Even as online channels such as live chat are fast becoming preferred ways to communicate with brands, a whopping 72% of customers in the UK* say they use the telephone regularly to engage. As a result, investing in your telephony audio brand to improve the customer experience is still highly relevant.
As a brand, the first point of a phone interaction with your customers usually starts at the Welcome or IVR menu, and customers largely link their frustration in dealing with brands to the IVR system and in queue experience, given that, a well-designed IVR can go a long way in creating a strong first impression and can smooth the customer journey. Despite this, antiquated, static IVR systems remain in existence, forcing every customer through the same introduction and menu hierarchy regardless of their need. To meet and exceed your customers’ expectations, consider implementing an IVR call flow that is intuitive, intelligent and dynamically reactive to individual needs.
What Is Dynamic IVR?
A dynamic IVR system is one that changes the call flow based on explicit or implicit context provided by the caller. At the start of a call, your customer is prompted to provide information, or alternatively information is obtained automatically by matching other variables – such as the phone number, location or CRM data, to proactively identify them. As they gather information, IVRs build a picture of the customer, their requirement, and modify the IVR menus. There are a number of well know brands in the UK that already utilise this functionally, including Sky, Virgin Media, Vax, AO.com and BT.
Having identified a customer, dynamic IVR can then connect with a CRM or other database to analyse previous interactions and adapt the flow accordingly.
For example, consider a customer that is calling the second time to resolve a billing issue. In a static IVR menu, the option to connect to the appropriate department may be the fifth option, leaving your customer listening to four options on every call before hearing the correct choice. This can cause frustration as customers waste time listening to irrelevant menu options. The dynamic IVR, however, will recognise prior interactions and offer the option to connect to the appropriate department much earlier in the IVR tree, thus improving the calling experience and reducing customer effort.
A dynamic IVR can provide significant customer experience advantages. At the same time, it can directly impact contact centre efficiencies as well. Below are the major advantages of using a dynamic IVR.
Customers can benefit in many ways from your organisation implementing an advanced, dynamic IVR routing system. Using insight gained either automatically through the call flow or by individual customer input, a more personalised, contextual service can be provided.
The actual IVR recordings and the voice artist that is used is also critical to ensuring the best possible experience. The tone, style, delivery and empathy in how the voice artist is produced in the IVR will have a huge impact on how callers interact and navigate through the menus. The call flow will be shortened, as customers are likely to hear the option most relevant to them first, allowing them to access an appropriately skilled agent or the correct self-service area far quicker. In a recent survey conducted across four major global markets, most customers cited getting their issue resolved quickly as the most important part of customer service. This further emphasizes the importance of implementing a dynamic IVR system capable of reducing time spent within the IVR itself.
Targeted Marketing In-Queue
One of most often repeated frustrations for customers using the telephony channel is having to listen to general delay messages like ‘your call is important to us’, and ‘we’re busy dealing with other customers.’ Targeted Marketing, just like Dynamic IVR can identifies the type of caller and plays relevant information in queue until an agent is available. Each queue would have different content based on a range of parameters. The most basic example of this split would be Sales, Customer Service, Claims, or Complaints, but if other information is available that can be used to make in-queue production even more relevant…great! Imagine a customer who has just bought a router from you and is calling a technical help line…then in all likelihood they are probably wanting help with the router …so how about playing the FAQ answers for that router in-queue. This helps the customer and may reduce call duration helping you too.
Both customers and organisation can benefit from a well scripted and recorded in-queue production. Customers will receive a personalised, contextual service, which adapts to them and their individual needs, and will feel engaged and empowered by the journey provided to them. They will experience a smoother, faster service, which is tailored to them.
Whatever path your CX transformation takes to enhance the customer journey, consider your IVR and in-queue experience a key part of it. A professionally recorded, dynamic IVR could be the customer service differentiator your brand is looking for.
By Kevin O’Connor,
*Microsoft “Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report” 2018