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IVR Best Practices: Is your IVR Good? Bad? or Ugly
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IVR Best Practices: Is your IVR Good? Bad? or Ugly

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Good IVR Design is as much about caller behavior and human psychology as it is about technology. In this recorded session, Rebecca Gibson, Contact Center Solutions Consultant with Interactive …

Good IVR Design is as much about caller behavior and human psychology as it is about technology. In this recorded session, Rebecca Gibson, Contact Center Solutions Consultant with Interactive Intelligence, will discuss 4 critical design principles and 17 best practices that will increase both business results and customer satisfaction with your IVR.

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  • These are some really great tips we've put into practice at Telzio and recommend to our customers as they're setting up their menus.

    Thank you Rebecca!
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  • 1. IVR Design Best Practices Rebecca Gibson Contact Center Solutions Consultant Interactive Intelligence
  • 2. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. IVR Design Best Practices Agenda 1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 2. The Goal of your IVR 3. IVR Design Best Practices
  • 3. PART 1 THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
  • 4. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. Is This Your IVR? • Welcome to the CoverYourBack automated insurance claim filling system. • If your claim falls into category 1, 3, or 7, press 1. • If your claim falls into category 4 or 5, press 2. • If your claim falls into any category other than the ones already mentioned, press 3. • For a description of claims categories, refer to page 15, subparagraph 7a of your Contingencies.com insurance policy, or press 4. • If you would like to speak to a claims representative, press 5.
  • 5. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. The Good Sometimes, they prefer it. 66% of customers prefer IVR to fill a prescription, 61% prefer IVR to check flight information, 59% prefer IVR to check account balances, 53% prefer IVR to track shipments. They certainly expect it. 82% of US adults say they’ve used an automated touchtone or a speech rec system to contact customer services within the last 12 months. And even like it. 77% value automated phone service because it’s available 24/7/365, 40% value they don’t have to wait for a live agent, 31% cited the ability to obtain information quickly. But they HATE to be “contained”. 67% said the ability to speak to a live agent at any time was necessary for them to consider an automated interaction a “great experience.” Source: Nuance/Forrester 2010
  • 6. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. The Bad and the Ugly Guess what? Customers aren’t always thrilled to encounter your IVR.
  • 7. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. Why Customers Find IVRs “bad or ugly” • None of the options apply • Can’t remember all the options • Don’t know what the options mean • Can’t get to a live person (and many other variations on this theme) • Voice recognition doesn’t understand me • I have to provide the same information over and over again • I’m not even sure if I called the right place • I have to verbally confirm every answer
  • 8. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. How is an IVR like an Escalator?
  • 9. PART 2 THE GOAL OF YOUR IVR
  • 10. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. The Goal of Your IVR Reduce customer effort Increase service efficiency
  • 11. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. The Goal of Your IVR Increase service efficiency Reduce customer effort Targeted routing For customer service press 1, tech support press 2 Offload self service To check the status of your claim using our automated service, press 2. Use speech to ease complicated entry Enter your serial number, which is a 15 digit combination of letters and numbers found on the bottom of your unit. Increase revenue If you’d like to place an after hours order, press 3. To check on the status of an order, press 4. Clarify expectations We are experiencing unusually high call volumes today. Authenticate callers Enter your customer ID and password now.
  • 12. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. 1. What is or are the goals of your IVR? 2. How does the IVR benefit your customers? 3. What is the level of customer effort required to navigate your IVR? 4. How does the IVR benefit your company?
  • 13. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. The Goal of Your IVR: Reduce Customer Effort How often do customers cut companies loose because of terrible service? All the time. Consumers’ impulse to punish bad service - at least more readily than to reward delightful service - plays out dramatically in both phone-based and self-service interactions. When it comes to service, companies create loyal customers primarily by helping them solve their problems quickly and easily. Source: Nixon, Freeman, & Toman, Stop Delighting Your Customers, Harvard Business Review, 2010
  • 14. PART 3 IVR DESIGN BEST PRACTICES
  • 15. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. Technology Enables Good Design
  • 16. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. IVR Design Best Practices Use the IVR Design Best Practices Scorecard Yes - Current/planned practice No - Not current/planned practice NA - Doesn’t apply in our environment
  • 17. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. IVR Design Best Practices: Principle 1 Who are your customers? What’s your customer service brand? What’s your business strategy?
  • 18. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. Principle 1: Align with Strategy • We want to identify sales calls quickly and get them to a sales agent as quickly as possible and inform other callers about our web self-service options. 1. Identify the goals of your IVR prior to design. • Our customers are not web-savvy and may not be comfortable accessing self-service using a keypad. 2. Use your IVR to address your customers’ unique needs and reflect the value of an interaction.
  • 19. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. What is the Purpose of Your IVR? Identify and categorize incoming customer calls Route appropriate calls to self-service Route appropriate calls to a skilled agent Gather call information for authentication, and to pass along to the agent, increasing routing accuracy and call efficiency.
  • 20. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. Principle 1: Align with Strategy 3. Reflect your organization’s brand through in-queue music, promotions, and messaging. • “No one is available to take your call right now. Please leave a message and we will call you as quickly as we can.” 4. Weigh the impact to customer satisfaction when you auto-disconnect or ask a customer to leave a message before they have received service. • You can “contain” calls within the IVR and force users to self-serve. Beware: this is the IVR feature that causes the most customer dissatisfaction and anger. 5. Carefully consider how difficult you want to make it for customers to connect with live service.
  • 21. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. Principle 2: Efficient Customer Interactions 6. Build 4 or fewer options in each menu prompt and 3 or fewer menus prior to reaching service. • Avoid: For parts replacements, replacement manuals, SmartParts, or other parts programs, please press or say 3 now. 7. Use concise language, avoid superfluous words, and be consistent. Do not use unfamiliar or “insider” terms. • For customer service, press 1. 8. Describe every action prior to a required key press. 9. Choose an IVR persona and record in consistent formality and vocabulary.
  • 22. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. Principle 2: Efficient Customer Interactions • Press or say 3. 10. Offer touch-tone (DTMF) options for speech applications. • I did not understand your response. Good bye. 11. Don’t disconnect for user errors, including non- responses. 12. Document hidden options in call flows
  • 23. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. Principle 3: Reflect Business & Tech Strategy • “Are you calling about your 2003 Hyundai Excel?” 13. When possible, provide a customized experience, based on customer data. • “May I have your account number?” (again) 14. Limit what is request by the IVR to critical information needed for self-service or optimal agent routing. Caller information should “follow” customers through transfers. 15. Collect two phone numbers to increase the accuracy of CTI/screen pop. Gather Home and Alternate Phone in the database.
  • 24. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. Principle 4: Monitor and Update • Call regularly and test all the options to make sure they are working as you expect them to. 16. Test your IVR. • “30% of our callers access option 3, the self-service order status option. 50% of those callers then opt to speak to an Agent.” 17. Measure and track IVR performance and caller acceptance.
  • 25. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. The enterprise wants to save money. The caller wants to be served. Usability is the common link that allows both interests to be safeguarded. Source: Balentine, It’s Better to be a good Machine, than a Bad Person, ICMI Press, 2007.
  • 26. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. Is This Your IVR? • Welcome to the CoverYourBack automated insurance claim filling system. • To enter a new claim, press 1. • If you are checking on the status of an existing claim, press 2. o Enter your claim number now. o If you don’t have your claim number, enter the last four digits of your social security number. • At any time, if you would like to speak to a claims representative, press 2.
  • 27. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. Exercise: Evaluate an IVR Locate a competitor’s phone number and navigate their IVR. 1. Take note of the number of menu options and the verbiage used. Note how long it takes to get through the IVR. 2. What is the goal of the IVR? For example, routing customer to self service? To the right agent? 3. Do you have an idea of how they are segmenting/routing their calls from their IVR? 4. In what aspects is the IVR customer-friendly? What are potential areas of dissatisfaction? If you’re on a path to talk to an Agent, wait for a answer (time how long it takes) and say, “Wrong number” before hanging up. Don’t cause an abandoned call!
  • 28. www.inin.com ©2012 Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. Exercise: Evaluate your IVR Call your company’s primary contact number and navigate the IVR. 1. Take note of the number of menu options and the verbiage used. Note how long it takes to get through the IVR. 2. What is the goal of the IVR? For example, routing customer to self service? To the right agent? 3. Can you tell how calls are segmented or routed based on the IVR? 4. In what aspects is the IVR customer-friendly? What are potential areas of dissatisfaction? If you’re on a path to talk to an Agent, wait for a answer (time how long it takes) and say, “Wrong number” before hanging up. Don’t cause an abandoned call!
  • 29. Rebecca Gibson Contact Center Solutions Consultant rebecca.gibson@inin.com Interactive Intelligence