveVox survey reported that 64% of customers want two way messaging in their customer service experience.
The bottom line is customers want to be served efficiently and effectively. Inbound calls are better served and sorted using advanced IVR and digital messaging. Both IVR and digital messaging takes a customer focused approach and the results are marvelous.
LiveVox is a leading provider of enterprise cloud contact center solutions, managing more than 14+ billion interactions a year across a multichannel environment. With over 15 years of pure cloud expertise, we empower contact center leaders to drive effective engagement strategies on the consumer’s channel of choice. Our leading-edge risk mitigation and security capabilities help clients quickly adapt to a changing business environment. With new features released quarterly, LiveVox remains at the forefront of cloud contact center innovation. Supported by over 450 employees and rapidly growing, we are headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Atlanta, Denver, Bangalore, and Colombia. To learn more, schedule a demo today.