It is critical for companies that rely on IVR systems in their business models to have the ability to measure both the quantity and quality of customers’ interaction experience. Quantity is a fairly easy variable to measure for, and companies can do so first by examining customer retention and transfer rates, then comparing and contrasting these rates based on a customer’s call path.
It is much more difficult to measure qualitative variables relating to an IVR system. Companies want to know about thoughts, feelings and perceptions involved in IVR application-customer interactions, and it is difficult to put a numerical number on this type of variable. Justin Lemrow of CRM Magazine offers a solution for this issue stating that companies should “broaden their perspective and develop a rating system that measures customer intent, interaction and perception.”
So what do these variables measure exactly? Lemrow defines the terms as follows:
• Intent: The caller’s reason for using the system, intent is measured using post-IVR and post-agent surveys, as well as a variety of detailed reports.
• Interaction: The specific steps or actions taken by callers in an effort to complete goals. Interaction is measured and evaluated using system-performance reports, actionable summaries, best practices and expert analysis.
• Perception: The emotional value a caller places on the ease and efficiency with which goals were accomplished. Perception is evaluated using post-IVR and post-agent surveys.
Many companies have customer satisfaction surveys in place that monitor the customer experience immediately following an interaction, but as any good market researcher would tell you, measuring fleeting impressions is not the best way to accurately determine general company and brand opinions.
Lemrow recommends that companies study a variety of customer analytics in an attempt to understand how customers interact with an IVR application, and how this consequently affects perceptions of the company and the brand. “By asking the right types of questions of your system and callers, and capturing and analyzing operational data, you will not only get a truer picture of the experience within the IVR, but additionally, the analytical information will provide the visibility needed to track down and fix issues that impact customer experience in your IVR.”
The article in CRM Magazine offers good advice on how to collect data that gives you both a qualitative and quantitative view of how your IVR application is performing in a customer-facing capacity, and this data can be used to assess IVR performance and improve IVR functionality to ensure more favorable customer interactions and greater customer retention.