Not all companies and contact centers are the same size or have the same budgets. This list has been compiled from industry trends and over 30 years of working with brands in all types of industries. Whether you’re managing a handful of seats or hundreds of agents, choose the items on this list that will have the most impact based on your current situation.
Get to know your customer
This is probably the most underrated and underutilized tactic for most companies. Understanding your customer and what/how they want to interact with your brand will make all your initiatives much more effective. Take the time to speak with frontline agents to understand not only your clients’ demographics – but also their preferences. Use this data to fine-tune your IVR and other self-service tools to optimize client engagement with the brand.
Localization & Customization
Hop on this trend and look to customize every contact as much as you can. Leverage the data your agents are tracking in the CRM to improve the customer experience. Meet your customers when, how, and where they want to be met, on whichever device or platform they prefer. And do it in their language or dialect. Nothing builds more trust than being greeted in your native language.
If you’re still using traditional IVR, look to migrate to a conversational platform. You must be looking at a ‘Mobile First’ approach. Callers trying to navigate a keypad on the go are not ideal. Provide your callers with the option to use voice commands, and this will speed up caller intent and provide a much better experience. It will also allow for more built-in automation, which the IVR can handle and keep the call from going to an agent unnecessarily.
The IVR is the front door to your business. Make sure it provides the best first impression possible. Often overlooked, branding plays a key role in caller confidence. Having the right voice that fits your brand and can serve as a “spokesman” builds callers’ trust, as they consistently hear and recognize that familiar voice while engaging with the brand. Having clear, concise messaging increases caller comprehension and reduces miscues in the IVR.
Whenever possible, provide your contacts with a brand-appropriate experience, no matter which channel they are engaging with. This includes the words and tone you use – from your agents to your chatbots to your IVR. Too often brands aren’t consistent in their messaging, and your contacts can feel like they’ve called the wrong company. Just because Marketing thought the new chatbot should sound hip or cool doesn’t mean it’s on-brand. Find a sound that fits your brand and tweak it accordingly, depending on the technology and platform.
Regular Auditing & Tuning
How many times have you called a brand to hear three or more different voices when interacting with the IVR? Make it a routine to call and listen to your IVR and ensure it’s being updated as you update other areas of the contact center. The IVR can sometimes be treated like the middle child and appear forgotten as you move quickly to upgrade or implement new tools. At least once a quarter, ensure your IVR is still providing the most comprehensible and efficient options and that it’s been updated to leverage other channels.
Visual IVR unlocks the IVR from the voice channel and expands its use to all other developed channels. Many companies are now embracing a visual IVR and realizing they should have done it sooner. This simple technology can help to revolutionize your interactions with contacts, increasing C-SAT and reducing customer and agent effort.
How are you maintaining your IVR? Let us know in the comments what we missed or suggestions you would recommend.