How to Convert Your IVR into a Customer Friendly System?


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Have you just purchased an IVR system? Have you already started customizing the IVR? Congratulations on your first big leap to becoming a prosperous business owner. IVR systems have become that much important for the modern businesses. They are the minor differentiator between a successful and an average business. It is true, properly thought out and well implemented IVR systems can improve the revenue and increase customer retention rates. But there is a psychological barrier; callers want to hear a human voice when they call. The companies cannot always meet these expectations as the call volumes might be too high. So, they resort to recorded voices behind the IVR system. Though most of the callers are irritated by the mechanical voice but they can be pacified if the IVR hosting and development is done with much thought. Yes, this is the era of custom IVR development. Stereo type IVRs hardly satisfies the callers.

There are many options for IVR customization. Service providers will leave you spoilt for choice. You have to understand the specific business requirements and then customize the IVR accordingly. Below is a small list of suggestions that you may implement in your custom IVR system to make it a pleasure for the callers.

  • Name Identification: Callers want personalized services. They hate the IVR because it gives them a generic notion – as though they are one among the many customers. Everyone deserves to get special attention. Set your IVR so that it identifies the caller’s name by the number and then addresses the person by name. Such a feature is possible in today’s date. So, why not utilize it?
  • Past Purchase History: Your IVR system can achieve success in telemarketing too, but only if it is customized properly. IVR is a bank that holds within its vaults treasures of enormous customer data. Have a feature whereby this data can be used to drive sales. When calling for sales promotion the IVR should be able to separate customers based on their past purchase habits. It is no use calling up a middle aged lady to sell Nintendo Wii. She would be more interested in Home decoration and other kitchen stuff. So, when the calls are made promoting the matching products or services it gets the desired response.
  • Context Calls for Satisfaction Surveys: When a customer calls in at the support center, he/she is in need of a solution. After hearing through the solution the caller is not in the best mental state to give a feedback. Often the IVR systems ask for feedbacks immediately after the solution. This is not ideal. Ideally separate calls should be made at times best fitting the customers for satisfaction surveys. After office hours is ideal for making such calls.
  • Customized Call Hold Narration: Certain companies fail to utilize the potential of IVR because they tread a generic path. They play same offer or promotional messages to all the callers. Why not evaluate the exact needs of the callers and then play the narration likewise? It would be a good utilization of time for the caller and it would bring in more sales too.
  • Special Recognition for Loyal Customers: If a customer has been with your brand for the past few years and has made many calls asking for assistance, his/her history should be present in the IVR. This information can be used to understand the common needs of the person. May be the caller makes repeat calls to enquire the credit card balance. So, the IVR might state: “Hello Mr. Smith, would you like to know your credit card balance today?” It is a small customization, but one that pays off by leaps and bounds when it comes to customer satisfaction.

IVR customization should have only one function: giving human touch to the system. Its end goal should be: customer satisfaction. So, when you contact offshore call centers, ask for such personalization to the IVR system.

Alicia Gray
Alicia Gray is an BPO and outsourcing industry analyst, and writes about technology. Currently working with one of the business process outsourcing (BPO) services provider. My role has been instrumental in assisting businesses to choose the right BPO Services.


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