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data220x147You have invested in a team of experts to develop, build and run your Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology in hopes of achieving the best customer experience possible. Money was poured into hours of data analysis, researching the most popular customer choices and queries and creating optimized decision trees. Now, you have your IVR up and running. Trouble is - your customers may not like it and you find yourself with extensive “zero out’s” or even worse, hang ups. Your data is not being consumed properly and improper integration to back end systems is limiting your capability to provide a real-time data experience  and self service capabilities for your customers.

Have you thought about visualizing the IVR experience? If scanning a screen is quicker than listening to lengthy menus, why not make your current IVR system visual, fully integrated

and easily accessible from your company’s website or your customer’s mobile phone or tablet?

Here’s 5 reasons why you should visualize your IVR:

1.      Customers can enter complex data that your voice IVR cannot

On a voice IVR, your customers can’t enter alphanumeric such which in many cases are a part of a product ID number or a customer identification number. This means they need to provide this information to the agent, making the call length longer. By adding Visual Integration extensions to the VXML, you enable your customers to easily provide complex data from the convenience of their smartphone or on your website. In addition, features such as GPS location or a photo of a damaged product or the scene of an accident, can be uploaded on a visual IVR interaction, but cannot be provided over the phone. The ability to integrate this data into the interaction means the agent who eventually speaks to the customer is much more informed. In short, the call time is shorter and time is saved for both the agent and the customer. In a recent customer service survey (Jacada 2014) 76% of customers said that they notice the level of technology companies use when providing customer service, meaning, such a change will definitely be significant for the majority of your customers.

2.      Customers can easily go “back” in the call tree

In a traditional voice IVR interaction, we can’t see the available options in advance. This means, for example, having to listen to 5 options, realizing the 2nd one was the best one, if you even remember it at that point. If you chose the wrong option by mistake, you have to either “zero out” to get to an agent or in the best case scenario, go back to the main menu and start all over again. Visual IVR solves this frustration. The call tree is visible to the customers. The customer controls the data and the pace of the flows. He quickly scans through the options and chooses the right one, and if he’s unsure, can easily choose “back” at any point of time.

3.       Customers are more apt to select the right option, preventing “zero outs”

With Visual IVR, customers can see and touch their way to what or who they need without having to listen to multiple options, repeat information, or speak to an agent.

Getting control over the interaction means the customer is more likely to resolve issues by himself. Integrating your Voice XML IVR call tree with a visual interface means the customer has more accessibility and greater visibility. The fact that he can “see” his options, means, he will probably make a more knowledgeable decision and perhaps even solve his own issue, decreasing the number of calls that eventually make it into the call center. Supporting back end integration technologies can also enable companies to expand the existing IVR menus to more complex flows: this means more real time data can be shared with the customer while expanding his self-service capabilities.

4.      Customers can access it from your website

Visualizing an IVR is like creating a multi-level menu on a website or a mobile application. It visualizes the IVR’s path and enables users to make their selection significantly faster, visually.  Visual IVR Integrates to the transactions already surfaced by your voice IVR, but in essence, it completely changes the experience for customers. It is also significantly faster and cheaper than rebuilding all of the IVR investments over again in the web and mobile. Imagine the 1-800 number on the webpage transforming into a “contact us” button. Once the customer clicks on this bottom he will get the IVR menu on his screen and from that point on he can navigate through the IVR menu on his own, and get any information he needs. Customers can touch their way from menu to solution in a matter of clicks – all from the comfort of their smartphone screen or webpage. They can even connect directly to a specific call center agent, request a chat, or even view holding time and choose a call back option. In a recent survey by Jacada (Customer Services Experiences Survey 2013) over 500 consumers were surveyed about their customer service experiences.  The majority, 85%, said they expected phone service, thus, enhancing the phone service experience for 85% of your customer base with Visual IVR can make a huge difference.  In addition, providing access to your IVR via web & mobile devices is likely to impact the customer experience as 45% of the survey participants said they would like to offered website customer service and 19% expect mobile customer service support. 

5.       Reuses your existing IVR for a quick implementation/reuse.

To implement Visual IVR, companies simply plug it into their existing VXML IVR scripts and create the link on their web and mobile sites to dynamically create a visual menu. With minimal effort, they can integrate their VXML IVR script into a visual menu, allowing for alternate data consumption by consumers while also doubling the return from their original IVR investment.

You customers want to call you. Visual IVR can make a frustrating calling experience, a more pleasant one.

[About the author]Dylon headshot Dylon Mills is the Director of Marketing Content Strategy & Development at Jacada. As such, Dylon’s main responsibilities are to strategize, create and deliver content for Jacada’s product portfolio that align with the global Go-To-Market strategy, corporate positioning, and marketing campaigns. Dylon’s prior work experience includes Product Management at one of the top Fortune 500 Technology companies, Symantec Corporation. Outside of work, Dylon enjoys problem-solving and any project that includes building/tinkering with tools. Dylon holds a BS Consumer Economics from the University of Georgia.

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