Revisiting Your Interactive Voice Response System
A recent study looked at how customers perceive IVR channels and uncovered some key findings:
- Nearly all Americans (94 percent) have experienced frustrations when using IVR channels to communicate with a company.
- Over half of respondents (52 percent) were frustrated at having to repeat themselves, and almost half (49 percent) hated waiting to be connected to a live agent while in a queue.
- Almost as many (47 percent) were frustrated because they could not bypass the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system in order to speak to a live agent.
- Forty-six percent were annoyed to listen to a list of irrelevant options presented by an IVR system and 45 percent were frustrated to get disconnected from a call.
However, all is not dim when it comes to the demand for IVR. If the system works well, customers say that they often prefer it. In fact, two out of three Americans (66 percent) say they would choose AI-powered voice over text if it were effective at answering their questions; and, three out of four (76 percent) of Americans would be comfortable with a human not being involved.
Biggest Areas for IVR Improvement
According to a Fast Company article, two of the biggest consumer complaints is having to repeat their name or account number to a live agent after already typing it in or saying it to the IVR system and being rerouted to different agents who ask the customer to verify their identity over and over again. Additionally, many consumers noted that one of their pet peeves when it comes to IVR systems is having to wait to be transferred over to a live agent.
One of the most vital steps in making the most of your IVR system is evaluating it often to make sure it is providing the best patient experience. We’ve listed a few points of what to consider as you analyze your current IVR system.
The 10 Commandments of IVR
- Put your patient first. Your IVR flow must always focus on the patient experience. Create personal greetings, make standard information easily available, and enable accessibility and freedom of choice throughout the navigation. Put yourself in your patients’ shows and walk through your IVR experience- by feeling what the customer goes through, you can define what works and what doesn’t.
- Make sure the script short and sharp. Keep menu options to a minimum and straight to the point. Nobody wants to be bombarded by endless options – make it easy for callers to resolve issues themselves or speak to an agent who can.
- Offer a direct route to a CSR if needed. There is nothing more frustrating than being presented with too many choices but no option to speak with an advisor. Sometimes patients need to speak with a human – make it easy for them to do so!
- Share the information gathered in your IVR solution. In the event of a transfer to a rep, make sure all information gathered in your IVR is saved and presented to the agent that will handle the query. This greatly improves agent productivity and further reduces customer frustration.
- Offer a call back. This allows patients to choose to leave the queue and wait for a CSR to contact them at a convenient time. If patients don’t take this option, use the IVR to keep callers informed of expected waiting times, position in the queue, and alternative contact options.
- Give your patients the chance to repeat the menu options. Always give your patients the chance to repeat the menu options if they wish.
- Complement your brand. Use simple, to-the-point language; make sure the voice on your IVR matches your brand and values (and is not cliché); and avoid playing on-hold music that is boring, annoys callers, and doesn’t reflect your brand image.
- Measure and manage your IVR. Align and measure your IVR system with contact center and organizational objectives. By measuring your IVR’s performance, you can quickly find what is working and what needs fixing.
- Regularly review your IVR. Regularly work on your IVR requirements, as they change through time. An IVR that works in year one may no longer fit in year three. Regularly analyze, tune, and re-analyze your call flows to improve call completion rates in your IVR.
- Integrate your IVR with your CRM. This is a simple and effective tweak that enables a personalized touch for your patients.
This article was originally published on RevSpring and is republished here with permission.