A common problem for business is that there are not enough operators in the call center. The management does not want to increase the budget and hire new specialists, and therefore sets up IVR (Interactive Voice-Response), an interactive system of pre-recorded operator responses.
From the point of business, it seems that system will seriously relieve operators from unnecessary work. Works 24/7, does not ask for salary, and can quite give herself the necessary information to the client without using a specialist and customers no longer need to listen to ten-minute midi-tunes or obsolete hits when they waiting for the operator.
The problems begin later, a few months later. It turns out that no one is interested in communicating with a robotic answering-machin, when important problem need to be resolved urgently. And if it happens all the time, customers refuse the product.
So what’s wrong with these IVRs? Maybe customers are too spoiled and they need time to get used to the new service? Or are there such problems in every call-center? Perhaps, it is necessary to install the most advanced voice IVR and the problems will be solved by themselves? Or is it better to hire more operators?
To understand how IVR can help your business grow, you need to first figure out what this system can do.
DTMF (Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency) is an IVR with tone dialing.
To answer the system, you need to listen and remember all information, and then click the button. Earlier it was easier, but try it now, from the smartphone, when you first have to “unlock” the screen (it is blocked during a conversation) and only then select menu item.
This is the first generation of IVR, which has learned to understand voice commands thanks to ASR technology (Automatic Speech Recognition). The whole system builds the dialog according to the DTMF principle:
Skip steps and voice the question completely impossible. In fact, the innovation boils down to the fact that you do not need to press a button. If you want, for example, to know the balance – it’s enough just to say “Balance”.
Still not very convenient. Not every client likes this concept.
The drawbacks of DTMF and ASR were resolved quickly. IVR Mixed-Initiative Dialog allowing the client to actively participate in the dialogue and immediately voice his problem – thanks to the technology of recognizing the spoken language (Natural Language Understanding).
We can say that the IVR Mixed-Initiative Dialog is the first system with a human face. She does not lead the client on menu items, understands the whole proposal and can immediately give an answer to the desired question.
– Good afternoon. You are welcomed by the network of cinemas “…”. How can I help you?
– What films can I watch on Saturday night?
But like all technology it’s not infallible – sometimes the knowledge to give a clear query is not enough. The question “How can I help you?” may remain unanswered if the client is not sufficiently informed.
Despite all the advantages of the IVR Mixed-Initiative Dialog, it has a drawback – it does not remember the client. Not so much, but the quality of the service is reflected.
The next generation of IVR has learned to work in tandem with CRM. As soon as the customer phone to the outsourcing call center, the system immediately asks him questions on the topic, based on past experience of “communication”.
– Good afternoon. You are welcomed by the bank “…”. Want to know the balance on your card?
– Wow. Yes, tell me the balance.
But the problems with navigation depend also on the technology of interaction.
The question of the effectiveness of IVR systems remains open.
According to TeleTech (2014), 57% of users prefer to use tone mode instead of voice interface due to problems with voice recognition.
Analysis of 50 companies in the customer service area of Fortune 500 showed that 28% of call centers use voice IVR, 42% – IVR DTMF and only 30% provide a choice (Software Advice, 2014).
But if the proposed tools are not perfect, then perhaps it is worth giving users a choice.