3 essential tips for optimizing an IVR

In order to optimize your IVR successfully, you need a flexible, intuitive, and completely autonomous tool that can be modified in real-time.

As companies try to stand out for their customer experience quality, an IVR (interactive voice response) plays a vital role and must be considered when mapping the customer journey. And just what is the function of an IVR ? Essentially, it should be used to identify a customer and his needs in order to connect him as quickly as possible to the most qualified available agent. Since it serves as the cornerstone of an efficient routing strategy, an IVR should be constantly updated to reflect current events and minimize customer effort. In order to optimize your IVR successfully, you need a flexible, intuitive, and completely autonomous tool that can be modified in real-time. In addition, it’s important to perform a solid analysis of customer behavior.

Leverage your most important KPIs

The mission of an IVR and, more generally, of a customer service center, is to provide the most relevant and efficient answers that satisfy customers in the end. To achieve this, your optimization strategy must leverage the statistics and analyses provided by your contact center solution to find any shortcomings or weak points in your IVR. For example, some of the most important KPIs to analyze include :

  • Call abandon rates in the IVR
  • The average wait time before a call is abandoned
  • The step at which the customer abandoned the call

Such data is invaluable when deciding which tools should be used for overall improvement.

Identify hiccups in your customer journey

After analyzing your numerical KPIs, you are now able to identify at which stage of the IVR journey your customers abandoned you. Now you just have to find out why. Was the welcome greeting too long ? Were the IVR steps organized poorly? Were the menus too confusing or hard to understand? For a more efficient IVR and greater customer retention, simplify your menu by reducing the number of options. It is much better to move through many menus quickly than to be stuck for a while on a long list of options. From the very start, present the most in-demand categories—for example, your opening hours, order status, or the steps for returning a product. In order to have a good understanding of your customer journey’s hiccups and obstacles, reach out to your customers through post-call surveys. These will allow you to better pin down problems and outline the most impactful solutions for customer satisfaction.

Reduce customer effort to increase satisfaction

The IVR is part of the overall journey for guaranteeing the best experience 24/7. Together with chatbots, the IVR should offer self-service options accessible at any time to allow a customer to find an answer without needing to speak to an agent. For example, a customer should be able to check his bank account balance, check an order status, or pay a bill—all by logging into his account through typing or voice recognition.

If a customer needs to speak to an agent, the recognition of his phone number and the immediate display of CRM or ERP data are critical for reducing wait time—for example, with regard to your VIP customers. In this manner, they can be connected directly to the right department, and the agent responsible will have a 360° view of the customer’s context and interaction history that enables him to provide a personalized response.

Vocalcom’s Expert Opinion

Since the IVR is a key element in the customer journey and plays a central role in the customer experience, it needs to identify the caller quickly and understand his needs, in order to point him to the most appropriate department with a minimal delay. The IVR can offer self-service, include voicebots, and play a role in the implementation of efficient call excess management strategies by offering customers callbacks at their preferred times, in order to spare them long wait times in a call queue. As a full-fledged communication tool, your IVR must be adjustable autonomously and in real-time, in order to adapt to your business, your seasonality, or your current events, which was the case with the COVID-19 crisis, for example

Charlotte Warchol, Director of Customer Success


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