Visual IVR: Changing the Way Callers Engage with the Call Center

With high rates of zeroing out and call abandonments, not to mention depleting customer satisfaction, IVR systems are not delivering on their original promises – providing an accessible  and efficient communication channel for customers to use, taking the load off call centers, lowering costs and in a nutshell improving customer service. In reality, multiple options, poor voice quality and dead ends drive customer satisfaction down while the initial costs savings targeted behind the IVR investment is blown out of the roof.

Heavy Investment, Poor Results – Why?

Organizations invest time and money in researching, developing, building and running the most optimized IVR technology for the best customer experience possible, yet studies show that of the 60 percent of customers today who engage self-service, only 20 percent follow through successfully while the remaining 80 percent reverts to the call center – Why is that?

Lengthy call trees force customers to constantly pull the phone away from their ears to press the right button. Poor voice quality results in customers having to repeat information or miss their digit, and multiple options usually lead confused customers to dead ends.  At best customers will press the “zero” button and get directed to an operator only to repeat information and be re-routed to the appropriate department, at worst they will hang up due to sheer frustration.

Switch Direction, Go Visual for Instant Results

With over 1 billion and growing smartphones users worldwide, voice is gradually being dropped in favor of communication channels that enable users to leverage their sophisticated devices and multi-task while on the go.  Visual IVR caters to this ever-increasing need by mapping the existing IVR technology onto smart screens, complete with all its features, even pre-recorded voice segments or agent screen pops.

Simply logging into the company’s website or launching a mobile app will enable customers to access an intuitive, user-friendly visual IVR menu interface. Users can see and touch their way from menu to solution, talk to a specific call center agent, or even view holding time and choose a call back option – all from the comforts of their smart screens.

With more issues solved through the visual IVR, call centers experience a significant reduction in call volume while customers get fast and accurate results, better routing, low to no holding time, and a positive experience.

Direct and In-Context Connection to the Call Center

Going back statistics, let’s not ignore the remaining 40 percent of customers calling the call center directly without attempting self- service. Visual IVR provides a direct connection to the call center should the customer require so. In fact, its point of invocation is when the customer decides to contact the organization.

Actions performed by the customers in the Visual IVR produce a breadcrumb trail visible to the agents, enabling a warm and seamless transition and in-context handling of calls directed from the self-service channel to the call center. When agent intervention is necessitated, users are able to connect to a specific representative without having to repeat information. Alternatively, members can view current holding time and schedule a callback.

Same Investment, Same set of Skill Benefit, Different Game

Best of all, Visual IVR utilizes the same set of skills the current IVR technology calls for, enabling companies to not only preserve but further reap their original IVR investment.

Whether the existing IVR technology runs on VXML scripts or proprietary code, Visual IVR will reuse the same set of scripts to extend the present system as a “visual only”, user-friendly and guided text interface on web/mobile devices.

Visual IVR works seamlessly with the current IVR technology without interrupting or clashing other vital communication channels of the company.  One set of scripts eliminates the need for coding, prevents internal clashes, any changes are automatically reflected on the fly, and deployment occurs in days – not months.

Bottom Line! Visual IVR is a Win-Win Solution

Visual IVR is a win-win solution, helping call centers deliver impeccable customer service at no added costs to their original IVR investment.  Customers regain control and reach their solution quickly, either by engaging the self-service channel or by speaking to a live agent specific to their situation. Companies are able to leverage their original IVR investment to fully cater to the preferences of their customers – offering a 24/7 accessible visual IVR menu or a direct and warm transition from the IVR to the call center. In this sense Visual IVR is the next generation of IVR technology, connecting the customer with the company, any way he or she chooses, directly and efficiently.

Gali Kovacs is a veteran marketer with in-depth experience of go to market strategies and execution. Previously held positions in leading organizations such as Radware, IBM and SanDisk. As Jacada’s Global Marketing Director Gali is an active member of the customer service community and an enthusiastic advocator of cutting edge technologies that help simplify the customer experience. For more information visit Visual-IVR.