If no, then why not?

IVR-phone-BlogIf you are a retailer, and a customer walked into your store, what would you want your employees to do? Smile? Welcome them? Ask how they can assist? Be informative and helpful? Close the sale? Shouldn’t your Interactive Voice Response (IVR) do the same? With ecommerce totaling $250B in 2013 and expected to exceed $700B by 2020, a modern IVR is an essential communications element for today’s consumer, and can even be a revenue generator.

In this digital age, there are many channel choices for consumers, but people still need to pick up the phone to call someone. You want that entry point into your brand to be the best it can be. Despite that desire, the reality is many IVRs are outdated–some shockingly so. Aging IVRs may get the job done, barely, but they certainly do not reflect your business and customer experience values.

Not only is your IVR a key component of your communications, branding, and customer service, it also meets the increasing consumer desire for self-service. In a recent report from Frost & Sullivan, they stated that fully automated customer interactions were at 47% in 2014 and will increase to 63% by 2016. In part, this rise will be due to organizations modernizing their IVR, enabling speech and other features to make the IVR more useful for their consumers, and including the IVR interaction channel as a key part of their overall omnichannel strategy.

Did you just think, ‘What is my omnichannel strategy?  Well you’re not alone.

Omnichannel engagement ensures a consistent, high-quality customer experience regardless of how, why, and where a customer chooses to interact with an organization. It ensures that data and context from one channel is carried over to subsequent channels, thus improving the customer interaction and enabling the business to tailor the customer journey. Your IVR is a major element of this strategy.

Providing a modern IVR for your customers as part of your overall omnichannel strategy will present the face of your company–the friendly, welcoming and easy going voice – combined with the assistance you want to provide in order to assure the ultimate customer experience to build loyalty and raise revenue.

Frost & Sullivan and Genesys recently released a white paper: From Old School to Next-Gen IVR: Refreshed IVR as the Cornerstone to Optimal Customer Service. In the white paper, Frost & Sullivan covers the origin of the IVR (old school) and how it has evolved to become a powerful tool for self-service and a modern contact center.

Modern-IVR_Twitter_Infographic_506x253In addition, check out our other infographic Modern IVR: The Center of a Successful Retail Omnichannel Strategy.