Self-service Applications for Reducing Customer Effort

The experience provided to customers is one of the main factors to which businesses need to pay attention in 2016. In order to offer consistently good services, it is of the essence to implement a strategy that covers a wide variety of contact channels capable of delivering useful information on demand and through the most innovative ways.

The communication means that have proved suitable for the targets of the vast majority of call centers and corporations are IVR (Interactive Voice Response) applications. These systems optimize existing resources and improve the speed of answer with auto-attendant solutions.

However, if they are not configured properly, clients may find it hard to get the answers they are looking for. Let’s face it, we all have experienced the frustration of being forwarded to assistance menus with a large number of options that do not meet our requirements. Therefore, it makes sense to develop user-friendly self-service technologies using simple decision trees.

The first thing to do is to identify the real needs of both your customer base and staff to make sure that each of the functionalities will achieve the best results available. Apart from this, you must also take into account some basic features of effective, practical IVR solutions; for instance:

  • Ports scalabilityx
  • Support for multi-lingual prompts
  • Reporting capabilities
  • Intuitive graphical interfaces and industry standard programming tools that require no highly specialized users
  • Decision trees fully and easily editable in real time

All of these characteristics will allow you to design an application that reduces customer effort successfully.

Clients and Menu Options

As mentioned before, customer experiences are defined by the speed and ease with which different operations are carried out, such as checking balances, booking tickets, validating data, televoting, answering opinion surveys, etc. What people expect is that the options presented to them are clear and exclusive from one another. They do not like to hear a bunch of advertisements while they are connected, and they hate it when none of the instructions played are related to their problem or request.

To avoid making a bad impression on those who contact you, it is advisable that you consider the following configuration and implementation steps:

  • Learn about the things that your clients demand the most during telephone interactions and place them among your first options.
  • Do not play promotional audios on every key-pad entry.
  • Provide a brief and concise welcome message.
  • Enable the system to retrieve database information and to transfer callers to specific departments.
  • Include a shortcut to live assistance for cases that are not included in the menu. Do not forget to tell the time and days on which agents are available.

IVR solutions can also be integrated into multi-channel business strategies to complement other communication means and help companies to keep pace with the latest trends of the new customer service era.