Trying to design the perfect Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is like trying to train a dog to run faster than a Porsche. The entire paradigm is fundamentally disadvantaged at achieving the task it aims to achieve.
Press 1 for bad customer service
Nobody wakes up and thinks, “I can’t wait to speak to a customer service agent today.” When that phone call is happening, it’s because something has gone wrong, and it might be already too late to save that relationship.
Do you like IVRs? How many times have you waited through all the options, only to find out there’s no choice for what you need? How many times have you just pressed 0 to hack the system and talk to a human faster? How many times have you abandoned the whole process in frustration?
There will always be a need to handle phone calls in your call center, but it’s not the first channel of choice for today’s consumer. Or even the second or third. Providing an escape from IVR jail using digital deflection can be the relief valve that saves you from a bad reputation.
Press 2 to engage on our terms, not yours
IVRs force customers to conform to your company’s process for resolving issues. The whole experience is designed to compensate for having limited resources to handle phone calls, funnel customers into bottlenecks to wait their turn finding out if the person they finally get to talk to can solve their issue. IVRs make life easier for your business, but they don’t impress your customers.
Press 3 to hear our choice of hold music
Agents can only handle one phone call at a time, unlike with digital engagement where an agent can have several conversations at once. This sets up your customers for long wait times depending on the time of day, day of week, or a spike in call volume due to an event or a catastrophe.
And there’s no choice of music that all your customers will agree on.
Press 4 to explain who you are and what you want, again
IVRs aren’t ideal for understanding a customer’s intent. This often leads to disconnected experiences where people are forced to repeat the same information to the customer service agent that was painfully collected by button presses on their phones. Customers are tired of being treated like a stranger at every touch point.
Press 5 to repeat this experience
Don’t make people navigate a maze when they’re frustrated with your product. Save customers waiting on hold by giving them a shortcut to resolution using conversational AI over digital channels. Learn more about the value of an IVR system in today’s contact center solution.
And stop worrying about whether your customers like your music.
Dan Rood is the Vice President of Product Marketing at Sprinklr. He has worked in technology for more than 15 years and loves the power of story to clarify and communicate the needs of the customer.
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