We’ve all had the experience of calling a business only to be met with an IVR (interactive voice response) system that asks us to press 1 for this and 2 for that. While this system helps to route calls to the correct department, the experience feels cold.
Gone are the days when one was always greeted by a human first and then transferred to the appropriate person. For most businesses, it is simply more cost-effective to use an IVR than to have an operator on standby. Unfortunately, there are many reasons why customers dislike traditional IVR systems.
Reasons People Dislike Traditional IVR
- Navigating a labyrinth. It can be challenging to find your way in the maze of menu options. It is easy to get lost if your path is under the submenu of a submenu.
- Too many options. In an attempt to eliminate the above issue of poor navigation, some companies offer almost every option upfront. This leaves the customer having to listen to a long list of items, which still may not include precisely what they need, forcing them to have to listen to it again to try to figure out the correct path.
- Terminology. English is not everyone’s first language, and even if it were, people do not always name things the same way. Internally, a company may use a specific term for something, while your average layperson may call it something else entirely. You may think you’re giving the customer the options they need, but if they don’t understand your terminology, it makes little difference.
- Waiting for the machine. Even if someone knows that they need to press 4, then 1, then 4 again, some systems won’t let you advance quickly. They will require the customer to sit through the entire menu before they are able to make a selection. This wastes the customer’s time and can cause aggravation.
- Mistakes happen. With smartphones using a smooth screen, it is easy for a finger to slip and hit the wrong button. When this happens, the customer is sent somewhere they didn’t want to go and may have to start over entirely or will hit zero out of frustration.
- Repeat requests. Smarter IVRs may have the ability to take a customer’s details before transferring them to an operator. This seems like a great idea, except many times, the customer is required to give them again to the operator. This wasted time and energy leads to further irritation.
The Benefits of AI
With AI-enhanced IVR, customers no longer have to listen to a menu of options, try to guess the company’s naming conventions, or type a series of numbers to get the help they need.
Skye from Tyme Global is one such system. Skye answers every call, text, or chat with zero wait time using adaptive understanding and natural language processing to understand caller intent. Skye is able to offer a conversational customer experience that is more enjoyable and comprehensive than one can have with a standard IVR.
When a call or text comes in, Skye transcribes the entire conversation. Should the caller request to speak to an agent, this transcript is forwarded immediately to the live operator. Not only does this eliminate the need to give credentials multiple times, but it also gives a history of the customer’s journey. If, for example, they asked for something in a way the system did not recognize, it is caught and added to the list of possible words and phrases for that pathway.
Finally, you can program Skye to answer frequently asked questions and to take actions such as creating tickets in an ordering system. A hotel, for example, can use the system to allow guests to order turn-down service, request valet service, make restaurant reservations, and more.
In summary, these are just a few of the benefits Skye over traditional IVRs:
- Zero wait times
- Natural language voice interface for a conversational experience
- Transcribed interactions for ease of use and QA
- Self-service frequently asked questions and ticket creation
- A learning system that adapts and grows