The incorporation of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) into telephone systems was an exceptionally innovative idea. Somewhat surprisingly, the technology began as far back as in the 1970’s, but the first editions were far too expensive to be used in the mainstream, and the complexity of the technology meant it didn’t really take off until the 80’s.
Once developers got used to creating IVR technology and when everyday companies could finally afford to implement it in their business, it soon became the norm for people to be talking to recordings on a machine.
As with any technological advance, IVR had its sceptics, and still does today. The fact is, an automated system dealing with your callers and filtering down the ones who really need human attention is incredibly good in theory. However, making this system work to the best of its ability requires a great deal of knowledge, experience, understanding, and – perhaps the most underrated factor – execution.
If you have IVR in place in your business, take a moment to ask yourself this:
- Do you know, at call centre level, the reasons why most people call?
- Are the most popular reasons catered for with their own IVR option?
- Are these options placed at the beginning of your IVR options, therefore reducing caller time and effort?
- Is the “feel” of the call in-keeping with your brand?
- Do you play the right music at the right times?
- Are you aware of the problems your IVR design causes your business?
Also, when IVR was first integrated, it was mainly used to segment calls to different departments within a business. Now, many companies use IVR even though all callers are being routed through to the same agents, creating unnecessary actions for the customer.
The fact is, there are at least 20 areas where your IVR can let your business down and to address them takes a great deal of time and care.
But have you ever wondered why callers can reach boiling point before your agent has had the chance to say a single word? The answer is simple. Your IVR options aren’t providing a pleasant customer journey, and these negative experience may be harming your business more than you thought.
When we worked on a white paper that focused on caller behaviour, we learnt that:
- 93% of callers don’t speak to the right person first time
- 55% of callers are likely to hang up if this happens
- Of the above, 47% are “unlikely” to call you back, going elsewhere
When you consider that you could lose 24% of customers to a competitor for something as simple as your options didn’t allow them to reach the right person on the first attempt, it really does drum home how important your IVR options are. What’s more, statistics show that 80% of customers stay loyal to companies that get this right.
In short, what would you have to lose by having telephony experts look at the format of your IVR journey? It’s an OnBrand custom to offer a caller audit for free, and we can then score your journey out of 200, letting you know how this compares to your closest competitors, as well as offer advice for both short and long-term wins.
Our belief is that a company’s IVR should be reviewed annually, and updated every 1-3 years. The reason for this is the change that naturally occurs within businesses, such as fundamental changes in business functionality, alterations to departments, updates in the brand’s Tone of Voice, and also migrations onto different platforms. With all this in mind, it’s fair to say your IVR can soon become dated, and lack the functionality it did when first delivered.
So don’t delay. Apply for your IVR audit today!
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