When talking about IVR and the human-technology interface, we often forget about the human element. (Like I just did with human-technology interface. Interface?) But an IVR call flow that lacks logic and a feel for the customer will always fail, no matter how good the IVR technology is.
Likewise, a technology that an organization thrusts onto their customers can also fail. Because how an organization uses its IVR or other technology can be as important as the quality of the technology.
Simply put, if a company uses an IVR system to make things easier on themselves regardless of how it affects their customers (i.e., they use it to avoid having to talk to their customers), it may turn the customers off of the company altogether.
Chinese researcher Shunzhong Liu of Central China Normal University’s School of Economics addresses the topic in the Impact of Forced Use on Customer Adoption of Self-Service Technologies, published in March 2012.
In the paper, Liu investigates how forced use affects customer satisfaction with self-service technologies like IVR. The paper discusses “the relationship among forced use, technology anxiety, technology trust, customer satisfaction” in a “self-service technology setting.”
Self-service technology setting. That pretty much sums up where our lives are heading. These days, customer service isn’t so much about doing things for customers as it is providing a way for customers to do those things themselves—quicker, easier.
“In response to increases in labor cost and innovation in technology, many firms are incorporating new technology into their service delivery process,” wrote Liu. “Hence, the service is becoming increasingly technological in nature with a wide array of self-service technologies (SSTs) used as part of routine service delivery options.”
There’s also an element of control for the customers. Although not everyone wants control, especially when technology anxiety comes into play. Read more in Forced Technology Use…