Friday, May 25, 2007

Top five IVR challenges

The Ascent Group recently studied call centers and asked those who participated their history of implementation, deployment and design strategies, performance statistics, best practices and lessons learned. The top five challenges noted by the participants in the study are:
1. Increasing customer acceptance and usage was noted by about 25% of the participants.
2. Technology issues and limitations were mentioned about 23% of the time.
3. Good script and menu design was mentioned about 20% of the time.
4. Systems integration was mentioned about 15% of the time.
5. Customer education was mentioned about 12% of the time.

I think the most important aspect of their report is the lessons they learned from the participants. The eight lessons are:
1. The IVR implementation must be reflective of customers' values and expectations.
2. Speech recognition can dramatically improve IVR utilization.
3. Be willing to accept IVR payments in lieu of mail payments - if this is a component of your business.
4. Train agents to promote IVR services.
5. Measure and track IVR performance.
6. Monitor IVR call quality.
7. Target your research at call who either opt out.
8. Be careful about the information provided.

On a personal note, I had a client who installed an IVR system and found that it was a very bad decision. The client serviced patients on dialysis and hospitals; both of these categories of customers needed service immediately and did not want to spend the time going through an IVR system. A very high customer satisfaction rating dropped dramatically until the IVR system was removed an a real human voice answered the phone. Immediately following the removal of the IVR system the customer satisfaction numbers rebounded. There are some situations where you do not want to take the time to force customers to go through an IVR menu.


Anonymous said...

It is remarkable, rather amusing piece

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ARJUN said...
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