Not convinced? Here are 4 key call center metrics that improve dramatically when the IVR is enhanced:
1. Spikes in Call Volume Are Smoothed Out
Sometimes call centers take the work of an IVR for granted. Do you know how many calls are handled by the IVR that don’t end up in the queue, causing high call volume and long hold times? An IVR that allows customers to complete a transaction without live support reduces the burden put on the call center and its agents to handle simple inquiries. The IVR has the power to eliminate excess callers waiting on hold for simple issues, thus smoothing out spikes in call volume, a metric nearly every contact center struggles with.
2. Customer Effort is Reduced
Self-service has become an integral part of the customer journey and enhances the overall experience with your business. Giving callers the option to solve their own issues via the IVR – as simply and as painlessly as possible – reduces the effort a customer has to exert. In turn, a dynamic IVR experience helps to eliminate customer frustration if they cannot solve the problem on their own. This means that customers are less likely to get angry when they actually speak to a live agent. The result is happier, more engaged agents, lower attrition, and more positive customer experiences. Truly a win-win.
3. Abandonment Rates Drop
A well-developed IVR provides a gateway for customers to complete simple transactions, or locate information quickly. This function can make or break whether or not someone completes a transaction, and actually spends money with your business. Rather than giving up, and hanging up, a robust and intuitive IVR can speed up the customer journey and make purchasing much faster, and more often. This can yield huge financial benefits to your bottom-line due to an increase in first call resolution (FCR), fewer abandoned calls, and happier customer who are more likely to return.
4. Cost Per Contact/Call is Diminished
IVR optimization can provide a number of cost savings to your call center. Every second that a caller spends on the phone costs your contact center money. So, the faster callers get to the right agent or department, the more money you save. How can this be accomplished? Ensure that the IVR language and script is completely up-to-date, and crystal clear for callers. Customers should never question which buttons will route them in the right direction.
Another smart way to reduce cost per call is to eliminate the need for an agent altogether. Each live agent interaction can cost anywhere from $3.00 to $6.50, meanwhile the IVR only costs $0.03 to $0.25 per minute. By adding a self-service option to the IVR, contact centers can reduce handle time, and save hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.
There’s really no question that IVR optimization enhances the customer experience while reducing operating costs and improving agent engagement. If you haven’t updated your IVR script in the last 3 years or more, and experience call deflection in your call center, it’s time to consider modernizing this channel for success.