WHAT IS INTERACTIVE VOICE RESPONSE (IVR)
Interactive Voice Response, or IVR, is a self-service technology that allows customers to interact through a touch-tone keypad or voice input without the aid of a live agent. This allows customers to navigate your organization and find the appropriate solution quickly. The IVR can be used to allow a customer to solve their problem or issue in a completely self-service mode, such as finding the status of a shipment, or to route the customer to the appropriate agent or department based on certain data gathered by the IVR.
IVRs increase customer satisfaction, as customers can quickly solve their own issues in a completely self-service mode, or they can input minimal information to make sure they are serviced by the most appropriate agent. IVRs also benefit the call center. In addition to improved first-call resolution, agent productivity is greatly enhanced, as agents do not have to gather routine information and can instead spend their time on more important customer issues.
ALIGN WITH YOUR BUSINESS STRATEGY
The Bright Pattern IVR adapts your customer service strategy to your business strategy. Through Bright Pattern’s journey-building application, Scenario Builder, you can prompt the customer to input required information, provide the customer with automated responses, or route high-value customers to the most appropriate resource to satisfy their needs.
Once you have designed and implemented your business strategy with the drag-and-drop Scenario Builder application, you can use our data-rich survey capabilities to assess customer satisfaction and agent performance.
TRADITIONAL VERSUS CONVERSATIONAL IVR
Generally speaking, there are two kinds of IVR. Traditional IVRs typically prompt callers to select a number from a menu of options, while a conversational IVR allows you to speak naturally and describe what you want in your own words.
Bright Pattern’s conversational IVR utilizes artificial intelligence (AI), Natural Language Processing (NLP), Natural Language Understanding (NLU), and speech-to-text technologies to deliver a more natural customer experience that more closely replicates the experience of talking to a real person over the phone.
IVRs provide a number of benefits to both customers and businesses. Customers today often prefer self-service, and businesses can enjoy higher levels of customer satisfaction while lowering costs.
BENEFITS OF IVRS TO CUSTOMERS
- Faster service for routine tasks — Typical tasks such as checking a balance can be offered up automatically to customers for fast selection and service.
- Faster first contact resolution — IVRs can be used to gather information to best route inquiries to the most appropriate agent for quick resolution versus multiple transfers.
- Increased customer satisfaction — Customers who are routed to the best resource or department with the right information get their issue resolved faster, resulting in higher CSAT.
- Easier navigation based on needs — The IVR provides customers choices to solve their particular issue, whether it be account lookup, making payments, or speaking to a particular agent.
BENEFITS OF IVRS TO BUSINESSES
- Reduced operational costs — Automated systems, rather than costly agents, can handle basic inquiries, saving money all around
- Improved agent productivity — IVRs can gather basic information and route customers to the best and highest-skilled agent to handle the customer service interaction.
- Better customer service — Reduces customer wait time and call volume, resulting in time savings for both the customer and the company
- Anytime/anywhere 24/7 access — Customers can receive service whenever they choose and are not limited to business hours and weekday schedules
- Optimize company resources — Saves money on labor, automates routine activities, and is available whenever the customer desires
A common way to think of an IVR is to consider a road system. The call itself is like a car and the caller is the driver, who is trying to reach a specific destination. An IVR helps them determine the best route to get to that destination as quickly as possible. The goal is to help the caller reach their desired destination.
However, an IVR is not limited to simply directing a caller with a specific need. Rather, an IVR also can be designed to extract information from callers that are used for other purposes. Businesses can set up surveys to obtain valuable data from their customers, often after the initial reason for calling is resolved.
This enables IVR systems to gather real-time feedback and consumer data. IVR data can also help businesses and call centers anticipate events or times that typically trigger increased call rates, so that they can schedule appropriately and manage increased demand.
Sales departments have also employed IVRs so that customers can place orders over the phone. The IVR uses responses to prompts to complete an automated virtual form. Once the order is placed, it is transferred by the IVR to the appropriate staff. The IVR can be set up to send this data as an email.
The example of how sales departments use IVRs demonstrates that an IVR has both incoming and outgoing capabilities. An IVR can send a fax, deliver an email, or place a phone call. For example, during political campaigns, an IVR can place robocalls with political information. Combining an IVR’s outgoing call capabilities with survey technology is a great way to reach out to voters or consumers to gather poll data.
In addition, IVRs can be used to produce transcriptions of audio content, which is then transferred to databases, to the cloud, or to individuals via email.
BRIGHT PATTERN IVR
Bright Pattern offers two kinds of IVR: a traditional IVR that prompts callers to select a number from a menu of options, and a conversational IVR that allows you to speak naturally and describe what you want in your own words.
Both traditional and conversational IVRs have enormous benefits and will result in higher levels of customer satisfaction, increased first-call resolution, 24/7 availability, higher agent productivity, and reduced costs.