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Common Issues To Avoid When Using IVR Systems

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AnthonyLawrence20's picture
Common Issues To Avoid When Using IVR Systems

An interactive voice response (IVR) system is a way of automatically aggregating calls coming into a contact center. They have become very popular since Internet protocol (IP) phone technologies emerged. The IVR system presents a message and several options to customers. It allows one person to talk to a customer service representative while another can choose to place a simple order. Some contact centers do experience problems with IVR systems. Contact centers should strive to avoid several common problems when using an IVR system.

One of the issues to pay attention to when using an IVR system is sudden customer disconnections. This might show up as abandons on a report although there will likely be complaints to agents about the issue. Disconnections before or during an IVR session are sometimes caused by a safety setting that prevents customers from occupying a line for too long. This setting disconnects if no response is heard after a given period. This setting might need to be increased to solve the problem.

Incorrect messages on an IVR can be a serious problem. Some systems require a person to manually approve or change a message. Others use scripts and management software to automatically cycle messages. Incorrect messages might state that the office is closed or that an expired sale is occurring. This can cause dropped calls and many customer service issues. A best practice in contact centers is to always call and check the message each time it changes to make certain customers receive the right information.

One of the worst problems that can occur with an IVR is misaligned options. Customers who select a sales line might be sent to a fundraising or marketing line. This can cause large disruptions. Agents who rely on displays on Alcatel IP phones to determine the source of the call will become confused. This will increase handle times while reducing sales and service levels. The groups an IVR is using should be checked if agents start to notice odd numbers or call sources on the phone displays.

Inconsistent messaging on an IVR system can harm the brand of the business and confuse customers. The voice on the IVR should always have a consistent tone even if it is not the same person. Any message should always start with the name of the company and a standard greeting. Recording silly frontend messages takes away from the professionalism of the business. It could even cause trust issues in customers. The IVR messages should consistently reflect the brand of the business.

The length of an IVR message is often directly related to the amount of abandons on the line. People who are calling for customer service do not want to be berated with recorded upsale offers for minutes before reaching an agent. Other customers might start to pound on the buttons on the phone to stop the message. This can clog the phone of the person operating the front desk. IVR messages should be short and succinct.

Edited by: AnthonyLawrence20 on 07/22/2013 - 11:13