Friday, March 20, 2009

Develop a Better Call Center IVR System with Multi-Channel Synchronization

Call center IVR systems are often treated as isolated customer service channels. But with good synchronization with other channels, IVR systems can be strengthened and offer even better call center IVR service. This is something I mentioned briefly in a recent blog about ITExpo, with the point that multi-channel communication is one of the leading trends in the industry. Nowadays, it’s important not just to have these various channels available, but also to make sure call center IVR systems are synchronized with other channels, consolidating the accumulated client experience. Multi-channel synchronization between call center IVR systems and other channels achieves better efficiency, better service, and increased trust.

What do I mean when I say multi-channel synchronization between call center IVR systems and other client channels? Implementation will depend on the call center, but there are many examples:
  • Make information from other channels available to the call center IVR system: Nothing is more irritating to a customer than having to repeat information. So, if they’ve just filled out a web-based order form and called your call center IVR to confirm the shipping date, all of the information they filled out should be available to the IVR system or agent. No need to ask for address or contact number again — the IVR system should already have this information stored.
  • Use other channels to confirm self-service IVR system orders: This is a simple way to build customer trust. When any kind of self-service order is placed with a call center IVR system or agent, send a confirmation email with all of the relevant information for easy reference.
  • Use SMS message confirmation for on-the-go IVR system callers: If your call center IVR system caters to mobile users, take advantage of it! A great opportunity to use targeted SMS messaging, for instance, is self-service directory assistance. After providing a business address and phone number, a text message is usually sent to recap the information for easy reference.
  • Promote different channels: Make sure customers are aware of the options above and beyond your call center IVR system. Encourage people to visit your live chat support or website while on hold; offer to subscribe them to SMS updates. The more tools at their disposal, the greater customer satisfaction—but first they need to know about them.
Multi-channel IVR system synchronization can impress your clients and offer better service. Update your call center IVR system with stronger synchronization between channels and you’ll soon see results.