Every day, contact centers all over the world unknowingly waste time and money on customers with one simple requests.
The worst part? Customers did not need or want to talk to an agent to solve their request.
In fact, an agent helping a customer in this situation may have made that customer’s experience worse – even if they gave excellent service.
Fortunately, there is a way to easily enhance the customer’s service experience while freeing agents to solve more crucial/pressing customer problems: automation.
Automation is trending every higher in the customer service industry, with IBM estimating 85% of all customer interactions will be handled without a human agent by 2020.
How can customer support managers ensure they’re keeping up with the pace of change?
Here are 5 kinds of calls contact centers can automate using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology.
What is IVR?
Pre-recorded responses are utilized to save customers and agents significant time and money.
But that’s not all. IVR also contains a host of other essential features, including:
- Real-time analytics.
- Skills-based call routing.
- Unmatched dialer capacity.
And while automation in the customer service industry often means handling customer problems before they feel the need to call support, according to Forrester, 73% of customers still prefer calling contact centers to get their problems solved.
That’s why we’re providing a few examples of how IVR can be used to automate contact center processes.
5 Types of Calls IVR can Automate
1. Bill Payment
One customer request that does not require a call center agent is simple bill payment.
Just think, how many customers need to talk to an agent to simply pay a bill?
Most of the time, that’s a lot of extra work for both the customer and the agent.
First, the customer has to greet the agent, then give them all their account information so the agent can pull up their balance due and access their payment options.
Next, the customer may have to read off their credit card number to the agent who has to type that number into their system.
Then, the agent and customer will have to wait for the payment to process, the agent will need to confirm the payment is complete, and then ask if the customer needs any other help before they can both hang up.
That’s at least 3-4 unneeded steps – time the customer and agent could’ve spent doing better things.
Plus, these calls can increase “First Call Resolution (FCR) time” – a metric call center managers should be lowering.
Properly implemented, a modern Interactive Voice Response system can make all of those steps vanish, enabling customers to quickly and easily pay their bills without consuming valuable agent time.
With an IVR system, customers call in, follow automated prompts, select the bill payment option, and pay their bill in no time.
Using an IVR system, call centers can also surprise and delight customers by automating answers to common FAQs.
For example, let’s take an Internet router. Sometimes routers experience connection issues that require resetting.
If a customer isn’t very tech savvy, they might not know to do this and so they’ll call customer support for help.
Without an Interactive Voice Response system, that customer will have to talk directly to an agent for a problem that might be a quick and easy fix.
With an IVR system, that customer can receive pre-recorded, detailed instructions that will likely fix their issue.
And if they still haven’t solved their issue?
The IVR system can then give customers the option to route their issue to the best agent available.
In this case, the agent plays the “superhero” role for the customer, a last resort option to finish the job when all else fails.
Meanwhile, the IVR system handles most of the day to day issues, as a good police department would.
3. Answering Specific Customer Questions
Modern Interactive Voice Response systems utilize voice recognition software for all customer interactions.
This software makes a huge difference in enhancing the customer experience.
For example, IVR’s voice recognition capabilities really shine when customers have specific, complex questions they want to answer.
If a customer happens to have a simpler question, a voice-recognition powered IVR system can more quickly deliver the right answers than a traditional “input a number response” navigation tree.
For more complex questions, the IVR can transcribe the customer’s question and, using skills-based call routing, get the customer to the most qualified agent ASAP.
4. Checking Account Balances and Order Status
Another way an Interactive Voice Response system can create a better customer experience is by automating account balance and order status inquiries.
While these types of information are increasingly offered through online platforms, less tech-savvy customers might feel more comfortable calling a company to get this information.
But, such simple queries, while they can be addressed relatively quickly by agents, unnecessarily take up agent time that could be better spent solving problems that can’t be so easily automated.
With IVR, customers can call in and, when prompted, let the system know they’re looking for the status of their order or account balance information.
Then, in a matter of seconds, the IVR can pull that information from the relevant database and relay it to the customer so they can move on with their day.
5. Queued Call Back
Imagine, a call center is weathering a flurry of calls, and more keep flooding in.
An IVR system can inform new callers about how long they can expect to wait.
More than that, IVR systems can offer customers the option to receive a call back when an agent is ready to help – all by automatically offering that option by prompt.
Thanks to automation, the system holds the customer’s spot in line. Then they can go about their day – without having to wait on hold.
Whether it’s 5 minutes from now or even an hour, the customer saves time, and the agent eventually takes care of the customer’s problem just the same.
How Contact Centers Can Save Time with the Right Tools
As we’ve shown, adding an Interactive Voice Response system can help call centers recapture lost time while increasing profit margins through call automation.
But that is nowhere near all it can do…
Modern IVR systems like TCN offers have so many call center-improving capabilities we didn’t have time to explore all of them here.
Capabilities like free accompanying voice recognition AND recording software that will result in more efficient and effective customer interactions:
- Ensure your call center is operating at the highest level.
- Experience all the benefits of a full-featured IVR system.
- Maximize time and money savings.
Click here to see how TCN’s state-of-the-art IVR and Cloud-Based Dialer system can deliver unparalleled results today!