3 secrets to unlocking your IVR for greater revenue

Make It Sizzle! 3 Secrets to Unlocking Your IVR for Greater Revenue

Experiences are becoming more automated and driven by artificial intelligence in the contact center – and increasingly blended with live assistance. Recent research shows that customers are still calling (80% of interactions are voice) and agent engagement remains as critical as ever (50% of consumers who start with self-service end up moving to live assistance). More businesses than ever are considering how adopting AI capabilities could help them connect the dots in their contact center and to deliver a customer experience that truly stands out.

Innovate for a competitive advantage

The possibilities for customer service innovation are truly limitless – and this is where the NICE inContact CXexchange marketplace comes in.  For business leaders looking to expand their contact center capabilities, it offers the ultimate in CX innovation, showcasing the latest contact center apps available from DEVone technology partners, such as Lucency Technology.

By combining the NICE inContact CXone platform with Lucency’s solution, modern contact centers can connect a customer’s online user journey data to their IVR – to gain insight on why a customer is calling and make critical business decisions even before an agent is connected.

Read on for tips on unlocking revenue using AI in your IVR from Lucency’s Neil Valentine.

Tips on unlocking revenue using AI in your IVR

When you think of driving revenue in the contact center, interactive voice response (IVR) improvements may not immediately come to mind – but it’s a great place to start. The power of actionable AI is transforming contact centers around the world.

What was once bleeding-edge IVR technology is now proven, scalable, easily implementable, and impactful to your business' profitability. Businesses of all sizes can leapfrog their competition with the secrets of Fortune 200 companies who are utilizing an AI-powered IVR to improve revenue per call by 21% and reduce average handle time (AHT) by over 64 seconds.

Here are 3 'best in class' IVR approaches that are proven to dramatically improve revenue and sales conversions per call, reduce average handle time (AHT), and significantly improve the overall user experience. 

#1: Integrate Website & Mobile App data

How many of your callers originated from a website or mobile app experience? If you're like most companies in today's omnichannel world, the answer is 'most.' A typical customer journey often starts in a digital channel (website, email, app, SMS, chat, etc.) and then move to voice – and back to digital again across multiple interactions.

Let’s say the customer starts on your website and starts to engage with your chat pop-up – but then decides they have questions and would prefer to talk to an agent, so they pick up the phone and call. Would you know that the customer downloaded your mobile app and also visited your competitor’s website? Maybe not, but could you offer a different experience to this customer if your agent had this full context (where your caller is coming from) before assisting the customer? Of course! This is exactly why it’s important to know where your callers are coming from – and you can use AI to do that with your IVR.

IVR Potential CustomerExtended with Lucency, CXone IVR can fully track a digital journey, regardless of its channel, and connect it to a phone call inside of the platform! The truth is, for several years now, a small handful of forward-thinking Fortune 200 companies have been tracking, linking, and connecting omnichannel customer journeys across digital to voice and reserving this technology (and its performance enhancing effects) strictly for themselves.

You might ask, “Why keep the tech for themselves?” Simply, to maintain a massive strategic advantage over their competition and horde the benefits – including 21% improvement in revenue per call and 64 second decrease in average handle time (AHT).

The hardest part of any journey, especially with new technology, is taking the first step. Modern contact centers on the NICE inContact CXone platform can easily integrate (via REST-APIs) website and mobile application data – effectively linking each caller to their respective digital journey data across websites, apps, SMS, chat, and email. Imagine the possibilities you could orchestrate with real-time and actionable customer data are available to your IVR, ACD, scripting, and agents?

#2 Context is king 

Here’s an analogy: Your IVR is like the front door and the aisles of your business. If a customer is standing in the dishwasher aisle, would your employee ask them questions about a lawnmower? Does your IVR treat every caller the same? Do you force callers down the same paths time and time again? 

Let’s say a customer clicked on your Google Ad and spent 18 minutes on your website shopping for new workout clothes and shoes. In her shopping cart, she has added a red pair of size 7.5 Saucony Endorphin Pro running shoes, two size Medium Athleta sports bras, and a size Medium Polartec cold weather running tights in heather gray. During the online checkout process, she has a question about expedited shipping and calls into your contact center. How does your IVR treat this first-time buyer? Do you customize their IVR experience based on their actions on your website?

NICE inContact CXone AI powered IVRWith an AI-powered IVR, you can instantly connect this caller to every action she performed on your website. Instead of treating her like every other caller, your IVR routes her directly to a sales agent specialized in women’s apparel. Additionally, your agent knows exactly what items the caller had in her shopping cart and will speak directly to her needs.

See the difference? No longer is your IVR blind. With real-time customer context & intent, your IVR understands the context of each call before it enters a decision tree. The process of injecting a callers' context into your IVR is transformative. Your new AI-powered IVR now creates unique and custom paths directly related to the caller’s context. Gone are the days of treating every caller the same and forcing callers down the same IVR paths time and time again. With customer context embedded into each IVR occurrence, you can anticipate each caller's needs and dramatically improve their overall customer experience. 

#3 Real-time decisioning (RTD) is critical 

A caller enters your IVR after having spent 22 minutes browsing health insurance plans online. During that process, they’ve selected their city, state, and zip code. They’ve sorted plans by total ‘out of pocket’ costs, watched a video on telehealth, and compared three plans. The customer now has a question about which plan is best and calls your contact center.

Armed with real-time customer context, your AI-powered IVR now recognizes this caller and their specific needs: 22 minutes browsing health insurance plans, city, state, and zip code. Important data points around a customer's location, plan type, and customer journey score connect to the IVR. Instead of following your standard IVR prompts, your customer bypasses that and is routed directly to an agent – who can anticipate the customer’s needs before a single word is spoken. She sees the caller’s city, state, zip code, and plan types pop up in her desktop application – and can immediately assist with plans tailored for the customer’s location without the need to ask any discovery questions. Not only does this reduce the overall call handle time, it relieves the customer from repeating their details and enables the agent to be highly productive.

Knowing your customers' needs and thoughts while they're IN your store is much more critical than knowing after the fact – like, when they leave empty-handed. Your AI-powered IVR becomes incredibly productive when it can make real-time decisions based on your callers’ exact needs and understand each caller’s potential value. 

Not all calls are created equal

As operators of contact centers, we've all experienced firsthand that not all calls are created equal. In a sales environment, the potential revenue of each inbound call can vary dramatically by product selected, geography, contract length, etc. As you can imagine, not all digital customer journeys are created equal. Website visitors are in a different stage of the buying cycle, and their potential sales revenue differs greatly by interest and product.

Giving your AI-powered IVR the ability to decipher between low, medium, and high-value calls is critical to customizing user experiences and prioritizing which calls should be answered first and by which agents.

How do you calculate the value of an individual digital journey? Using Lucency’s advanced artificial neural network, which ingests hundreds of unique data points to generate a real-time customer journey score. Leverage CXone’s open cloud foundation infrastructure to benefit from simple integrations, lightning-fast data connections, unparalleled uptimes, and unified data with latency-free connections and real-time data delivery. As a result, these AI-generated scores become part of the core data passed to your IVR. With custom scoring embedded in your IVR, customized pathways are created based on each caller's value. Customer context and intent is anticipated within the IVR, routed based on it, and this data is ultimately delivered in real-time directly into the hands of an agent. How would understanding and anticipating the needs of each caller change the user experience in your business?

Learn more, gain more

AI has the potential to be one of the most transformative contact center technologies – yet many contact center leaders are still a little unsure of where to start. If that’s you, here are two ways to learn more: