IVR Self-Service Best Practices for Improving CX
Author: Mike Desmarais, Founder & CEO, SQM Group
The IVR self-service contact channel usage has shown modest increases in recent years because of the emergence of the web self-service channel. The IVR self-service channel is still highly used for handling low-complexity inquiries such as confirming an order, checking an account balance, and reading meters.
The IVR self-service channel makes up 12% of total contact channel volume. Given that the majority of customers have smartphones and with the development of visual IVR systems, the IVR self-service channel will continue to grow. As we all know, there are some poor IVR systems, but there are also some very successful IVR self-service systems for resolving an inquiry on the first contact.
Most organizations say they have implemented the IVR self-service channel to allow customers to help themselves. However, the main reason why organizations implement the IVR self-service channel and increase IVR functionality for handling calls is to reduce the number of calls to the more expensive call center channel. Although this is a worthy practice, it should not be at the expense of making it difficult for customers to ‘zero out’ to a CSR, nor should an organization add the functionality for complex call types that should be handled by the call center channel.
In order for the IVR self-service channel to be successful at resolving an inquiry or problem, the first step is to determine the appropriate call types this channel should handle. IVR self-service is effective at handling a high volume of calls when the call types are low in complexity. If the call type is complex or is relationship based, the IVR self-service channel is not appropriate.
More details can be found in SQM’s book:
The purpose of this book, One Contact Resolution 2nd Edition, is to help contact center managers use best practices for improving customer experience.