Monday, September 15, 2008

Achieve Call Center Success with IVR Self-Service

A recent IVR article in CRM Daily highlights the rising incidence of self-service in contact centers. With so many channels of communication—from phone, to email, to text messaging, to chat—the methods of customer service are increasing. Still, call centers today make up the essence of customer service, and so quality IVR systems are critical. Not only are they important to the client, but they are important to businesses, too. The article cites results from a recent Benchmarking report estimating that it is nearly five times less expensive to use IVR self-service than agent-assisted calls.

Says Grant Sainsbury, practice director of Customer Interactive Solutions, Dimension Data Americas:

"Ten years ago, enterprises were focused on improving service and moving away
from face-to-face interactions toward a phone experience. Today, the reality is
that the choice of channel varies and is dependent on the type of transaction.
High-value customers may be more than happy to use automated self-service
channels to pay a bill or view their balance -- they don't need a live agent for
every interaction."

Thus, moving away from live agents towards an IVR system doesn’t mean dissatisfied customers. With effective voice recognition systems, businesses can cut costs while keeping clients happy. Now, the growing influence of IVR technologies in the call centre industry means it is no longer just large-size businesses that benefit. Being able to cut costs and maintain customer satisfaction means it is time for small and medium-size businesses to get into better IVR—or risk being one-upped by the competition.