3 Ways Automated IVR Benefits Your Contact Centre
When you call a company, the person you’re looking for doesn’t always pick up the phone right away. That’s because a customer doesn’t always have access to each and every department or employee’s phone number. Most customers call one phone number, and an IVR does the rest.
What is Interactive Voice Response (IVR)?
IVR, or Interactive Voice Response, is an automated phone or online system that connects callers to the information they need or a suitable agent. An IVR system can provide information through automated voice messages, or pre-recorded messages from inbound calls. If a customer has a more complex inquiry, an IVR system can connect customers to live agents. IVR interacts with callers giving choices to customers through menu items and prompts, gathers information from the customer’s selection, and routes callers to the right person or department.
Interactive Voice Response is essential for any contact centre, and companies are spending more money each year upgrading their IVR software to improve both agent and caller experience. In fact, the IVR software market is expected to reach $5.5 billion. Upgrades include moving IVR to the cloud and using visual IVR for multiple communication channels.
How Does Automated IVR Work?
Automated Interactive Voice Response requires a few pieces of technology to operate:
- Telephony equipment
- Internet Network
- Web Server
- Support infrastructure
- Software application
IVRs also require a set workflow, which is the exact map that your customer traverses when interacting with your IVR. Here’s an example of an IVR flow, from beginning to end:
- Welcome message
- Pre-recorded after-hours message for inbound calls, if the centre isn’t 24/7
- Language Options
- Menu Options, including:
- Technical issues
- Hold time music
- Option to be directed to an agent (human)
- Option to leave a message
The below is an example built in our easy-to-use IVR automation workflow builder.
Automated IVR lets your contact centre operate 24/7, especially for incoming calls. With automated self-service, you can support more customer queries in different locations and time zones, without having to always rely on staff to fill in gaps outside of usual business hours. For example, IVR saves one company $100 million per year in comparison to if all customer inquiries were handled by human agents. With more than ten million customer requests being solved with IVR every year for the company, they were able to base the system purely around the customer, improving call satisfaction upwards of 25%. Automated IVR systems even have voice recognition, which speeds up calls even more for returning customers creating easier customer interactions. With speech recognition, customers don’t need to waste time stating identification information, since the system already matched that identification with their voice. Other IVR systems have alternative methods of I.D. verification and making payments via entering numerical information via the buttons on your phone while on a call. This means customers can interact with a secure automated payment line while agents deal with more complex issues at hand.
An automated IVR system is the first point of contact for a customer. Upon connection, the IVR prompts the customer with intuitive menu options to route customer requests. By gathering information through voice monitoring, or through the customer’s menu selections, the IVR system provides customers with the answers to frequently asked questions.
3 Ways Automated IVR Benefits Your Contact Centre
Automated Interactive Voice Response helps businesses, contact centre agents, and customers. All three parties have a better experience, whether it’s through reduced costs for businesses, improved efficiency for agents, or shorter wait times and greater accessibility for customers. Here are some ways that automated IVR benefits your contact centre:
Increased Rates of First Contact Resolution
When a customer calls a contact centre for support and leaves that first call with their problem fixed, that’s first contact resolution. First contact resolution is one of the most important metrics used in a contact centre because it measures a contact centre’s ability to satisfy customer’s needs efficiently. It’s no surprise that customers are happier if they don’t need to call back a second or third time for the same issue. Studies show that customer satisfaction ratings are 35-45% lower for customers that call a second time for the same issue. Automated IVR self-service for inbound calls gives customers the tools to help themselves solve their problems, without the guidance of a customer service agent. This leaves a lasting impression of having customer queries solved right away rather than sitting on hold. MaxContacts IVR automation tool achieves just that with an overall improvement of 29% in first contact resolution. Learn more about our software here.
By improving first contact resolution, contact centres can:
- Reduce costs per call — IVR transactions cost between 3-25 cents per minute, while live agent calls cost between $3.00 to $6.50 per minute;
- reduce labour costs — some inquiries are simple enough to not require a live agent; and
- improve the customer experience, by saving them time and effort to resolve their issues.
Better Agent Engagement
Outdated Interactive Voice Response systems take up more time and frustrate customers. Frustrated customers, unfortunately, release their stress onto contact centre agents. It’s no secret that contact centre agents experience high levels of stress. But a lot of that stress comes from outdated technology making simple tasks difficult, extended peak time calls, and angry customers. IVR improves customer experience, which takes the potential stress out of interactions with agents while creating a more nourished customer base. Being able to solve common customer questions quickly proves to be a beneficial tool through IVR, helping automate customer care while displaying smooth business processes. If you want to better your first impressions with the ability to have a ‘24/7’ operated contact centre, book a time with MaxContact here to learn more.
Finally, increased workplace flexibility improves employee engagement. IVR makes it possible to work remotely and avoid inconvenient shifts like overnights, saving labour costs, especially if your call centre is international.
Improved Customer Satisfaction
Customers hate waiting. One study showed that 75% of businesses lost customers due to long wait times. IVR gives customers the tools they need to find information and solutions without even having to speak to an agent, reducing customer service costs. With such efficiency, customers leave a customer experience feeling more satisfied.
Interactive Voice Response is a great way to keep customers happy, optimize agent productivity, and reduce labour costs. The IVR software market is growing, and most call centres know that call centre technology will be essential to their success.
If you want to make your call centre 24/7 without the additional cost of extra labour, MaxContact can help you with that. Our self-service IVR system gives your agents more time to focus on complex calls, gives customers solutions fast, and saves your centre the costs of labour. Book an obligation-free consultation here with MaxContact today!