Good for the Customer Is Good for Business


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As brands fight for the attention of the always-on consumer, organizations are making big bets to optimize their customer experiences. Customer experience leaders are doubling down in three areas: relevancy, personalization, and making it easy. Across industries, we see over and over that customers are looking for brands to create service expereriences that answer their questions quickly and solve their problems with a minimum of fuss.

To help our clients design easier experiences, our Analytics team took a look at customer channel usage and preference. We conducted a study among more than 3,000 U.S. consumers who had at least two service interactions in the last 90 days. We found that when it comes to a customer’s quest for resolution, the path taken has evolved significantly over the years. Yet one constant remains: the 800# is often the first stop in the journey. In fact, 47% said they would pick up the phone first. Virtually every one of those callers then hits the IVR before they connect to a person.

Although not as glamorous as a mobile app engagement or a video-enabled chat, a company’s IVR often handles millions of callers in a single month, or even a single week.

Some organizations are aware that the phone isn’t going away, and are making major IT investments to introduce visual IVRs. This breakthrough technology hits the experience trifecta: it’s relevant, personalized and effortless.

But you don’t need to make a multi-million dollar investment to hit the mark. All you have to do is refocus on the IVR, looking through the lens of the customer.

For example, one insurer conducted regular IT-driven IVR reviews, but lacked the customer perspective. To fix this, the company began its customer-centric assessment at the call center by conducting focus groups and holding on-site interviews with customer service agents and managers. They identified failure points and improvement opportunities through front-line call driver intelligence. And they listened to hundreds of calls to find out why customers contact customer support, and why they don’t resolve issues inside the IVR. Their findings led to a channel optimization project that gleaned $3M in call containment and a 56% increase in self-service usage.

When it comes to optimizing the IVR, looking through the lens of the customer is good for the customer and good for business. For more information, download our whitepaper: Interactive Voice Response: The Lost Channel.

John Georgesen, Ph.D.
John Georgesen, Ph.D., is Senior Director, Analytics at Concentrix. He specializes in designing customer experience (CX) programs that drive tangible improvements. With 20 years of applied experience, John is a recognized innovator in the field of customer experience management.


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