Avoid IVR Jail and Release the Customer Journey


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Last year, roughly 1 in 8 Americans used GetHuman. GetHuman started back on 2006 when, founder of several software companies, Paul English became enraged when he was locked in Verizon’s IVR jail. Now GetHuman tries to create a better customer journey and take care of customer service problems for people.

Avoid IVR Jail and Release the Customer Journey Click to Tweet

I know that I would never want my customers to have to hire GetHuman to receive good service. When I visualize the customer journey, even though I know it can’t always be wonderful, I certainly don’t want to build a reputation for it being so difficult that my customers need to hire an outsrcer to do business with me.

That would set an entirely undesirable standard for pathetic service that I never want to be associated with.

How does IVR jail happen

The question of how does an IVR jail get built started coming into my mind as I met with Evan Jones of VoxGen at ICMI’s Contact Center Expo.

Watch Evan Jones of VoxGen on breaking free of IVR JAIL Click To Tweet

For many of you, when you think about technology, you think about how it can make your life easier. You think about how you can become more effective while gaining efficiencies.

But often when organizations think about purchasing contact center technology, efficiency and cost seem to overshadow or even put handcuffs on effectiveness.

This was part of the discussion I had earlier in the day with Lori Bocklund of Strategic Contact, when we talked about Lassoing the Wild West Contact Center Technology. She shared how contact centers should never conduct due diligence at arm’s length. They need to spend the right amount of time conducting due diligence and not be pressured into a bad decision because of time constraints.

Beyond the Technology

It’s too easy to relegate IVR to a box or port decision or if it’s in the cloud or not. This technology can eliminate a significant cost burden and has the potential to deliver a massive customer experience value.

But the value can only be delivered when you start with the customer experience and then work back towards the technology.

IVR is your brand

All of those companies that are listed on the GetHuman (990 as of today) website for having been known for IVR Jail, are experiencing a brand impact. The IVR is the first line of interaction with your customer. Is your IVR a good first impression or a bad lasting impression?

Is your IVR a good first impression or a bad lasting impression? Click to Tweet

You are probably asking, “How are they still in business?” Each one of those companies has their own unique set of circumstances as to how and why they can survive. All I know is that I do not want to be on the list (I checked, I’m not…thank goodness).

Have a conversation

From the VoxGen perspective they’re trying to understand the customer journey and crafting an experience and a conversation with customers in a way that they want to interact with you. Conversational design is a big key element in designing a better customer experience.

About VoxGen

VoxGen is a company on a mission: to rid the world of bad IVR. We’re an experienced group of design experts and technologists who believe there’s a better way of delivering automated customer experiences. And we’ve successfully accomplished that for a wide range of consumer brands around the world. We help big brands see the customer experience through their customers’ eyes and get their automated and self-serve channels working more effectively and more efficiently. If you’re serious about putting your customer first, while keeping costs down, we can help. Source: http://www.voxgen.com

Beyond the IVR

The IVR must not stand alone. That would be IVR jail.

The IVR must not stand alone. That would be IVR jail. Click to Tweet

Customers are trying to solve a problem. Are you supporting them in solving it themselves? When their experience AND self-service is top of mind then you’ll consider connecting your IVR to SMS, chat, virtual assistants, mobile web, and your native applications.

And if the customer needs to be served by an agent, are they setup for success? In order for agents to deliver higher value and maximum agent performance for the organization they need visibility into what the experience was in the IVR for the customer. When there is a hand-off from the IVR to your agents, are they handcuffed?

When there’s a hand-off from the IVR to your agents, are they handcuffed? Click to Tweet

Get out of IVR Jail

Are you ready to escape…and take your customers with you? Then maybe you need to have Evan bail you out. Just contact him at ejones [at] voxgen.com. 

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jim Rembach
Jim Rembach is recognized as a Top 50 Thought Leader and CX Influencer. He's a certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner and host of the Fast Leader Show podcast and president of Call Center Coach, the world's only virtual blended learning academy for contact center supervisors and emerging supervisors. He’s a founding member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association’s CX Expert Panel, Advisory Board Member for Customer Value Creation International (CVCI), and Advisory Board Member for CX University.


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