Contact Centers: How Interactive Voice Response Can Increase Customer Satisfaction& Retention
As the cost of acquiring customers continues to rise, holding on to the customers who already are loyal has become paramount to multichannel marketing efforts. Keep the customer happy and she’ll be more likely to stick around. Derrell Knight, president of Message Technologies, an outsourced call center and interactive voice response (IVR) developer and host, explains how IVR allows you to optimize your customer service reps’ workloads and keep your customers satisfied.
Catalog Success Idea Factory: How can IVR contribute positively to customer retention?
Derrell Knight: Customers often call you because there’s a problem they’re trying to resolve. And most of those requests are repetitive, meaning there are 10,000 other people who have the same requests. There are a number of set parameters around questions like that. Automating the answers to those requests can provide a far more streamlined solution than providing a live agent for every request.
The primary reason for employing IVR automation is that you can respond more effectively, more quickly and correctly to a certain subset of questions. That doesn’t mean you’ll never need live agents to perform certain tasks. But it does mean that the live agents on your staff are being used to perform the tasks that are more complicated because they don’t have to deal with the requests that are more trivial. They are now free to answer more complicated questions more quickly, resulting in higher customer satisfaction for those people who have those complicated questions.
With speech applications, you also can create a branded persona to deal with these repetitive requests -- a voice that reflects the brand you’re trying serve to your customers. Whether that’s a Gen X personality or something a bit older, you can use speech IVR to reflect that, whereas your live agents may not always reflect that same feeling. We can create that persona and people you’re trying to talk to can feel like they identify with you.