Users calling into IVR systems typically report having one of two experiences. In the first scenario, customers will place a call and reach an IVR application. They become immediately frustrated because they are unable to effectively reach their desired destination, ending up in a cyclical pattern that prevents them from submitting or gathering information.
The second scenario is much more pleasant. A customer (or potential customer) calls in seeking a specific bit of information and is hoping to be swiftly directed to a certain department or individual. They are able to seamlessly navigate the application via both vocal direction and touchtone keypad entry. The call is quick and efficient, and they hang up satisfied with the type of interaction they’ve just had. Which category does your IVR service fall into, and what does it say about your brand?
Justin Lemrow, on behalf of CRM magazine, has authored an article exploring how IVR applications can work in favor or against companies’ brand image and bottom line. Social media sites and the internet enables anyone and everyone to review and disseminate their thoughts and feelings about a brand or an experience immediately. “Customer experience stories—both good and bad—can spread all over the world in no time, thanks to social media,” Lemrow wrote.
Lemrow goes on to write that every interaction becomes critical when considering how rapidly and effortlessly users can share information, whether positive or negative. One interaction can go viral and affect the perceptions of thousands of current and prospective customers, so it is important for companies to get it right every time.
Companies, whether they are a small business or a huge corporation, typically implement IVR solutions with the intent of improving and streamlining customer interactions. Ideally, a dedicated live operator would be available to answer every customer call or inquiry and every question customers have, but this is simply not feasible. In lieu of live and interactive customer service, companies commission high-functioning IVR applications that can guide customers and offer an informative and pleasant customer service experience, much more efficiently and cost-effectively.