Automating your business allows you to gain productivity and reduce costs. This is why automation is often applied in fast-growing companies to help support growth. But when it comes to sensitive processes, such as customer service, companies can be reluctant to automate. They fear that they will lose their privileged contact with their customers that allowed them to grow in the first place. Luckily, even these processes can be optimized!
Automating a customer service department with an IVR
If you are thinking about automating your customer service department, you are probably thinking about an IVR to manage your incoming calls. Isn’t this technology made for large companies with huge amounts of requests? Won’t you lose personal contact with your customers?
Spoiler alert: no and no. But let’s answer these questions more in detail.
What is an IVR?
IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response. It is an inbound call management system that uses speech recognition or touch-tone technology to understand and process customer requests.
To keep it simple, it basically is a robot that can give answers to pre-defined questions or transfer the customer to the appropriate contact within the company.
Top 5 benefits of using an IVR in customer service departments
No more waiting time
Customers may come with questions that can be answered without human intervention. These will typically be your Frequently Asked Questions section. In your IVR, you can decide on a few questions that the robot will answer for you. For example, questions such as “has my invoice been paid?” or “when is my payment due?” can be answered automatically based on an invoice number. You can create a short text answering these questions in a fully automated way, using information from your CRM.
The customer will have their answer quickly and, more importantly, without any waiting time.
More resolved calls on first attempt
When questions require human intervention, an IVR can pre-determine which agent is best choice to answer a question. Getting in touch with the correct person on the first try increases the number of calls resolved immediately. A happier customer and a more efficient customer service agent. This is a win-win situation!
Increase the overall quality of your customer service
Your customer service will be available 24/7 with an IVR. You will have no more missed calls or messages on your answering machine since the IVR can answer basic questions and provide opening hours for more complex questions.
You can also track and report the incoming questions to improve your future service. Not only can you add this information in your CRM so that each agent has access to a customer’s full contact history, but you can also track trends in the questions asked and maybe solve other issues in your company.
A better company image
By providing better and more structured customer service, you will improve your company’s image. Small companies can use an IVR to appear bigger while saving time and money at the same time. An IVR also provides a professional image of a company that cares about their customer’s requests and want to solve them in an efficient way.
A personalized and human contact
An IVR is entirely customizable. If you want to use your CEO’s voice to greet every customer with the slogan of your company, you can configure that. Some of your customers don’t like robots? Insert an option to contact an agent directly from the first menu so that they can choose for a human contact. Your IVR will be entirely tailored to your company.
How to get the best out of your IVR
To successfully implement an IVR in your customer service department, you need to think about the script you want the IVR to play. Here are some recommendations to write a successful script:
Start with a greeting. Make the greeting to the image of your company. Welcome your customer, let them know that they have several options
Keep it short. You don’t want to play a scenario that keeps your customer busy for 10 minutes. Select one or two questions that the IVR can answer without any human intervention and up to 5 options in your menu.
Have clear menu options. Your customer should not be wondering if they need to contact finance or accountancy for a question concerning their invoice. Keep your menu clear and explain which requests can be answered by selecting which option.
Target main requests. You will not be able to fit all your options into your IVR. To select the options that will compose your IVR menu, you can use statistics. Most frequent requests enter the IVR. Recurrent requests for which the answer can easily be automated will also have their place in the IVR.
Give alternatives. If your customer wants to enter directly in contact with an agent, give them this opportunity. Always finish your menu with an open option such as “for any other requests or to reach an agent, press 4”.
All this information should provide you with enough information to build an efficient IVR that will give you a good ROI. Do you have any additional questions? Contact us, we will be glad to help!
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