How to use IVR effectively and improve the customer experience

IVR or interactive voice response is an automated system response to answer calls and support the call center by providing instructions to customers.

The callers are able to input responses by pressing numbers on the keypad designated to certain commands, narrowing the range of potential information and support required from live agents.

Customers are usually not overjoyed when greeted with an IVR system, finding the lengthy descriptions annoying and time-consuming, and sadly 9 out of 10 firms with functioning call centers use only this setup.  The underlying cause for the general dissatisfaction must be that most companies use IVR solely to filter queries, relieve the pressure and prevent overflowing, not taking into consideration the customer experience provided when receiving an incoming call.

However, IVR can be so much more than just an automated system response. Below, we have gathered several ideas on how to tackle it in an unconventional way, improve the customer experience while staying effective as well.

  • Call back opportunity

“The current wait time is 15 minutes until we can connect you to an available operator. If you would like to wait, please press 1, if not, press 2 and we will call you back within an hour.”

It seems to be an obvious decision to use IVR to offer a call back opportunity to customer, yet it is not widely practiced. This setup guarantees to improve the customer experience, because your callers will appreciate that you care about them and respect their time.

  • Offering additional contact information

“If you would prefer to talk to us via text messages, you can also reach through live chat on our website and interact directly with one of the operators online. Press 1 to receive a text message with a link to live chat.”

It takes no extra effort or a complicated setup to provide your customers with additional information via your IVR. Update your callers about the new ways to reach out to you, share a link to live chat or an email address, so they see that you want all your customers to reach out to you the way that they find most comfortable. You can add all the information to the IVR right away or offer the option to share more via SMS or chat applications.

  • Connecting agents with returning customers

“Please hold the line while we reconnect you with the operator who was assisting you previously.”

Via smart routing you can reconnect the callers with the call center agents they have spoken before, so conversations can be picked up from where they left off, without any time wasted on additional explanations. Simply by allowing callers to rely on individual colleagues from time-to-time results in building a trusting relationship between customers and your team, eventually increasing the general satisfaction towards your company.

  • Information about new deal and offers

“If you are interested in upgrading your package, this month we are offering 40% lower prices for all premium setups. Our representative will be with you shortly and tell you more about the available options.”

It might sound pushy to have a sales pitch built into the IVR greeting, however, if done right, it can also be used for your benefit to inform the callers about extraordinary deals and offers you have at the time. If the message is kept short and informative, your customers will be grateful to be notified about special discounts.

  • Acknowledgment message for complaints

“Since you are calling us today, we understand that you are not having a great day. Our colleague will be with you shortly to assist with any issues you are experiencing.”

Acknowledgment IVR messages, such as the example above, can provide helpful for dedicated service line for complaints and reporting problems or malfunctions.

Showing your customers that you are aware that they are facing difficulties with your service and you understand that the situation is not ideal can help diffuse the tension of the call and build a better CX, despite the bad experience.

  • Survey at the end of the call

“If you have a minute, we would be honored to hear your opinion of the service we’ve provided. Were you satisfied? Have you received the solution you required? Please rate the conversation from 1-5 by pressing the buttons on your phone.”

Having a general or customized survey at the end of each call can serve multiple purposes. It’s obviously a useful source of information on the work of the call center and the general satisfaction of your clients, but it’s also influencing the customer experience. By setting up a simple IVR questionnaire after the discussion, your callers will feel that you care about their opinion and you are interested in providing a satisfactory service. 

If you interested in having a customized IVR setup and would like to learn more about the options Nexios can provide, reach out to us! It would be our pleasure to show you a demo of the wonders we can offer!

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