In theory, interactive voice responses are a great way to provide customer care to your customers. When designed properly, such systems can easily take care of the bulk of customer requests in an automated manner, reducing the need to spend a lot of money for personnel to man your customer care desk. However, the truth on the ground is that for many companies, such systems don’t work as well as they should, and in some cases they are downright annoying to the customers. The only way to ensure that you get the most out of them is by having them designed in a manner that is practical. Some of the things you need to do in order to achieve this include:
Avoid long monologues
Most companies use the IVRs as a means of interacting with their customers in as polite a manner as possible. For instance, the first message that users encounter when calling the number might be some kind of welcome message, which is a good idea. However, you need to remember that most people who call customer service often want to be served as fast as possible. This means that when you are designing the interactive system, you should reduce the time wasted providing the user with unnecessary information. For instance, the initial greeting should be as short as possible, so as to provide them with the solution they need within a few seconds.
Don’t have too complex menus
In addition to that, you also need to avoid having too many menus in the IVR. This makes it very difficult for people to pay attention to the automated voice, and may in the end simply hang up altogether. Remember, when this happens, it will be deemed to have been poor customer service, and you may end up losing a significant number of customers in this manner. Making sure that the menu options are not too convoluted should therefore be a priority.
Design the system from a point of knowledge
When you are designing such a system, you should never do it from a point of assumption. You should first do some research about the nature of your customers, and then use this to design it. For instance, you need to find out what queries they normally have, and then design the system in such a manner that these are addressed first. This way, the customers will have no reason to want to talk to a customer care representative, which means that the IVR system will be doing the job you expect it to do in the first place.
As long as you are careful with your decision making and that you aim to satisfy your customers, you will find the investment in a hosted IVR system to be one of the best decisions you ever make. This will not only portray your company in good light, but will also ensure that you spend as little as possible in customer care. Getting this combination any other way is usually very difficult, especially for a medium sized or large business.