Every contact center commonly has interactive voice response (IVR) systems set up to handle and route incoming calls. Since it provides callers with their initial interaction with a brand’s customer support services, IVR systems can set the tone of the entire customer experience. As such, optimizing its settings for smooth and efficient call routing should always be a priority.
Customers whose calls were efficiently and correctly handled by your IVR system will more likely be nicer to talk to than someone who had a hard time understanding your voice prompts. Poorly set IVR systems, on the other hand, can leave customers frustrated and may even force them to hang up. Here are four optimization tips that you can use in improving your IVR customization:
1. Keep prompts short and simple.
The goal is to minimize the time spent by the caller in the main IVR menu. So when automating voice prompts, keep the number of routing options to a minimum.
The longer your instructions are, the harder it will be for the customers to understand what they need to do next. Similarly, it would be best to avoid words and expressions that not everyone will be able to understand immediately.
2. Analyze your customers’ preferences.
When optimizing your IVR, you need to think like a customer and figure out what factors will keep you pleased throughout the call. What do you want to hear as a welcome greeting? Which routing options would you prefer to be presented earlier in the call? Or, in the case of multilingual contact centers, how will you structure your routing options to properly accommodate the languages your customers speak?
On the other hand, not everyone will appreciate the self-service nature so it will be helpful if you give them the option to drop out of the IVR menus and directly speak with a live person. If you’re understaffed, you may enable options that allow callers to leave voice messages instead.
3. Choose the right voice talent for your prompts.
Choosing the right voice talent for your IVR menus is crucial because it can set your caller’s mood during the entire call routing process, greatly affecting their willingness to cooperate with your contact center agents.
While there are many factors you need to consider here (Male or female voice? Lively or formal? Does it represent your brand’s identity?), it’s best to hire only one voice talent is key to building an image of professionalism.
4. Provide intuitive navigation options.
Properly mapping out every menu option and their eventual sub menus greatly helps in coming up with a logical IVR system. This prevents callers from getting lost in the menus and ending up in the wrong call queues. Once you’ve laid out a system, imagine as many call scenarios as possible and try using your new IVR settings for each situation. Check if your customization works for any type of caller. Always think of ways to improve your call services. Monitoring and evaluation should never be a one-time thing. Ask for feedback from both your staff and customers.