Delivering successful Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

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1 Delivering successful Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Your customer s telephone journey starts as they dial.

2 INTRODUCTION If you ve been focusing primarily on multichannel, you may have missed refreshing your Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solution. Take a moment and consider when you last critically assessed your menus, recordings, prompts and outage messages. Ensuring your customer s IVR journey is so good that they would rather use it to get rapidly to their destination is the real goal. Maximise value as you automate routine tasks and surprise sceptics with an easy-to-use system that saves them time and increases their convenience. Learn more 83% of consumers run screaming from companies that feature poor automated voice systems (mediapost.com)

3 THE NEED FOR CHANGE A 20% increase in simplicity = 98% increase in customer loyalty (CEB) We ve all been caught in an endless loop of automated text-to-speech calls. They can leave us so confused that we resolve to speak to an advisor anyway. Either the options provided are not applicable, or there are so many choices that by the time you reach Press 9 for you ve forgotten what the first option was. 66% of all consumers find self-service more convenient and 82% of Generation Y actually prefer it, so can you really afford to retain poor IVR systems? Complicated or unintuitive self-service leads to frustration and complaints. Put yourself in your customers shoes and review your current offering from their perspective.

4 WHAT COULD YOU STAND TO GAIN? First impressions count The end-to-end experience matters, from the first greeting until the customer has realised their goal. Focus on your customer - an effortless and successful experience increases customer retention and loyalty Offer an option to speak with an advisor such as All our advisors are currently busy. To avoid queuing, I will put you through to our automated system. If you would prefer to queue, say operator at any time. Happy agents are productive agents IVR releases agents to handle more complex inbound calls and spend more time on advanced skills, knowledge and empathy judgements Sheltering agents from endless calls outside their control, e.g. complaints or reports, combined with the more interesting work improves morale. Just a 5% growth in customer retention can increase profits by 25% to 95% (Bain & Co)

5 e G uide series WHEN IS IT APPROPRIATE TO AUTOMATE? 44% of UK contact centres currently offer self-service IVR to their customers Self-service via IVR is, on average, 6 times less expensive (65p) than speaking to an advisor ( 3.64) (CCH). But IVR is not always appropriate for all types of transactions. Call routing Menus to rapidly deliver customers to the most appropriately skilled advisor for First Contact Resolution (FCR). Full self-service Simple or low value tasks which agents simply process rather than advise on. For example payments, details changes or reporting. High volume tasks also deliver significant ROI. Partial automation Partially automating tasks offers customers support while effectively harnessing agent skills and reducing handling time e.g. in-queue data collection, end of call surveys or a handover to make a payment.

6 CASE STUDY UK TOLL COMPANIES OFFER CUSTOMERS SECURE PAYMENT OPTIONS Fast and easy-to-use payment options are essential for toll road users. As the first company to offer live number plate recognition and live speech recognition, Netcall s PCI IVR payments solution is just that; quick and user friendly. These new technologies allow for quicker passage and shorter queues. Using the payments system, frequent toll road users are able to manage their payment accounts easily and securely via phone or web. TOP RESULTS: Payment automation allows over 80% of customers calling to self-serve <1% back-end system errors Read more of our customer case studies netcall.com/case-studies 90% success rate for non-account holders making payment after using toll.

7 40% of all customer service interactions are handled over the phone (Forrester) 5 STEPS TO DELIVERING THE MOST SUCCESSFUL IVR Customers call you for a reason; to achieve a goal or resolve a query. Design any IVR to make it as easy as possible for a caller to realise that goal without fuss, and they will be satisfied. The scripting, the technology (speech or touchtone) and the menu options should all be designed from the customer s perspective. Evaluate your design at every step and make it so good that they prefer to use it! We have collated 5 key steps to take when developing and delivering your IVR to ensure success.

8 MAP YOUR 1 PROCESS 3% of callers will hang up or hit zero with each IVR prompt presented (Nuance) Providing a seamless and simple experience begins with a good process. Analyse your current situation and make steps towards your dream IVR. Analyse transaction demand and identify high volume tasks. Work to automate these standard service requests first Map the process step-by-step, highlight repetition or unnecessary steps, and capture all back-office integrations Create sets of logical contingent choices that use numerical fields, and drop down menu choices wherever possible What is the value of this step in our IVR process? If you cannot answer this question clearly, eliminate the step. A satisfied caller will return and use your IVR or self-service on another occasion

9 2 STRIVE FOR CONSISTENCY Top Tip Use plain English and design a universally understood set of questions A seamless and consistent journey across all of your communications channels differentiates you as customer experience leaders. Any transaction should use the same process, no matter the channel, whether it s the telephone or a web form Link to your back-end data and update systems or open cases. This enables agents to see complete customer journeys and be more prepared for interactions Collaborate with your Marketing team to provide clear customer instructions and check that the IVR, web forms and collateral are all in agreement.

10 KEEP IT 3 SIMPLE It may seem obvious, but paying extra attention to the finer details and ensuring your IVR is easy to understand is a crucial stage. Design your IVR as a natural, human conversation and keep navigation simple and easy Invest in a professional voice over and authorised music. Only use multiple voices or text-to-speech in an emergency Answer urgent or high volume requests first on the menu. In this way you will satisfy the majority of customers as quickly as possible Use speech recognition and invest in regular grammar tuning Use caller line identification to recognise customers and personalise their menus. Top Tip Your on hold music should reflect your brand values, be professionally recorded and implemented too!

11 SUPPORT THE FAILED 4 TRANSACTION Top Tip Analyse records and track when customers bail out or hit zero to access the operator Use analytics to trace where you are losing callers in the IVR process. This will help you to refine your journeys. Before you launch, use team members not involved with the design to test When a caller experiences difficulty, transfer them to an advisor Provide real-time reporting with automated alerts to managers when bail out rates exceed expected norms. Something may have gone temporarily wrong Rapidly assess any process glitches and make immediate changes. Making small marginal changes will remove customer frustration Design pathways that promote digital inclusion of challenged users. Anticipate their needs and simplify, it s easier than resolving costly complaints.

12 5 MAINTAIN THE VALUE Top Tip Cater for the majority, use the 80:20 rule. Get most people sorted and then deal with those with special requirements To ensure that your IVR stays relevant and is effective, invest time in maintenance. Define your goals, agree success factors and key performance indicators so that you can measure and monitor the outcomes Test your IVR processes regularly. Diarise to call your contact centre once a week/month to hear your customers experiences Plan a quarterly review of IVR messages and aggressively remove additional journeys that were added for special events or to cope with previous peak demand. If there is no value for the customer or your team, be ruthless; remove it!

13 CASE STUDY e G uide series COLLECTING PAYMENTS FOR A MAJOR RETAILER Read more of our customer case studies netcall.com/case-studies Having a secure payment gateway is crucial for today s retailers. Failure to do so can lead to significant loss of business. A major retailer uses Netcall s PCI IVR payments solution to offer their customers a PCI compliant service, all-day every-day. The highly secure cloud solution offers customers the option to make balance enquiries and monthly payments 24/7. TOP RESULTS: 45% of payments made via the retailer s self-service solution are outside 8am to 5pm More than 1m calls quarterly Average call length of 90 seconds 82% overall payment success.

14 TOP TIPS Avoid asking customers to repeat information or use an automatically generated reference number at a later time Over-explaining wastes the caller s time, they will only appreciate help when it is needed Don t provide circular menu structures, always plan a route for a frustrated caller to reach an operator Don t immediately dismiss touchtone, sometimes it is more suitable. For example when customers need privacy or if they are in a noisy environment Avoid poor sound recordings and multiple voices within a single script, you devalue the brand and the success Avoid customer confusion, check there are no conflicting instructions within the IVR.

15 Get in touch IVR has enormous potential to rapidly route customers to the most appropriate agent or service to resolve their query. Invest and reap the rewards of improved customer satisfaction. Netcall has a strong history of successful speech recognition and IVR deployments. Companies like yours are using our solutions to deliver cost effective service that improves customer satisfaction Find out more visit or get in touch and speak to a specialist on and ask for transforming customer engagement Netcall Telecom Limited NCE3-ICH

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