Finding the best cloud-based IVR for call centers can be a daunting task when you’re looking for something that’s not only easy to use but provides true value to your organization. This is commonly measured by how much the tool will both improve customer experience and increase workforce efficiency.
While those are the big ones, you’ll also want to ensure you have the best tool for not just your specific industry, but for the unique aspects of your business. Depending on your industry, there are certain compliance boxes that must be checked off such as HIPAA or PCI.
Here are three of the top areas to watch as you are vetting any potential cloud IVR software systems for your call center.
With customers accustomed to not waiting longer than a minute on-hold, it’s important to have features such as callback, conversational AI and call center analytics to avoid this sort of scenario.
IVR systems empower call centers to handle more calls in a speedier manner. Layered on top of this are functionalities such as surveys and analytics that ensure companies have up-to-the-minute information on customer satisfaction. Meanwhile, notifications and reminders keep customers from missing appointments and payments. All of these features combine for a happier customer, which also is a boost to your company’s brand and bottom line.
Reduced User Friction
Because cloud-based IVR for call centers continues to become more sophisticated over time, user friction isn’t as much of an issue as it used to be. The many ways IVR systems can assist customers continue to grow thanks to a growing number of API integrations. And, since these transactions happen over voice, customers are spared inconveniences such as internet connectivity issues and two-factor authentication.
More Options, Delivered Faster
Virtual IVR systems pull answers to customer inquiries from a database, which means that users can get the help they need 24/7. Customers enjoy the empowerment of self-service, especially because they can get what they need faster.
Here are other things to consider when it comes to customer experience and the advantages of cloud deployments:
- In many industries, customer experience has become THE differentiator. This is especially true for high-growth and high-competition industries. The more customers grow accustomed to a certain level of service, the less it becomes optional for companies to embrace highly reliable cloud-based IVR for call centers.
- Gartner reports that “by 2022, 25% of organizations will be able to show a positive relationship between improving the customer experience and the ROI measured as a financial value.” It’s also projected that in the same year that half of larger companies will fail to successfully integrate the multiple channels of their customer experience. Cloud solutions with scalable costs can make it easier to demonstrate ROI versus a fixed investment.
- Success hinges on providing options to customers with a combination of self-service technology and high-touch call center agents. Customization and personalization are key and modern cloud IVR solutions simplify this process with ease of updating and modern API integration.
To learn more about how your call center can achieve a 90% success rate, check out our resource on How Your Business Can Hit The 90/10 Rule for Call Automation.
Considering the cost for an average voice interaction has risen to above $15, it’s likely that investing in a virtual IVR solution can save your company some money. Additionally, by improving the way you receive payments, the potential for receiving more cash flow in a more timely manner increases even more.
Cloud-based IVR for call centers gets more exciting when you consider that these software solutions can scale automatically, even as call volume spikes or grows naturally. With a 100% uptime and the ability to accept payments 24/7, this is a win-win for customers and call centers alike. Add to this the level of automation that API integrations make possible, and call centers can do more faster without increasing the workforce.
Surveys aren’t just great for customer experience, they make call centers more efficient as well. Survey data combined with system analytics can give call centers a 360-degree view of how customers are experiencing their services – not just through their own answers in surveys but through objective data points such as user behavior. This can cut through the noise and give teams more confidence in how to improve their services.
Here are other things to consider when it comes to workforce efficiency:
- We all want a more efficient business. But if there’s a tab to pay for that efficiency, we can’t have our customers picking it up. Be sure you are putting the customer before cost-efficiency.
- Reframe the way you view phone communications as both an input and output device, a space where messaging has become part of the modern digital technology ecosystem. This multiplies your possibilities.
- While alpha-numeric limits on telephony have challenged call centers historically, IVR systems provide the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of IVR and the ability to accept alpha-numeric input with SMS.
Learn how after adding IVR payments, OSG saw a 90% adoption rate of the technology and an 80% reduction in manual labor.
Security & Compliance
From HIPAA to PCI and SOC2, compliance standards abound in the IVR space, especially if you are in the health and financial industries. Before shopping around, it’s important to know your compliance needs, then ask your potential vendors if they check off all the boxes. When searching for cloud-based IVR for call centers, check out what other brands are using, especially those that are in your industry.
Here are two of the most common compliance standards IVR software buyers are looking at.
Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance
PCI compliance covers the data security of payment cards such as credit and debit cards. To meet these compliance standards, the software is routinely reviewed to ensure there are no vulnerabilities. External network penetration scans ensure that customer data cannot be easily compromised, and only certain members of the software team may access the data. The information is handled safely and stored in a secure environment with fully vetted hosting, firewall and systems. Your vendor should have contingency plans in place should emergencies occur – make a point to ask about this.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Compliance
Much like PCI, HIPAA refers to the rigorous safety standards when it comes to patient data. This covers issues such as the storage of patient data and how that information is handled and protected. Another important aspect of HIPAA compliance is whether the vendor is sharing or selling patient information with other third parties. Finally, it’s important to know who at the IVR software company is in charge of protecting this information. This officer receives ongoing training to ensure that patient data is stored and handled in accordance with HIPAA standards.
Here are other things to consider when it comes to security and compliance:
- According to the National Archives and Records Administration, 93% of companies that lose their data and don’t get it back within 10 days end up going out of business in a year.
- While HIPAA-compliant companies have no formal certifications available to them, PCI certification validates companies based on the volume of transactions they do annually.
- While it can be expensive for a company to develop a secure environment for their data, they can build the technology on another company’s compliant platform to still gain the benefit of compliance.
Once your prospective virtual IVR system passes the sniff test in terms of customer experience, workforce efficiency and compliance, it is important to remember the following considerations:
- Try to get a sense of how helpful their support team is going to be if you decide to partner with them. Try to anticipate the type of assistance you will need in the long-term, and ask the vendor ahead of time what type of resources will be made available to your team.
- Make sure all potential use cases you are considering are covered by the IVR system. For example, if you are considering a messaging functionality that is location-based, be sure that the vendor’s technology can accommodate this.
- Ask the vendor about how often their services experience outages. You may be able to get a good sense of their uptime by reviewing reputable customer review sites.
- Try to determine whether you are going to experience bugs and crashes with the system. This might be possible through a demo, or you may need to ask around and look at trusted reviews.
- Ensure features such as the chat platform and email messaging are right for your company’s needs and are a strong reflection of your brand. If you get a gut feeling that it’s clunky or dated, consider trying out another system for comparison’s sake.
A good virtual IVR software system is intended to improve the customer experience while increasing workforce efficiency. It also needs to meet all of the necessary compliance standards for your industry.
Ready to speak with an expert on how call center IVR can specifically help your business? Contact us today to get started! Whether you have your own development team or need to partner with ours, we have solutions for your call center.