Most businesses ignore this critical moment of customer engagement for months—perhaps even years…
July 2, 2019
Training staff how to speak with customers is a major factor in customer experience...
In a recent post on how to grow your company with intelligent use of your phone system, I quoted some shocking figures from Marketing Magazine about how customer experience is the main differentiator between customers staying loyal or leaving to buy elsewhere.
There are many ways a business can invest in improving the customer experience.
One of the simplest and most effective is to teach staff exactly how you want them to speak with people on the phone.
Whether it’s a 500-person call centre or a 5-person small business, I think every business owner will be shocked to hear how much room for improvement there is in their company’s customer communications. (Think your business is different? Try a series of mystery shopper calls or listen to a few voice recordings!)
First impressions count...
First impressions are always vital, but this is especially true when a customer calls to speak with your company. How their call is first answered sets the tone and determines whether the customer experience starts off positively or negatively.
Let’s look at a typical customer experience…
Our menu has recently changed...
Many businesses have chosen to implement an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, so the first thing a customer usually hears is, “Welcome to XYZ company, please select one of the following options…”
All good so far, right?
But how often have you heard the IVR continue with, “…and please listen carefully because our menu has recently changed?”
And although you suspect the menu has not changed for a very long time, you’re forced to listen just in case it has.
It’s not an ideal way to kick-off a great customer experience, especially for those customers who do need to call in and self-serve periodically.
Flexibility allows innovation and experimentation...
Unfortunately, many legacy IVR systems take months of professional services to make even the smallest of changes, and this lack of flexibility essentially prohibits the experimentation and innovation needed to create a great customer experience.
If you truly want to delight your customers with your self-service platform, you need to put things in place, try them out, and gather customer feedback. Keep the things that work and roll-back those things that didn’t. Test and measure. Test and measure.
Just how much do customers care?
Customers may not always notice when an IVR experience has been well-thought out, integrated with critical tools and tested in this manner because it’s like the IVR knows the customer’s journey so far—their purchase history, their billing situation, etc…—and the service caters for them quickly and efficiently. But they certainly notice when the IVR sends them bouncing around menus, only to be told five minutes later that you need to be transferred to a customer service agent, who will be with you shortly.
So all this begs the question, “How can we create self-service journeys that really do make customers happier?”
Let’s take a look at how you can achieve this with CyLive IVR…
By routing customers quickly to the right menu (billing, orders, appointment reminders or even reserving a table at a restaurant) or to the right agent who can help them, it saves customers time.
Either they can self-serve efficiently, or they can get their enquiry resolved by the first agent they speak with—an essential KPI every call centre operation should measure.
Do not underestimate this “need for speed.” The faster you can resolve a customer’s query to an outcome they’re happy with the better. And the trend for customer independence and preference for self-service automation will only continue to grow.
Even live chat requires an agent. Sure, that agent can handle more than one conversation at a time which makes live chat cheaper than a one-on-one phone call, but self-service will always be more cost efficient.
This leaves your human agents free to deal with the more complex or personal enquiries.
Scale and Innovation
Using the CyLive IVR visual design tool, and our plethora of integration options (CRM, Customer Database, CyCX, CyLive etc...) it’s possible to create new services, amend menus and change routing quickly.
This means you can continue to innovate within your IVR platform to provide unique customer journeys.
The self-service nature means you can quickly scale areas of your business, which would otherwise require you to recruit hundreds of agents.
Reporting and Optimisation
Innovation and experimentation need to be measured. How else will you know if something is adding to or subtracting from the customer experience?
CyLive IVR allows you to monitor in real-time, as well as run detailed historical reports, so you can learn what’s working and what needs modification. This makes it easy for you to optimise for the best possible customer experience.
IVR systems have been around for many years. But modern IVR technology has many additional benefits for both customers and businesses when compared with these older systems. An average of 30% of a company’s phone calls are dealt with by its IVR platform, so you should not underestimate the effect it has on your customers’ experience.
When you choose to use CyLive IVR, we’ll help you get started, and we’ll continue to help you optimise with our free consultancy services.
Isn’t it time you moved on from the, “Our menu has changed recently...” that you recorded months ago, and started making your customers happier?
To find out more, simply get in touch using your preferred contact method below...