Insights & Resources3 min read

Can IVRs Improve Customer Experience?

Most IVR implementations simply aren't delivering. Here's why customer experience should be at the core of your IVR system.

Pete Christianson
Common IVR issues graphic
Most IVR implementations simply aren't delivering a good customer experience:
  • 61% of customers feel IVR delivers a poor customer experience.
  • 51% of customers abandon a business because of a poor experience with an IVR system.
  • Customer abandonment costs businesses $252 per customer, each year.
  • 47% of customers are frustrated by IVR systems.
  • 63% of customers complain that IVR systems force them to listen to irrelevant options.
  • 1 in 4 customers have abandoned a call because they reached an IVR.

The Problem With IVRs

Here’s the central issue: most businesses implement an IVR to reduce operational costs. And, prioritizing cost reduction over the customer experience is often felt by your customers. 83% of customers feel that IVR provides them with no benefit and is deployed only as a cost reduction opportunity for the company.

Today’s customers are incredibly sensitive to profit-over-people behavior. This explains why over half of customers are willing to defect to a competing brand if an IVR provides a poor experience.

For contact center applications, UCaaS platforms, and especially for IVR applications, this is a massive issue. Your IVR is a major component of your service. If you’ve got an IVR application, your IVR is your product. A poorly designed IVR that causes customers to abandon your clients could put your business at risk. So, it’s critical that you design your IVR so that you maximize the benefits of the technology, while delivering a customer experience that helps your clients retain customers.

Strategically, this comes down to one thing: design your IVR with an outstanding customer experience as the primary goal.

The benefits of an IVR system are inherent. If you focus your efforts on building a better customer experience, your IVR will still reduce the necessary number of customer service agents, enable customers to self-serve without talking to an agent, and make the experience more pleasant when a customer does need to talk to a person.

That’s the great thing about IVR. The technology will do its job without you squeezing every last drop of efficiency out of it.

If you prioritize the customer experience, customers will notice. Then your clients will notice, because their customer service ratings will go up. Prioritizing the customer experience is the strategy. But, tactically, you need to follow some best practices and implement certain features into your IVR.
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