Case study shows the difficulty of defeating misnavigation

One of the negative outcomes of phone menus (or IVR systems) is frequent misnavigation, which is the industry term for a caller getting connected to the wrong agent.

Phone menus cause “entrapping”

On the CustomerManagementIQ blog, call center consultant Tripp Babbit recently posted “Hate the Game, Not the Player: IVR vs. the Customer” where he recounted an IVR project he was involved in.

The IVR company had a simple solution, “let’s route problem calls to the right person,” and off they went… Funny thing … 41% of the [calls] got misrouted or had to get transferred… The problem here is that contact centers typically have a variety of demands, and IVR’s become entrapping technology that can’t absorb the variety customers bring.

As we’ve been talking to companies, we’ve heard variations on this story many times. The misnavigation rate Babbit mentions (41%) is right in line with what we hear. In fact, we’ve heard of rates as high as 50%.

Callers hate phone menus

Misnavigation costs money by wasting agent time. But it also increases caller frustration —  the general dislike for phone menus is well documented. Babbit phrases it bluntly:

…call me indifferent with regards to the IVR. Customers, on the other hand, ‘hate’ them.

Narcissistic companies believe they are saving money when they deploy these modern marvels.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Anything that separates a customer from getting an answer quickly and accurately is an annoyance.  Furthermore, it adds to costs and loses customers.”

Hiding your agents to save money is a dead-end

As more and more such case studies and surveys come to light, it is becoming clear that the IVR as a “call-avoidance” tactic is not a smart in the long-term. Yes, it is expensive to have agents on the phone. But it is also expensive to lose customers. The better way to reduce cost is to make agents as efficient as possible. We think Fonolo’s set of features is a great way to do this.