Five mistakes you are making with your Automated Attendant (IVR)

IVR Automated Attendant

83% of your customers and leads would avoid a company after a poor experience with an Interactive Voice Response (IVR), according to Robin Gomez, Director Data & Analytics, Radial. Not so shocking really, we’re never actually happy to be greeted with:

“Welcome to Acme, for customer service press 1, for sales press 2 for returns press 3. You have pressed 1. For customer service in english press 1, Francais press 2 for Swahili press 3. For Pig Latin press 4.

Around the same time Man landed on the moon, a primitive touch tone dialing (DTMF) became available, and by the 1980’s, the use of tone based phone menus became increasingly adapted. If your company didn’t have an IVR in the 90’s, well you were behind the technological curve.  

Welcome to 2019 where we no longer assume that greeting our clients with a 1960’s technology can provide the desired customer experience. No one would think that a technology as old as the computer that landed a man on the moon 50 years ago is adequate, when most of us have a phone in our pockets that’s got over 100,000 times the processing power. Even with the adaptation of voice recognition, the experience still mimics the same flaws in a poor IVR strategy

60% of callers bypass the IVR making the cost for companies to serve their customers 12x higher

In fact 60% of callers bypass the IVR making the cost for companies to serve their customers 12x higher— Evan Gale, Solutions Executive, Customer Journey Solutions, NICE

In terms of providing a modern feel and outstanding customer service, 76% view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them — Robin Gomez, Director, Data & Analytics, Radial. So is the common approach to IVR as a positive customer experience one that resembles the Apollo 13 lunar landing?( It got to the moon, but had to turn around due to a technical issue, good movie too)

Don’t get me wrong, IVR is not going anywhere so fast, but supporting our customers in this way depends on companies providing a smoother IVR experience, and leveraging other channels to allow both visual support and self help. 

Let’s identify five of the most common missteps companies make when building and offering their IVR as customer touchpoint.

A one-size-fits-all strategy

Leads, New customers and VIP customers are all treated the same way by most IVR systems. Our customer success team often treats more valuable clients with a white glove, and our sales team does its best to put their best foot forward to secure a lucrative deal. Yet many IVRs don’t segment this initial customer engagement.

Confusing terminology and navigation

The wording and menu structures used in IVR systems most often reflect the company’s internal and industry jargon, rather than using the language and needs of the customers

Lacking integration with other channels

Considering the wider context of the customer journey, and the many digital channels being offered, many  IVRs have little integration with web / app-based service offerings.

Neglected of timely updates

While marketing will update the website and print materials when a new product or service is offered, the IVR is seemingly the red headed step child, leaving callers confused.

Not measuring satisfaction with the IVR system

With NPS scores measuring customer satisfaction of the product, and customer service surveys after an email interaction, many IVRs don’t measure the customer’s satisfaction with the IVR system or the call. 

Getting stellar results from your IVR requires addressing these issues in a way that elevates your brand and provides your customers with a channel that they can appreciate and rely on.

Aim for the stars, worst case you will land on the moon.