IVRs (Interactive Voice Response Systems) are indisputably among the poorly utilized automated interactive systems that degrade the customer experience with bad designs. The never-ending list of IVR prompts not only makes customers wait for their problems to be resolved but may also force them to stop using the service. It comes as no surprise that a study by a leading University found that 83% of consumers had poor experiences with IVRs. Even more surprising is the fact that consumers believe IVRs are merely cost-effective marketing strategies for enterprises.
People dislike recorded interactive voice response systems that make them wait for a long time. However, the system is never a bad option, as long as it is designed to meet the needs of consumers. In this article, Pulse Unified Communication Service provider, India's leading UC and hosted PBX provider, explains some of the best design practices that can be used to improve IVR functionality.
One key reason that makes IVR's highly undesirable is that this automation is not a choice. A consumer 'must' go through the mandatory series of recorded messages until they are connected with the customer associate. Often, delay caused by this customary process frustrates consumers who may have to wait long for their issues to be resolved.
The usual promotional messages that come with the IVR are also another major cause of dissatisfaction. Some companies play marketing messages, business and website information in their IVRs, which delays the actual purpose they are meant to serve.
IVRs are generally been viewed with disdain because they cannot convey messages clearly and transfer callers quickly to associates. The longer it takes to transfer the calls, the more dissatisfied the customer becomes. The current implementations of IVR show that the system is not flawed, but its implementations are.
User-centric VUI ( Voice User Interface) ensures that customers can navigate the menus easily and receive help at the point of need. The following section of the article summarizes nine suggestions for improving cloud IVR solutions.
Options to reach an executive easily.
Consumers would like an IVR with an easy navigation feature, but they'd like to speak with an executive faster. Implement design changes that make this option easy to access.
Shift regular announcements to call transfer gaps
Announcements like "Call recording" can be transferred to call transfer slots or relayed only if necessary. It can reduce the amount of time it takes to reach the customer service staff.
Reduce the menu options for 30 seconds
The length of a menu can often hinder the quality experience of a customer. Make sure that the main menus are optimized and kept simple to prevent delays in call transfers.
Place primary language options in the beginning.
Customer engagement can be improved by placing language preference options first. Make sure the primary languages appear first in the options.
Humanize the pre-recorded voices
Designers should add a personalized touch to IVRs by recording responses similar to customer executives. Ideally, the voices should have the ability to deliver tones and inflections when needed.
Integrate voice recognition features
Give customers a reasonable amount of time to respond after the prompts. Strong voice recognition features can identify natural pauses and give the customer enough time to respond.
Avoid repetitive instructions
There is nothing more annoying than a long wait, but the redundant instructions that come with it make it more annoying. Playing these instructions is not recommended.
Rephrase the prompts when errors are made
Customers can get stuck on an option or a command when they do not understand it. To improve clarity, try rephrasing those commands.
Pass on IVR information to live executives
Customer service executives often ask customers to repeat the same information they might have given over the IVR. Allow programs to capture these details in advance so that customers can avoid repeating the process.
The right cloud IVR solutions can make your customers happy. Implement the above practices to make the IVR system a value-added service for both providers and customers.