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call center customer experience equipment greetings IVR phone menu prompts tips

7 Ways to Bring Your IVR into the Future (or out of the past)

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.

Automation & Conversational IVR  

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.

Branding

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.

Omni-Channel Consistency

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

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.

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customer experience message on hold

The MOH Client Relations Trade Secret

Experience tells us day in and day out that “there is no magic word,” no abracadabra or panacea to solve our troubles; we must rely on hard work and dedication to overcome life’s obstacles.

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customer experience marketing message on hold

On Hold Experiment

Holdcom was recently involved in a fantastic customer service experiment. One of our long time clients hadn’t updated their message on hold program in over a year. Since the majority of their callers were return customers, they were curious whether their customers listened to the message or “tuned out” while waiting on hold.

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customer experience marketing

Walk in your Customer’s Shoes (and Listen to their Auto Attendant)

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customer experience

Customer Service Message on Hold Tips

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customer experience healthcare IVR

5 Ways IVR Can Improve the Healthcare Industry

Interactive Voice response or IVR, is a form of human-computer interface which takes its input from voice and keypad commands. Compared to a phone menu, call tree, or automated attendant, an Interactive Voice Response system is put in place to actually receive data, process it, and deliver meaningful value to the customer.

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branding customer experience marketing

Brainstorming Your Branded Content

Branded Content has become more complicated over the years. However, it can open so many doors for businesses of any genre. Articles, videos, podcasts, and other live elements are what makes a nice batch of Branded Content. The overall key of Branded Content is to grab the attention of the consumers of today and drive engagement through content. This type of engagement will allow consumers to be either entertained or can teach them valuable things.

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customer experience healthcare resources

Healthcare: How Your Staff’s Attitude Can Cost You

A bad review by a critic can make or break an actor or chef’s career.  With the advent of social media and sites like Yelp, Foursquare, and Angie’s List, anyone with a smart phone and a bad experience can change the way your clients feel about your business.  Reviews are popping up in all types of apps and for all types of business.  From rating your Uber driver to your visit at the doctor’s office.  With the changing technology, a bad office visit isn’t just between the patient and the office, but available to everyone who knows how to use Google. You can be the best physician in the world, but if your office staff isn’t acting appropriately you’re going to lose patients. 

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branding customer experience tips

How to Create Loyal Raving Fans and a Backstage Account of a Song Parody

In life, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. In business, getting a referral or testimonial, is the highest form of flattery, and is the currency on which you build your reputation. The better your reputation, the easier it is for your front-line staff to do their jobs and add to your growth. 

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branding customer experience tips

Customer Experience & Pokémon GO

With all the news and excitement around the success and popularity of Pokémon Go, you may not recall it started as a humble card game back in the 1990’s. It wasn’t your average game. This game included capturing mythical creatures and battling your friends.  The game was simply called Pokémon.  Now updated for smart phones as an app, Pokémon Go isn’t exactly the same game that we all remember. Pokémon GO has evolved to meet current times. Being called a “free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game… released in July 2016” according to Wikipedia. There are mixed reviews about the evolved game, but there are valuable elements that can used to enhance the customer experience