IVR for the Mobile Age

IVR is presented in the form of binary code

It’s been a long day of work, the kids are put to bed and the clock strikes 11 pm.  All you have to do before you go to bed is get a new credit card from your bank.

So you go to your bank’s website and cannot find the information anywhere on how to get a new credit card. You scour through endless YouTube videos and somehow get caught up watching cats in Star Wars apparel fight it out. So you refocus and finally decide to call the number on the back of your credit card, and the dreaded voice on the other end says “press 1 for English and 2 for Spanish”. You know that when you press 1 for English you will be going through a list of questions with a machine on the other end pretending to be a live attendant. Just when you thought your night couldn’t get any longer, you are now stuck on the phone repeating your answers as the voice response machine tries to decipher your language. We’ve all been there and it’s not fun.  

What is Interactive Voice Response?

Most of us that have been in this situation know that dealing with Interactive Voice Response systems, or IVRs can be painstaking. The menus are too long-winded with too many options, while others are much too basic, and cannot service the customers adequately. While there are plenty of IVR self-service applications that work well and serve their purpose, those are often for very straightforward requests. These self-service apps cannot normally provide customers more complex service unless there is a lot of effort involved on both sides of the phone. So in this day and age, how do you innovate your customer experience to make IVR approachable?

Meeting the New Customer Expectations

In an age where smartphones and tablets are taking over the use of personal computers, customers are more empowered than ever. Their expectations are sky-rocketing when it comes to technology. They are used to finding their own answer (by googling it) within minutes of asking the question. When they call your contact center it almost always means that they have exhausted all other options.

So now the problem becomes that these customers get to hear from a machine. So how can you meet your customers’ growing expectations in a mobile world? Some might suggest making your IVR more intelligent and interactive with customers by incorporating natural language and artificial intelligence applications.

But what if you take a new, more up to date, approach? Instead of making it more like a live person, why not incorporate visual IVR into your customer experience strategy?

What is Visual IVR and How does it Work?

Let’s run this through a customer call example. When a customer calls in, they will receive an option from a recorded person offering a visual experience. If they opt in, the will receive a text with a link to your “Visual IVR.” The entire experience will change by clicking through the options on their phone or tablet. This type of system makes a long message and list of menu options obsolete.

Visual IVR will be easier for customers to self-serve, and it will feel like they are just using one of their mobile apps. If and when the customer needs to speak with an agent, that option will be available to them. You can still provide wait times and call back options, but because they are on their mobile device, you can now offer a more exciting and efficient chat option. This way customers can still provide additional information and even images through your visual interface, all while still holding a call.

Revolutionizing the Unpopular 

While IVRs may not be popular, they are necessary. However, with Visual IVR in your arsenal, your company can transform the dull IVR solution into an innovative approach that offers value and convenience to your customers. For more information about this article, or how you can improve your contact center, contact NextNet Partners today at 602.247.8600.

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