What Do Your Customers Think of Your IVR?
February 13, 2013
By Rachel Ramsey
, TMCnet Web Editor
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems can fall on either the “hate it” or “love it” extreme to customers, depending on what they’re calling for, how your IVR system is organized and how effective the call turns out to be.
A Spoken Communications blog post described the love-hate relationship; “IVR is like most customer service: when it works well, you don’t really notice it. But when it works badly, it feels like your fingernails are being ripped out. Slowly.”
Turns out, well-designed IVRs that do what they intend to do easily and effectively, and are beloved by customers. Frustrations start with the vast menu options, speech recognitions that aren’t so talented at recognizing and when using an IVR takes twice as long as something could have taken with an agent.
Industry research shows that many consumers actually prefer to use speech-enabled self-serve systems over live assistance when it comes to simple interactions. A study from Nuance (News - Alert) found that a majority of consumers actually prefer to receive proactive notifications by way of outbound IVR system as opposed to a live agent.
In five out of 10 posed scenarios, consumers preferred IVR systems over live agent interactions for tasks like prescription refills (66 percent rated automation highly, compared with 52 percent for live agent), checking the status of a flight from a cell phone (61 percent versus 49 percent), checking account balances (59 percent versus 36 percent), store information requests (55 percent versus 37 percent), and tracking shipments (53 percent versus 47 percent).
Some of the more common end-use applications of IVR systems include polls and surveys, office call routing, selective information lookup, call center forwarding, order entry transactions, and account balances and transfers.
TeleTech (News - Alert) recently conducted a study to find out exactly what bothers customers about IVR systems. The top reasons users dislike automated systems answering their calls are “too impersonal,” “not helpful,” “can’t get to an agent,” “it doesn’t understand what I say,” “it takes too long” and “I can’t find the right option.” In contrast, reasons users believe automated systems are helpful include speed, cost-effectiveness, anytime access, better for simple and routine tasks, efficient, not having to talk to someone and no wait time.
These reasons users dislike automated systems are basic IVR interaction challenges that can easily be overcome with advanced IVR design principles. TeleTech presents three options to overcome them: audio prompting, upfront messages and speech recognition.
Do you prefer talking to the system (speech input) or using the telephony keypad for input (touch tone input)? – Courtesy of TeleTech
When it comes down to it, the effectiveness and customer satisfaction with your IVR system is entirely in your hands. Nimblevox is a cloud communications solution that offers hosted IVR, automatic speech recognition, text-to-speech, answering machine detection, SMS solution, outbound dialing and APIs to meet your business goals and improve the customer IVR experience.
Edited by Braden Becker