How to Improve IVR System and Provide a Better CX?

We have to accept this bitter truth that customers don’t like Interactive Voice Response systems (IVRs). There is a reason behind it; generally, customers get stuck between endless series of prompts and don’t get the resolution of their problem. 

 

It is true that software has been created to help businesses and improve customer experience, but it leaves the customers dissatisfied. New York University has done a study, and it came out that 83% of customers are dissatisfied with the IVR system, and they consider it as just a cost-saving area for business. It clearly shows that customers are not in favor of IVRs.

 

However, we wanted to know why people don’t like IVR and what things they dislike about it. To dig a little deeper, we came up with a curated list of questions to determine what people dislike about these systems and what they like about them.

 

The main takeaway we have is that IVR systems are just an automation tool that helps businesses save money, but deep down, we know that it’s a love-hate relationship.

 

After figuring out why customers don’t like IVR systems and what they need from an IVR system, we’ll find the best ways to improve IVR system

 

In this article, we will tell you the ten best ways to improve the IVR system and improve the customer experience. 

 

The problem is not the IVR system; it is the design of your IVR System

Before we just dive into the solutions. First, we have to find out what makes your IVR complicated. So they get an idea of why people do not like this automation tool. The reality is there’s no problem with the technology of the IVR system, and the problem is how you and others are implementing this technology. 

 

These days businesses unjustifiably try to gather information and do marketing with the callers, such as they play marketing messages providing website information, outage information, and location. Because of these unneeded things, the wait time increases, and as a result, the callers get frustrated. 

 

Generally, a customer chooses to use an IVR option if it is crucial to resolve the issue and there is no other option. Otherwise, if the problem is not severe, the customer tries to go with other options. Today, companies are trying to embed IVR systems everywhere, and it causes customers to have a minimal number of options if they want to speak to an associate.

 

To give you an idea of how a customer feels when an unimproved IVR system tackles them when they call. For example, how a bank ATM would be if they were set up like the IVR systems of today. Can the reader imagine a series of ATMs at the entrance of a brick-and-mortar bank branch that all customers must interact with before the door opens? On paper, this system looks like a great plan, a meaningful idea providing the customer with an easy way to perform simple transactions autonomously. But, in reality, this system would allow machines to block customers from getting access to the knowledgeable human employees eager to provide personalized and expedient service inside the bank. Will that bank would be able to survive and continue to satisfy its customers? It is said that any technology that doesn’t feel organic and blocks organic human behavior will quickly be vilified and rejected as the unimproved IVR.

 

Now, we have to think from our side that – If the IVR is created to provide a solution to any question or queries to the caller. Then, why are customers getting frustrated with the IVR systems and don’t want to use an IVR? As per our research, the customer doesn’t like the limitations of automated self-service using voice response by the businesses. The work of an automation system is to simplify things and not make the things complex; it should be clear, concise, and quick (CCQ) manner or transfer them so they can speak to an agent.

 

How to Improve the IVR System?

We should first understand that the IVR system’s sole purpose should be solving customer problems without affecting the customer experience. To do that, review the business rules, associate skill group mapping, and gain upfront information on who their customers are and what they may need based on the status of their accounts. 

 

AN IVR system should be designed to work proactively and have access to the database; along with it, Auto Number Identifier (ANI) should be enabled so that the IVR bot can automatically fetch the customer’s data. 

 

After receiving the correct data, the system can provide the correct information and the resolution to the caller accordingly. For example, if the customer has a bill due within a few days of the call, the IVR bot can ask, “are you calling to make a payment?” or if they are past due, it should be like this “would you like to set up a payment plan?”. Also, when customer calls get transferred to the executive, the executive should know all the information that the caller provided to the IVR.

 

To improve the performance of your IVR bot so that your business can achieve customer satisfaction and improve the customer experience. There are many vital spots where you can give your attention to improve it. Here is the list of IVR problems that can be improved to regain customer trust and improve customer experience: 

  • Try To Provide a Live Agent Option to the Customer 

Although IVRs are created to tackle customer issues, the issue often doesn’t get resolved, or the customer doesn’t understand. That’s why businesses should try to add a live agent option with the IVR system. That way, you’ll be able to resolve maximum customer problems.

  • Call Recording Announcements Should Be only On Transfer

Customers know that calls are often recorded for quality and assurance purposes. But, they don’t like to hear that sound again and again. That’s why you should make call recording announcements known only when it’s necessary to do so.

  • Offer Less Important Things at the End of the Menu

You should mention less essential things and non-primary things at the end of the menu, such as non-primary language at the end.

  • Simplify Things in the IVR

Simplifying things can the main menu can improve your customer experience and makes the IVR experience more efficient. 

  • The IVR Sound Should Be More like Human

Although people like to talk with AI devices like Alexa and Google Assistant, they still don’t like to talk with a robot. The IVR should not sound like a robot; pre-recorded sounds like an actual human can be added to the IVR. Because of this, the customer can under the right tone and right inflection. It can be done in SanSoftwares’ SanIVR Bot. You can easily add voice input in the SanIVR bot to improve customer experience. 

  • It would be best if you Allowed Barge-In All Prompts 

You have to make sure that prompts so that the callers know they shouldn’t speak until the prompt is completed. Barging is essential for all prompts because most IVR systems don’t come with voice recognition. 

  • Using Speech Recognition and Silence to Get Through the Queue

If your IVR system has voice regeneration, it is recommended to use strong voice recognition so that the IVR system can take a natural pause to allow customers to enter information or the option to speak. It will make the conversation livelier as like with an agent. Make sure that the IVR provides enough time for the customer to respond. 

  • Instructions should be provided only when mistakes are made

You don’t have to provide excessive information to the customers, and they already can become frustrated and angry because of long messages or waiting times.

  • Always Use Different Words to Re-Prompt the Caller While Error Correction

When an IVR caller is stuck on a prompt or command, they become frustrated. To not frustrate the callers, rephrase the options available for callers if they make a mistake with a prompt.

 

  • Make Sure That the Information Provided by the Caller to the IVR Should Share with the Agent

It is one of the biggest reasons for customer dissatisfaction and frustration. The customer doesn’t like to repeat the details repeatedly; that’s why it is essential to send the customer’s details to the agent in real-time. So that, when the call gets transferred, the agent doesn’t have to ask for the details again. 

 

  • The IVR Should Support Multiple Languages

Sometimes businesses use the IVR systems with only a single language or popular languages only such as Hindi and English. This is one of the silly mistakes a business can make: make sure to use multiple languages and add some regional languages. 

With SanIVR Bot, you can use the multi-lingual feature to add multiple languages. 

 

If You Design the IVR System Properly, It Can Be a Win-Win Proposition

The conclusion is that if we try to improve or make some changes in the IVR system, the customer will use the IVR even if they would prefer to use it unless they don’t have to listen to some upfront messages, too many options, and deep menus. If this happens, the customer will disconnect the call and ask for an agent, but how the company would know that the particular customer wants to talk with an agent. It is good to add the ability to get to an agent (by pressing “0”). San SoftwaresSanIVR Bot can help you add all the customizations and improvements to revamp your IRV system also it can also reduce your overall cost by deflecting call volume to the automated self-service that IVRs can provide.

 

Ability to Bypass the IVR System 

Obviously, you have implemented the IVR system to save cost and provide 24/7 customer support, but you have to ensure that you can’t eliminate 100% human interference from any critical operation. That’s why make sure that you have staff available for attending calls. Our study found out that 60 percent of the callers want to talk with a human directly because of some obvious reasons. Therefore, an option to bypass the IVR system will add some stars to your customer experience bar. 

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