Today’s consumers are chronically pressed for time, constantly juggling responsibilities between home and work, and turning to technology to help simplify their lives. They depend on Facebook to track birthdays, GPS to get where they’re going, and smart phones for just about everything. Most of all, consumers want things to be easy. And nowhere is this simple fact more true than in in the contact center. So, what can companies do about it?
One area to focus on is self-service. Organizations that succeed in self-service foster more first-contact resolution, leading to more positive experiences and increased loyalty from customers. According to Forrester, 72 percent of customers actually prefer self-service over calling an agent or sending an email to resolve an issue.
The challenge for most organizations lies in how to build, test, and deploy self-service options that are easy-to-use and personalized for the customer, but still cost-effective for the contact center. If you’re looking for some help when it comes to investing in and building a customer-friendly IVR experience, here are some ideas to make it easy for your customers:
1. Keep the design simple – One of the biggest complaints customers have about IVR systems is an abundance of confusing or irrelevant menu items required even for simple requests. Any task that can’t be performed simply and elegantly by a customer through the automated system should be directed to a live agent. Keep your self-service options short and simple.
2. Know that time is of the essence: Customers may be calling into your organization at any time during their day – a few free minutes during lunch, while sitting on the commuter train or bus, or after putting the kids to bed. Regardless of the time of day, your IVR experience should be fast. Make sure you don’t waste the customer’s time by making them provide or repeat too much information. If self-service cannot help them quickly, connect them to an agent.
3. Think of self-service as a conversation: Users will liken their IVR experience to having a conversation. When people don’t understand each other, they ask questions or rephrase statements to keep the conversation moving. Your IVR interface should employ similar conversational strategies to keep customers confident and engaged when misunderstandings occur.
A well-designed IVR system makes self-service part of the resolution process instead of a perceived block to getting to a call center agent. If you make it easy, intuitive and friendly, your customers will love the technology, and you will see your contact center’s costs go down.
If you’d like to learn more on how to set up simple self-service, check out this Genesys Tip Sheet on Four Ways to Win Customer Raves with Your Speech-Enables IVR.
Start making self-service easy for your customers today, and you’ll make every day easy like Sunday morning!