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Is IVR still relevant in today’s Customer Service Industry?

  • Sweta Chakraborty
  • 18 January 2022

https://www.c-zentrix.com/blog/ivr-relevant-in-customer-services-industry

Yes, IVR is still relevant in today’s Customer Service Industry?

Interactive Voice Response (IVRs) has been around for a long time. The invention of this technology dates back to the 70s. Since then, it has gone through numerous upgrades, making it what it is today. But IVRs are no longer the only channel. Customers are coming through emails, chats, social media, in-app messaging, and more.

IVRs has outlived many contact center technologies. It is an important telephony system that brings order into your incoming campaign. It will identify, segment and then route the customer to the right person. In fact, someone once told me that an IVR is similar to a butler. It will welcome your guest, ask them what they want, and then engage them with some queue music until you are free to greet them.

But in 2022, nobody wants to wait and listen to hold music. The CX requirement now is instantaneous responses and quick resolution. Then how do IVRs still fit into your CX strategy?

Well, the answer is IVRs are still relevant but only if they are smarter than the 70s tech. IVRs are no longer just responsible for simple customer routing. IVRs are now a more dependable self-service solution thanks to AI-driven integrations. IVRs are also being leveraged as payment portals or paired with other self-service solutions as Visual IVR.

Content:

Smart Integration

Conversational IVRs

IVRs as a Payment Portal

IVR to Collect Feedback

Visual IVR

Improve the IVR Experience

The Final Verdict

Smart Integration

IVR is the gateway to customer service. It should be personalized so that customer finds it very convenient. There are various smart integrations which can be considered. Usually, the integrations are with CRMs or Order Management system. So when the callers call into the inbound number, the IVR is able to greet the caller with their first name by calling the right API. It can also find out some relevant information like amount due or last order status. The intent is to provide the customer the much-needed personalization and get the issues resolved over the IVR.

Conversational IVRs

On contrary to typical IVRs, conversational IVRs are more perceptive. They are enabled with machine learning and natural language processing technologies that allow it to comprehend linguistics. When the IVR can understand the customer’s speech, it will look for keywords. These keywords are the possible words a customer can say in order to state their purpose of calling, a.k.a ”intent”. Upon decoding the intent, the IVR will enable the issue resolving process. If an agent is needed for certain cases, then it will route in an agent without much wait.

The conversational IVR will also add personal touches to the conversation, making it professional but not detached. The IVR bot can access all the customer data stored in the system and use it to offer optimum customer satisfaction. And honestly, these bots can go through years of data stored in seconds as opposed to human agents.

IVRs as a Payment Portal

IVRs can be used to encourage customers to pay bills or renew their services easily. With a single click, the IVR can connect to bank getaways and start the billing process. The end-user can just type in their card number, expiry date and cvv on the number pad of phone. This feature is beneficial to specific industries such as telecommunication providers, airline companies, internet providers, and other subscription-based service providers.

IVR to Collect Feedback

Feedback IVR is quite popular as it can quickly take customer input over a call. With a call blast solution, phone numbers (of customers who made a purchase) can be autodialed and when the customer picks up, the prompt can request the customer to provide feedback by pressing an option in the phone pad. Similar campaigns are conducted for taking citizens opinion before election or even shortlisting prospects usually called as Press 1 campaign.

Visual IVR

Visual IVR is a unique amalgamation of traditional IVR and the digital interface. It actually runs via touch or click commands on the customer’s mobile or computer screen. It is a modern approach to self-service. Here, the entire command chain of traditional IVR will be visible to the customer on their smart screens. The customer can browse through the IVR menu on their phones or desktop and choose the service they need.

The Visual IVR experience is more immersive as it channels away into different resources like knowledge bases, chatbot or chat/ video call with a live agent. This has increased its containment rate without any agent interaction by 50-60% as opposed to traditional IVR. Visual IVR is user-friendly, Gen-Z forward and has a comfortable user treatment in contrary to waiting in IVR queues.

With proper integration with the contact center solution, the customer details can be collected and his customer journey can be made visible if the customer connects back to a live agent over call or chat.

Improve the IVR Experience

It is important to reflect on the IVR experience that your brand provides. Usually many companies fail to notice the IVR experience and only modify the IVR greetings based on certain occasions. However, improving the IVR experience directly increase the IVR containment rate and hence less call is transferred to the call queue. This is same as self-service and most of the caller will not like to wait in queue if the IVR flow is appropriately designed. Observing the IVR containment rate and the IVR nodes from which the caller usually connects with the agent can be observed to continuously improve the IVR experience. We have an interesting blog which explains best practices for customer-centric IVR design.

The Final Verdict

It seems IVRs are only getting better with time. The modern IVR solutions are smarter, quicker and offer a better customer experience. Gone are those days, when the customer had no choice but to wait on queue. Businesses are incorporating their channels including IVR to create an omnichannel experience throughout. This concludes that IVRs are still relevant and much better than they were a decade ago. To learn more about self-service IVR solution, speak to our experts.

 



Author Bio:  Sweta is a growing technical writer with experience in digital marketing. Outside work, she is a devoted Esports advocate.



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