The IVR (Interactive Voice Response) has been the bane of many customers’ existence since its inception. Unfortunately, this seemingly helpful tool has become somewhat of a nuisance for callers. From convoluted dialing options to poor speech recognition, it’s no wonder that customers are skipping this friendly voice over and trying to reach a live agent. According to JD Power & Associates, the IVR accounts for an astounding 27% of the total call experience. However, only 7% of organizations currently offer an IVR solution that delivers a better experience (CSAT) than their live agent experience.
So, where is your IVR failing customers? We explore four popular pain points that many IVR systems need to improve upon:
Confusing or Incomplete Options
At this point you’ve listened to the IVR options 3 times over and none of them seem to line up to your concerns. There’s really no other option, but to skip the IVR and hope an agent can help you with your problem. Many times it’s not because the option isn’t there, but because the description is not very clear. “Press 3 for questions about compliance with OHIP.” What does that mean? Not much to me. Your customers aren’t thick, they just need a little bit more reassurance that the rabbit hole they’re about to go down will lead to somewhere. Update those IVR options people!
Poor Speech Recognition
“English or French?” “English” “Parlez-vous français?” “I said English!” It’s happened to us all at least one time or another. You say one thing to the IVR and it hears another. Or worse, it keeps asking you to repeat what you said (I’m looking at you Siri). There’s nothing worse than trying to get through to a human and being blockaded by this annoying IVR glitch. If you provide speech recognition in the IVR make sure it’s flawless, otherwise, keep it simple and let your customers use the dial pad.
Asking for Too Much Information
If you’re asking customers for their social security number, email address, account number and phone number using the IVR, you’re going to get a few frustrated people. That kind of information should be reserved for a live agent conversation. Finding assistance should only be a maximum of one or two options away. Plus, there’s nothing more stressful than trying to enter numbers into a dial pad without making a mistake. If you require that much information right off the bat then connect your customers to a live agent first, or be more realistic about what verifications you need.
Locking Customers Into the IVR
Your customers don’t have all day to figure out the IVR – never leave them without an escape plan. The option to speak to an agent or receive a call-back from an agent should always be front and center. A lot of times your customers have no idea who they need to speak to; so listing off a bunch of options is just taking up precious resolution time. The bottom-line: Locking your customers into the IVR will likely result in an abandoned call rather than a customer taking the time to figure out which option is best.