For large enterprise companies, having an interactive voice response system in place to handle the high number of calls received every day is a smart money saver. Indeed, the volume of calls these companies receive can appear to be overwhelming, even for call centers that were outfitted to meet that demand.
But that's where IVR helps stem the tide. The software helps connect callers to the right agents to address and handle any situation. For example, companies with IVR systems in place can send a Spanish-speaking caller to a bilingual customer service representative.
Modern IVR systems can do even more — and they certainly need to help meet that need. Here's a look at how modern IVR systems are changing to meet the demands of today's consumers.
Voice recognition systems can help you build a customer database. Every time someone calls in, they are prompted to enter personal identifiable information. This data can be used not only for outreach purposes, but also as a means of collecting information to form a database of people who have shown interest in your brand or the products you sell.
Modern IVR systems also improve the access customers have to customer service departments. Of course, voice recognition systems don’t sleep or take off holidays. While IVR wasn't designed to handle complex issues, these systems do a good job at answering common questions. If a live agent is needed, the customer can ask to be transferred or receive a call back when no one is available.
One of the biggest changes in the world of voice recognition is that newer systems can be integrated with your customer relationship management software. When the software is linked, your agents will have context for every call and your customers will feel like every interaction with your company is a continuation of the last, as they no longer will have to repeat information or explain previous issues.
Every time an agent receives a call, they will see the customer’s name and account information on the screen. The agent can see notes from previous calls as well as actions other agents have taken previously. More robust IVR-CRM integrations will even allow the agent to see demographic information, shopping behavior and customer preferences.
Finally, the biggest advantage of IVR is that it frees up your agents to do the real work. Voice recognition technology takes care of the quick questions like “What’s my account balance?”; “When are you open?”; and, “What’s my tracking number?”, without ever involving one of your agents. This keeps them fresh — and the lines at your call center open — when a customer has a more complex issue.
Improving CX One Step at a Time
Today’s IVR systems can help you deliver a better and more enhanced customer experience during every interaction. Voice recognition software can improve your data collection, helping you form a customer database. You can also use IVR systems to provide customer support outside of regular business hours.
The best voice recognition systems improve customer satisfaction as well. By integrating with your CRM, your agents will always have context for their interactions. The customer experience can improve, too, because your agents will now have the time and energy to work on the most complex issues with empathy and patience.