IVR and the Smartphone: A Perfect Match
A 2012 poll found that 80% of consumers would stop doing business with a company after a bad experience with an interactive voice response (IVR) system. Some consumers can’t imagine any encounter with an IVR that doesn’t end in frustration or shouting “Operator!” (among other choice words) as the recording rambles on about options available by pressing 1, or 2, or 9.
Is there any way to make the IVR more appealing? Or are companies forced to use this technology doomed to the prospect of an angry customer base?
Enter the Smartphone
The problem with the IVR is customers have to wait for audio instructions before following a series of steps that (hopefully) gets them to the answers they need. But when those options are provided via visual representation on a smartphone, those same customers don’t seem to mind.
All of us when we’re online are used to clicking on the links that will get us the answers we need. We’re so accustomed to it that navigating a visual IVR menu can be completed much more quickly than waiting to hear the full list of options from a recorded message. If waiting for an agent still proves inevitable, a visual IVR can offer video presentations that may be helpful, and at the very least are more informative and entertaining than the musical selections that play while we’re stuck on hold.
Best of all, this self-service technology is not expensive – an important consideration for companies that opted for the IVR to avoid the cost of a full-service contact center.
So if you must resort to an IVR, a smartphone version provides a new way to access the cost and convenience benefits of the system, without the obstacles that drive customers away.
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