Friday, January 9, 2009

Top 5 ways to Update your IVR System in 2009

It’s a new year, and the capabilities of voice recognition are advancing for a better caller experience. To improve the way you service your clients/prospects, it’s important to stay abreast of technological trends and keep up with IVR software development. So what can you do to make sure your IVR system is ready for 2009?
  1. If you haven’t already, get rid of your IVR’s tedious touchtone menus. Have a customized voice recognition system that anticipates caller needs and recognizes their spoken instructions without the need for dialing. For example, callers may verbally ask to be sent to a specific department, get operation hours, or verify an order or claim.

  2. Consider maintaining a customer database and using call history for the current interaction with the customer. Imagine how impressed callers will be if your voice recognition system remembers their call from last week and anticipates what they need (e.g. “Would you like to confirm the draft order you placed last week, Mr. Smith?”). This practice will increase IVR call efficiency as well as generate trust in the voice recognition system.

  3. Have your customized voice recognition software offer customer satisfaction surveys at the end of IVR calls. Not only will your voice recognition system get feedback to help improve your business, but you will show clients that you are listening to their needs. But beware lengthy IVR surveys as callers are not likely to complete them.

  4. Stay away from dead, robotic IVR personalities and create a customized voice recognition persona that reflects your business and feels more personal. Consider, for example, whether you want a customized voice recognition system with a male or female voice, or an upbeat or business-like tone.

  5. Customized voice recognition software will ideally do away with hold times altogether, but sometimes call volume is just too high. For customers waiting for an agent, get rid of the IVR’s irritating hold music. This is a valuable opportunity where you have a caller’s undivided attention. So have a relevant IVR script available while customers are waiting to speak to an agent. Anticipating their questions, the IVR system may provide instructions, or inform them of company news.
All of these customized voice recognition software elements can help you increase customer satisfaction while lowering contact center operation costs. The important thing is to realize that every business has different needs for their IVR system. It’s not a one-size-fits-all investment, and it takes a customized voice recognition software expert to know what can best benefit your company.