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16 IVR Best Practices to Improve Customer Service Operations

  • Improve your existing IVR system with these modern IVR designing best practices. If you’re a business owner or call center leader, then you know how important an IVR should be to offer delightful customer service and maximize customer retention rates. Apply these below tips for creating better and customer-friendly IVR menus.
  • And don’t forget to check our cloud based IVR system for simplifying your customer service operations.

1. Keep the navigation Menu short and simple

  • When designing a multi-level IVR system, keep the number of menus short and avoid long instructions. This helps customers get answers to their queries as quickly as possible. And assists call center teams to avoid angry and frustrated customers.
  • Commonly, you can use up to 3-4 menus like menu 1 for language preference, menu 2 for queries types, eg, sales, support, account, etc and menu 3 for answers like recharge plan, plan validity, blocking a credit card, etc. thus, keeping the IVR levels less than 3 might promote positive experience among your customers.
2. Place an engaging on-hold music
  • When routing customer calls to the next available agent, use on-hold music that engages them, it helps to keep customers on track without letting them hang up. You can experiment with different IVR music to discover the one that increases engagement regardless of long wait times.
3. Use skill-based and advanced call routing methods
  • Set up your IVR system with appropriate call routing that connect customers with the right agent and department. You can use skill-based call routing with different priority options like round robin, high priority agent, ring teams, business hours, and other routing options.

4. Try a sticky agent

  • IVR service providers like TeleCMI have a built-in sticky agent feature that makes it possible for contact centers to allow customers to connect with the same agent with whom they had conversations previously. As a result, callers don’t need to repeat the queries and avoid unnecessary call transfers.

5. Self-service using conversational AI

  • Automate answering frequently asked questions by adopting AI-enabled IVR software that guides users to the right answers. AI technology in IVR uses conversational AI to detect audience intent and provide answers to their questions through text-to-speech features.
  • This can be possible by connecting the FAQ database with IVR. for example when customers want to know their bank balance, AI voice bots ask for the account number first and after validation, it conveys the bank balance of saving or current account to account holders.

6. Use wait time for engaging callers reducing hang up

  • Call center team managers can reduce hang-ups by utilizing wait times for promoting other products, offers, and interest-building promotional messages and advice.

7. Add a language preference option first

  • If your customers are from different regions, then giving the option in the menu to choose their native language enhances customer experience and speeds up the resolution process.
  • Especially, it’s encouraged for businesses whose customers are based out in India as the languages they speak differ by city. Eg, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and English, etc. this is true for retail brands with consumers who are not familiar with English.

8. Welcome callers with a greeting message

  • Blasting greeting message with respect to customers’ native language build a strong touch point and fosters customer relationships. Most IVR providers like TelCMI allow users to upload custom greeting messages that businesses can implement in the IVR menu.

9. Always give the option to connect with a live agent at the end

  • Even Though, self service reduces call center workload, giving customers an option to connect with the live agent improves brand trust by redirecting callers to real human agents. As some complex queries require the attention of live agents to resolve.

10. Redirect to an app or website for finding common information

  • Design an IVR with an option to ask callers to visit the knowledge base section in your app or website for getting answers to common questions. This takes off the burden from agents and gives them more time to focus on solving complex complaints.

11. Allow customers to get back to previous menus

  • At the end of playing all IVR menus, give customers to select a option to get back to particular stage of the menus. For example, press 1 for getting back to menu 1 or press 2 to get back to menu 2 and so on.

12. Send post-call SMS for customer feedback

  • While setting up IVR, add an SMS feature to the menu to automatically send post-call SMS to gather feedback from customers. You can use this SMS template to discover how satisfied your customers are and the pain points they are facing during customer support. You can create this IVR and SMS automation in the TeleCMI dashboard.

13. Make your IVR number easy to find

  • Display your IVR or toll-free number in the area where it can be easily accessible. For example, place it on the header and footer of your website or product dashboard, or product labels. As it’s necessary to build a lifetime customer base and increase client satisfaction.

14. Product wise IVR menu to reduce menu options

  • Creating separate IVR menus for different products helps both businesses and customers simplify their customer service process. For example, you can have a specific toll-free number and IVR for product A and others for product B, product C, and so on which cut down the number of menu options.

15. CRM integration

  • Cloud telephony provider like TeleCMI gives users an option to integrate IVR system into CRM and helpdesk tools like Zoho, Salesforce, Zendesk, and Freshdesk for unifying customer interactions.
  • So, whenever an incoming call arrives, support agents are get notified with a call pop up displaying customer information and caller ID.

16. Experiment, analyze, and improve

  • Analyzing IVR/call analytics, customer conversations, and feedback unlocks new opportunities for call center leaders to introduce a well-optimized IVR system than before. This can be done with constant experimentation and call reports analysis. As a result, you can improve call center KPIs and retain more customers.
  • By following the above IVR designing practices, businesses and CX leaders can provide top-notch customer service like other leading brands in the industry. As IVR act as a bridge between customer care reps and customers, it’s highly recommended to design a consumer-friendly IVR system to reduce churn rates and maximize customer lifetime value.

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