A May 22 article, co-authored by Juergen Tolksdorf and Paul Humphrey, CEO at Call Journey, opened as follows: “In 2018, the majority of successful businesses are past the initial phase of introducing their Customer Experience programs. In fact, a recent study showed that 72% of businesses rank CX in their top three business priorities and a further study showed that by 2020 CX will outrank products and services as the main point of differentiation for businesses.” A recent Gartner survey backs this up, declaring that CX investment remains the toughest — and most important — battlefront of any company’s marketing strategy.

The stakes are high and delivering a great CX requires innovation, delivered at speed, across all channels, including IVR, web, chat and email. Your organization has made a significant investment in the best customer engagement platform. Your channels are integrated, and your workforce is primed for top performance. However, perhaps you want more, and realize that you need to optimize your IVR/contact center to raise your CX game. While this sounds great in theory, how do you go from the objective to the reality, especially on a reasonable budget and timeline? Here are four ways to raise your game and improve customer experience.

Tune your IVR for optimal performance. Speech recognition tuning is a cost-effective service for keeping your existing IVR system running smoothly. There are many instances where tuning is more preferable from both a cost and results standpoint, producing benefits like:

  • Reduced average call handling time (AHT)
  • Improved call containment statistics
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Boosted Net Promoter Scores (NPS)
  • Decreased abandonment rate
  • Reductions in staffing due to reduced demand for live agents
  • Rapid and positive return on investment (ROI)

Tuning can consist of a customized, full-scope effort that is focused on your precise business requirements, or a QuickStart Transcription and Tuning Assessment that is a faster tuning cycle that utilizes a smaller number of utterances. The primary goal is to reduce out-of-grammar (OOG) utterances by expanding a grammar or altering a prompt to reduce or remove ambiguity. Learn more about IVR performance tuning.

Performance test your IVR/contact center. It is not enough to build a great system on the Genesys platform. You also need to measure ongoing performance as based on key metrics. IVR testing is a key component of design, development, deployment and tuning. Unlike manual testing methods, cost-effective automated testing methods ensure much greater levels of accuracy as well as more rapid improvement and error resolution. During the process, every call scenario is tested as if it were from specific customers calling with a unique scenario. The goal is to get as close to possible to a live customer experience and make necessary adjustments before placing your brand reputation at risk.  Specific areas of testing include:

  • Load testing to ensure the system can handle the high volumes that occur during periods of peak demand.
  • Environmental testing to replicate background noises that impact customers calling from noisy environments like restaurants, entertainment venues, shopping malls, transportation centers and street corners.
  • Test scripting to verify and streamline each possible path through the IVR.
  • Database testing to ensure that the correct user data is retrieved at the appropriate time in the process — and user supplied data is interpreted and updated correctly.
  • Voice quality and voice biometrics testing to ensure the accuracy and efficiency of two-way communication.

Boost your reporting and analytics. There are a couple of statistics from Genesys that should give you pause: 53% of contact centers say data analytics will do the most to re-shape the industry in the next 5 years and 40% of contact centers have no data analysis tools. The answer starts with establishing the right benchmarks. In many of our engagements, clients suffer from a lack of current performance data. As the saying goes, “You can’t improve what you can’t measure.” From this point, you need to begin monitoring your current performance against this benchmark data for all media including IVR, web, chat and email. Operations data and dashboards are a great way to make sure you are staying on top of every aspect of your contact center’s performance — in real time. To learn more, we recommend the white paper: Genesys Reporting: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You!

Optimize and test your application. If you are building an application for the Genesys platform, the JumpStart Partner Enablement program provides highly experienced developer support to help your business set up a working Genesys lab environment that you can use to test your applications, set up a mock environment, practice for certification tests and more. Learn more about the JumpStart program at AppFoundry.

If you would like to learn more about Genesys IVR and contact center enhancement services, please download the Genesys Success Kit or visit Forty 7 Ronin at www.Forty7Ronin.com.

This post was co-authored by Mark Stallings, Principal, Forty 7 Ronin. Forty 7 Ronin was founded in Colorado in 2011 by senior members of the IVR and speech recognition industry who understood and practice better methods to boost IVR performance. The company and each of its consultants has specialized and extensive expertise on the Genesys platform. In addition to IVR tuning, Forty 7 Ronin offers VUI design, IVR development, contact center optimization, reporting and analytics, IVR migration and hosted IVR solutions. Visit www.forty7ronin.com; call 719-445-8054; or email marketing@forty7ronin.com.

Juergen Tolksdorf

As Director of Innovations Group, Juergen manages the Technology Partnership Program and AppFoundry Program. Prior to this role, he managed Genesys Solution Strategy and Research and Development groups within Genesys. Juergen joined Genesys in 2009 through an acquisition of a...