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Omni-channel CX is Incomplete Without IVR

Can you have a successful omni-channel CX without IVR?

The short answer is No.

I recently attended a large customer experience (CX) conference and it surprised me how many companies believed they have mechanisms in place to monitor their omni-channel CX. Many of these companies have call centers that field hundreds of thousands of calls a year and they have never considered IVR surveys to measure their customers’ call center experience (although many use email surveys to measure the call center or agent). I will be the first to admit that IVR research has the stigma of being old fashioned – my company has been doing it for almost 30 years – but that doesn’t mean IVRs can be ignored or that there aren’t some exciting new things happening with IVR surveys.

omni-channel CX starts at the call centerThere are exciting innovations in the IVR world. Speech-to-Text has come a long way in recent years. We now have an 88-90% accuracy rate using an out of the box survey model and it can get higher with tuning. Why is this important? Well IVR open-end comments are the longest compared to other methodologies. Some studies show that they are seven times longer and more comprehensive than web and SMS comments. This means richer comments, more insights and more data to feed into your text analytics.

There also is an increased need for redaction technology. We are seeing our customers in the Finance, Healthcare and other regulated fields using redaction software to remove Social Security Numbers, Banking Number and any other PII (personally identifiable information) from the transcription and open-ends. This means companies can be sure of security compliance since employees can listen and read transcribed open-ends without having to worry about uncovering sensitive personal information.

Another innovation is that IVRs now include a sentiment score that measures the emotion of the respondent when he or she left the open-end response. This score is another data point to help you decide which comments to listen to and how to setup alert.

However, one of the most exciting innovations in applying IVR to measure omni-channel CX is the ability to present real-time feedback. Consider this example. A customer requires a service call at their home. After the installation the technician leaves and the customer receives a phone call using a voice-enabled IVR with a short survey about the installation experience. If the customer leaves an open-end response that there was an issue with the service call, the Speech-to-Text transcription technology and IVR analytics can pick up on the customer’s dissatisfaction and issue an alert. A Customer Service Representative can then look up the customer’s information based on the generated alert, call the customer immediately and resolve their issue. With real-time sampling and reporting customer response time can be reduced to less than 30 minutes.

Without the right IVR system in place to gain customer feedback, the customer journey is incomplete. You need to learn as much as you can about the customer experience to make omni-channel marketing truly pay off.

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