Skip to main content

Using an IVR effectively


A Practical Guide to Call Center TechnologyFirst – what is an IVR? 
Some people also call it an ACD but whatever you call it, an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) or Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) system is used to get your customers to the right people to answer their questions or provide them with the right information.
 
When used effectively it can be great for your customers – they get their calls answered by knowledgeable people in a timely manner and for the companies its great too ... by knowing who your customer is calling and about what you can ensure that you have the right people in place at the right time and you are able to pull the appropriate information from the system to ensure that this practice continues.
 
However, when an IVR is not working the right way, you are putting your customers in what is known as "IVR hell" – basically your clients are talking to the machine more than to your staff and are in a loop, just going around in circles getting madder and madder. This is one of the best ways to lose business!
 
How do you fix it you may ask? 
Well sometimes the issue or problem might actually be related to the technology itself but more often than not it's the fact that you are offering too many options to the customer or when they actually do reach a representative that is supposed to be knowledgeable in the area that they are concerned about to hear the response that they are unable to help without additional information – which is more than frustrating!
 
The Executive Guide to Call Center MetricsYou need to manage the caller's expectations and to do this right; you need to ensure that your customers know what information is required BEFORE they speak to your representative – mention it at the start of your IVR and at every hold interval that you need to put in. Make sure that the IVR is actually working – try it yourself ... REGULARLY ... and try it from a customers point of view not with your inside knowledge of who to speak to ... get people from other departments to call in if necessary. If you are able to integrate your IVR into your CRM solution do so – having all of the customers information available including past issues reported is extremely important and useful. Finally and perhaps most IMPORTANT ... ensure that your staff on the other end of the line are able to solve the problem! Finally reaching a live body only to be told that they will need to call back does not help your customer's mood.
1 comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Difference Between Incident Managment and Problem Management

Incident Management and Problem Management are both key components of the ITIL service model and have been defined and created in an effort to provide a better and more streamlined service to consumers.
ITIL itself stands for the - Information Technology Infrastructure Library - and comprises of the following books:
ITIL Service Strategy ITIL Service Design ITIL Service Transition ITIL Service Operation ITIL Continual Service ImprovementIncident Management and Problem Management are both elements of the fourth volume - ITIL Service Operation, which tries to define the best practice for dealing with interruptions to a customers service. What is an Incident? An incident is a single - unique - issue impacting one specific customer and their service. While there can be many similar incidents impacting multiple customers, each of them are in their fashion unique and need to be logged and treated as such.
An example of an incident is you losing your home Internet connection. While the underly…

What is PRINCE2

PRINCE2 stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environments and is a very popular method for effective Project Management.  PROJECT MANAGEMENTWhile PRINCE2 is one way of managing Projects, it is worthwhile defining what exactly a project is and why it needs management in the first place! 


A project is specific task/role that needs to be completed to meet certain objectives. In a managed project, you would have a defined beginning and end and certain "check points" throughout the process itself to ensure that you were on target to meet your overall objectives.

These checkpoints are referred to as "gates" and at each gate, you would have certain deliverable and targets to check your progress against. By managing a project in this fashion, you are able to ensure that you stay on track and that any issues or concerns are identified and dealt with at an early stage of the process versus waiting till the end.

The defined "end" to a project is necessary as it creates …

THE 4 P'S OF SERVICE STRATEGY

Competition is extremely fierce in the world of business, only a handful survive, and some can barely keep up with the demands of the times. That's why it is necessary to have an idea of what it takes to be successful and an integrated strategy to help maintain excellent service results.

ITIL discusses at length the four “Ps” of strategy- perspective, position, plan and pattern, each of which represents a different way to approach your service strategy. Brief summaries are provided here: Perspective - This is basically the vision statement of an organization.  Why is it in business, why is it doing what it is doing?  What are the plans and ideas for the future and how does the organization interact with its customers?  A perspective cements a service provider’s distinctiveness in the minds of the employees and customersPositions - What is the competitive landscape and how will the organization compete with other similar providers?  What is the key distinction between them and oth…

8 RULES OF GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE & 8 STEPS TO DEFINE A SERVICE

In a similar fashion to interviewing and hiring people - the hardest and most expensive exercise is getting the right employee - getting people back into the door is exactly the same.  You want that repeat custom as that is what will save you money in your marketing and advertising.  One of the key components to this in addition to the quality of the product itself is the customer service that you provide to the customer in their purchasing and ordering decisions.  You can offer promotions and slash prices to bring in as many new customers as you want, but unless you can get some of those customers to come back, your business won't be profitable for long. Good customer service is all about bringing customers back. And about sending them away happy - happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others, who may then try the product or service you offer for themselves and in their turn become repeat customers. 
Good customer service should be thought of as re…