IVR systems are an essential element of automated customer service. With IVR, brands may ensure that customers are connected quickly and efficiently with the most appropriate agent or given the information they need, saving everyone time while delivering personalized service. Here are five ways call centers can use IVR to deliver great customer service.
While not all customers may wish to speak to an agent when using IVR, brands must ensure that they can do so if needed. IVR routing should be optimized to ensure that customers are connected to the most appropriate agent for the particular situation at hand. For this reason, agents need to be trained to handle specific questions and become experts on the topics they are asked to handle.
Simplicity is essential when designing IVR menus. Brands should keep the menu options short and few in number, using clear language and concise options that don’t waste time. This is equally important with visual IVR menus, as text should be easily comprehensible and concise to make the interface easy to use.
As with any brand’s website or social media channels, IVR menus need to be updated regularly to reflect important brand news. While customers should not hear a long stream of marketing messages, announcements such as product recalls or new features that can assist customers should be reflected in the menu options. For example, a recall problem might be addressed with a specific menu option for reaching agents who have been trained to address the situation. Similarly, a new streamlined service that might connect customers faster to a billing department, for example, might be offered as a new menu option. Lastly, quality control is also important, such as ensuring that the audio quality of the IVR is high and that the system as a whole is running smoothly.
It can be tempting to relay marketing messages on IVR systems, but a customer might view this as a waste of time. The idea behind IVR is to connect customers more quickly to an agent or to allow them to access account information, for example, in a simple and automated manner. Make sure the IVR options only reflect essential information, leaving out obvious information such as the company website URL or mentioning that support can be found on social media platforms. Customers are calling for a reason, so it’s likely that they already know such information and wish to call in instead.
Sometimes all agents will inevitably be busy, and customers may have to wait. To save customers time and frustration, incorporate a callback system. For example, automatic callbacks can be used to save customers time if there is a long queue wait, while scheduled callbacks give customers the option to decide when to be contacted by a qualified agent once he or she becomes available.
IVR can be used to drive customer satisfaction and sales by saving customers time and providing them with the most relevant information when needed most. As the demand for automated customer service continues to grow, brands should turn to IVR to optimize their self-service options and ensure a personalized customer experience in the process.
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