Today's IVR Systems Help Companies Cut Costs, Improve Customer Service
April 02, 2009
Companies today are challenged to cut costs while at the same time delivering superior customer service. As a result, many of them are replacing their old DTMF-only IVR systems with advanced, speech-enabled, self-serve IVR systems for the purpose of improving customer service and reducing labor costs.
Although there continue to be some stigmas surrounding IVR use (some studies show that consumers continue to be frustrated with these systems), bear in mind that that there are so many older systems still deployed out there. Some of these systems are touch-tone-only – or they are using outdated speech recognition technology that is limited in its ability to properly interpret human speech. The result is a poor, or inconsistent, user experience.
Today’s IVR systems represent a dramatic improvement from the systems of just five years ago. With the major advancements in speech recognition software and the algorithms used to interpret speech (not to mention better networks/ever-increasing processor speed), today’s systems are capable of carrying out a “natural dialogue” with callers. In fact, today's IVR systems deliver an experience that is almost as good as a live agent.
The advantages of these systems are now well-established: With a speech-enabled IVR, customers can carry out transactions (transfer funds, make a purchase, etc.) or get information about products and services on their own, without having to interact with a live agent. That frees up your call center agents to handle more complex, or higher-value transactions, or more difficult inquiries. With these self-service solutions, call centers can achieve higher first call resolution (FCR) rates, whether the calls are informational, transaction-based, or outbound.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to push all callers off to the IVR and hold them there: You want your IVR system to allow callers to connect to a live agent at any time, should they want to. This is achieved by integrating your IVR with your call center’s ACD or call center software platform. Through proper integration, many of today’s systems retain the information the customer already entered in the IVR and presents it to the agent on their screen. This preserves the context and content of the interaction and drives customer satisfaction.
Today’s IVR systems are also ideal for improving call steering. Using the information collected by the IVR, calls can be more precisely steered to the proper agent or representative, based on the agent’s availability and unique skills sets. You can even steer the caller to the same agent they used last time, providing that agent is logged in.
Angel.com offers advanced, speech-enabled, self-serve IVR solutions that can help your company cut costs while at the same time improving customer service. A fully-hosted solution, Angel.com makes it possible to cost-effectively build, manage, and deploy a complete, high quality IVR application.
Angel.com’s inbound/outbound IVR solutions combine telephony, data and Web to generate information-driven communications and transactions – whether they for inbound callers or outbdound dialing campaigns. The company’s speech recognition technology drives the efficiency of every call, improving business productivity and enhancing caller satisfaction.
Angel.com’s IVR solutions are delivered via the Internet as a managed service. They can often be deployed in just one day -- and start delivering ROI almost immediately. With these solutions, companies of all sizes can drive personalized and interactive call experiences with smart IVR technologies including speech-to-text, name and address capture and more. And because these applications are Web-based, you can manage them through a centralized Web portal. With Angel.com’s easy-to-use “Site Builder” toolkit, you’ll spend less time coding and more time getting the customer experience right.
Angel.com’s IVR systems do not require any upfront investment in hardware, software, or IT resources.
Want to know more about IVR Technology? Then be sure to check out this informative Webinar hosted on Angel.com’s Website.
Angel.com made news recently when it announced that it had integrated its interactive voice response solutions with SurgarCRM’s open source CRM software via the new Angel.com SugarCRM (News - Alert) (News - Alert) Connector. This new offering from SugarCRM and Angel.com phone enables SugarCRM accounts and makes it possible to access, collect and update customer information on the phone using one's voice. For those in the contact center, or sales people out in the field, these new capabilities make it easier and faster to provide support and services.
For more information, visit www.angel.com.
Patrick Barnard is a contributing writer for TMCnet. To read more of Patrick’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Patrick Barnard