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Adaptive IVR Blog

How to Achieve High Performance IVR for your Contact Center

IVR, customer service, continuous improvementMost enterprises treat their Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system like a family car.  When you bring it home for the first time, it feels like it’s perfect.  It sparkles like a diamond, there’s not a scratch on it, the engine purrs like a kitten and it’s even got that new car smell. 

It can last a reasonably long time if you maintain it properly, but most people just change the oil and the tires when absolutely necessary.  And while it grows comfortable and familiar, you never expect it to get any better than the day you bought it.

Contrast this with a race car, which never rests quietly under a tarp waiting for the next big race.  It will be in the shop with a mechanic tinkering under the hood trying to squeeze more horsepower out of the engine or checking the tires and suspension to tailor the car’s performance to the demands of the next race course.   A world class racing team expects its cars to keep getting better.

So when it comes to customer self-service, is your IVR the company minivan or a world-class racing machine?   

A well-oiled customer self-service solution can lead to higher rates of self-service, lower contact center costs and increased customer satisfaction- things that a “minivan IVR” could never provide. If you’re not continuously improving your IVR, you’re leaving both money and customer satisfaction on the table.  But you’re not alone.  Most enterprises aren’t properly measuring the effectiveness of their self-service solutions, and they aren’t collecting the data necessary to make incremental improvements on a regular basis. 

In today's fast-paced, technology-focused world, contact centers have had to evolve quickly to keep up with the always-on consumer and maintain high levels of customer satisfaction. Today’s mobile culture means that customers expect immediate satisfaction, on their own terms. The speed and demand of the ever-changing consumer landscape has caused many businesses to overlook one critical link in the value chain: the continuous improvement of the IVR. 

What is Continuous Improvement for the IVR?

So what exactly is continuous improvement? We define it as the process by which a company sets a number of guidelines, or benchmarks, and mines data to compare and contrast consumer sentiments and to determine the overall satisfaction level of the customer experience within the call center. You must mine the right data and find the voice of your consumers – look beyond just what they did, and also analyze their perception of every customer service interaction. Then, compare those perceptions with established benchmarks and share the findings with other divisions to drive business decisions. Better, deeper analysis of the right data is essential to continuous improvement of the customer experience.

Next, consider what continuous improvement of your IVR can do for your organization. Regular, detailed analysis of customer interactions can provide an incredible amount of valuable feedback. One simple example, if three out of five customers of a company are using self-service solutions to check account balances, but are not satisfied with the amount of time it takes to complete that task, the sponsoring business would know that is a self-service feature which should be improved in order to quickly and directly impact customer satisfaction.  Continuous improvement provides the ability to find potential enhancements within your IVR system that may otherwise go unnoticed.

When you are able to continuously improve the overall customer experience and meet your customer satisfaction goals, you will make better business decisions and your bottom line will reap the rewards. 

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Topics: IVR Business Case Process Improvement