Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Call Center IVR - 7 Road Blocks To Customer Satisfaction And How To Overcome Them

Any company that's responsible for handling dozens of callers can benefit from a call center IVR. This type of telephone system is designed specifically for use within a call center environment. The acronym stands for an interactive voice response, and is a telephone-based technology that uses computers (and even software, in some cases) to detect touch tones and voices. Touch tones aptly refer to the sounds generated when a caller presses a key from the number pad on their telephone. The computerized system allows a business or service provider to form menus that help callers to access or give information.

Despite many firms embracing this technology, customer satisfaction is not always achieved. A number of observations have been used to explain why this technology has been counterproductive in some cases. It is essential to understand the pitfalls associated with the interactive voice response systems, to be able to satisfy customers. Below you will find 7 of the most common road blocks to customer satisfaction, and learn how to overcome them.

The most obvious road block is not giving callers an option to talk to a live agent. Many customers prefer talking to a live agent and when they are unable to reach one, they feel unappreciated. Nevertheless, some firms use this technology to reduce their expenditure on hiring agents. Those utilizing this mode of giving information should not phase out agents completely and always provide callers with an easy way to talk to an employee.

The computerized call center might fail to direct callers to an agent. Some subjects are very sensitive and answers provided are not satisfying, hence there is a need for human intervention. If customers will end their calls without finding solutions to their problems, the goal is therefore not achieved. One way to avoid this problem is to create a series of "triggers" that will notify employees when sensitive or difficult topics are introduced during the call.

Some menus have a poor prompt structure where information seekers are given too many options. Callers are likely to be confused by a big number of menus. This is irritating mostly when a customer has to keep answering the same questions. This is easily solved by simplifying the menu. Have your employees test out the system before it goes live.

An effective IVR should have high quality audio recordings. The voices used should have some uniformity and must be audible. The professionals who install these facilities should avoid using faulty recording devices. The recording is better done in a studio to ensure quality, and volume consistency.

This technology is supposed to recognize voices so that those who call for a second or third time can be directed to a live agent. Cases of failure of this function have been reported despite claims that the structure should recognize voices. This shortcoming frustrates customers who keep calling hoping to reach a live agent. One solution is to use advanced speech technologies. Again, have your employees test out how effective the system is at recognition.

Some companies do not take enough time to test this application. The development stage is very critical to success or failure. We have already seen a couple scenarios where testing is vital. When no tests are done many hitches go unnoticed thus tainting the image of the organization. To minimize the problems encountered by caller, some tests should be done using a small number of people. Do not forget to do tests and trial runs with the analytics provided; reports, call logs, and call completions are often overlooked in this stage.

New users might find the instructions difficult to comprehend. Instructions should be easy to follow and execute without wasting time. Frequent users who are familiar with the system should be allowed to type ahead. They should not be forced to wait until all the options are given so that they can be allowed to respond.

Many companies are planning to change their customers' experiences using this technology. A call center IVR can be of benefit but if not well structured can result to poor customer services. Corporations are able to reduce cost, increase their operating hours and handle high numbers of calls. All these will be of benefit when done with the customers' satisfaction in mind.

In this industry call center customer satisfaction (Csat) is king. If you are not focused on customer satisfaction then you're dropping the ball. If you hope to receive any call center awards then you need to get a handle on your center's csat. http://ezinearticles.com/?Call-Center-Awards&id=4581528

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