Stress free IVR is founded on service designs that are 100% prioritised against customer tasks and engagement needs. That’s to say the experienced service is simple, clear and efficient as far as doing what the customer needs it to do.
So what does it take to turn such an apparently obvious objective into a common place reality? Here are some ideas to consider around upgrading the way IVRs have been traditionally deployed.
One of the first places to start rethinking things is the make-up of the team who develop and maintain the IVR. Traditionally this team has been selected for their technical and business process skills.
This does make sense. One of the core reasons for IVR is to provide controlled access to organisational services. So people with an in depth understanding of what that includes are important, as is their ability to think logically. So a good business analyst is certainly important. However these folk spend a lot of time with their attention focussed inward in their never ending quest to make organisations work better. Thus a business analyst might produce what to them seems an elegant way of weaving many disparate services together into a single IVR menu. However complex organisations can inspire complex IVR experiences for customers.
So what’s missing?
Another perspective is needed to provide counter balance. This new addition to the team could be a UX skilled person from the e-commerce team. Or someone trained to think in terms of outside-in priorities such as a customer experience expert. Whatever their title, you are looking for someone to provide expert advice on how to make customer journeys through the IVR ones that customers are willing to make. Even recommend!
Think about the huge amount of effort that has been expended to make m-commerce a ‘frictionless’ experience. What about the obsession with which shopping cart options are endlessly A/B tested? Given that, isn’t it an anomaly that this concern for effectiveness has not transferred over to what remains a hugely important customer touch point for many organisations – their IVR?
The technical challenges in designing great IVR experiences are also much reduced in recent times. Cloud based versions are massively scalable and cost effective relative to their predecessors. Multiple versions can be shrunk into a single instance.
There does come a point when even the most experienced designer knows that hierarchical menus are not the best way to organise. Luckily, ‘out of the box’ effectiveness of natural language recognition now enables conversational capabilities within the IVR. These respond as our personal assistants do on our smartphones.
Finally voice biometrics removes the security chore of identifying frequent use customers. In return they can have access to secure information and transactional services that become dynamically personalised with use.
Modern IVRs can fit customer expectation. Voice remains a pre-eminently flexible and powerful form of communication. It’s just a question of rediscovering how that happens as a self service experience.
Contact Puzzel to discuss your contact centre software requirements further.