Interactive voice response (IVR) systems are powerful tools for contact centers to have in their tool boxes. When designed right, IVR systems can increase customer satisfaction by offering an enhanced experience, while a poor design can leave customers stranded in a wilderness of menu options. Organizations that thoughtfully implement their IVR systems can accelerate resolutions in several ways that benefit both the business and its customers.
What is an IVR system?
An IVR system is telephony software that call centers use to help route calls, collect customer information, and enable customer self-service. Consumers know IVRs as the menu at the beginning of customer service calls ("Press 1 for claims"). The customer's menu choices help the call center route the call to the most qualified agent or agent team. For example, if the caller selected 1 for Claims, they would be routed to an agent who is qualified to assist with claim-related inquiries.
The upfront menu process can also be used to collect information that can then be passed to agents so they are armed with all relevant information the moment they speak with the customer. For example, the IVR system could ask the caller to enter their claim number or account number, and then automatically present the claim information to the agent when they are connected with the customer.
Entry of the claim number could also be part of a self-service transaction. Continuing the example, if the IVR is integrated with the claims system, a caller could check the status of their claim by interacting solely with the IVR, no agent required. Of course, if the customer needs further clarification, a well-designed IVR system will still give them the option to speak to an agent.
It's clear that an IVR system can be a valuable resource for accelerating resolutions. This is good for business because it can increase customer satisfaction and yield several operational benefits. This type of win-win situation is a no-brainer and worth looking into if you don’t have an IVR today.