Reducing Call Times with Text2IVR

By David Chang

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a telephony technology that can read a combination of touch tone and voice input. It gives you the ability to access a database of information via phone. IVR was named the least appealing option by consumers according to a 2017 Aspect Consumer Index Survey. 39 percent of consumers would rather clean a toilet than contact customer service using IVR! The survey also found that 27 percent of consumers stated a lack of effectiveness was their primary cause for frustration.

Consider customers living on a street with an unusual spelling, like Duquesne Avenue (pronounced doo-keyn). People unfamiliar with the name are sure to misread it as doo-kes-nee. Those hearing it are likely to spell it Dukane. The 2,400 residents of Aquebogue, New York (pronounced ack-wuh-bog) likely run into a similar scenario every time they request home maintenance or appliance repairs over the phone.

Businesses have a lofty challenge to overcome. They must lower costs and reduce call times, while still meeting the needs of consumers. The key to mastering this objective is to do it without inadvertently frustrating customers. The number of people who stopped doing business with a company because of bad customer service increased from 49 to 54 percent in 2017.

Luckily, technology like Text2IVR makes it easier for customers to convey free-form data such as name, address and other information that is difficult for speech recognition systems to understand—via SMS—all while interacting with the IVR, ultimately enabling faster and more accurate exchange of data and shorter call times.

The US Department of Health and Human Services has reported that 50.8 percent of American households are now wireless-only when it comes to phone service. Of the remaining households, 39.4 percent had both a wireless phone and a landline phone. Only 6.5 percent of homes are landline only and 3.2 percent remain phone-free.

Text2IVR technology can determine if the incoming call to your contact center is originating from a landline or wireless phone. Calls coming in from a wireless phone are given the option of sending alpha-numeric data via SMS text message to the same number they dialed to reach you. Data sent via by text message is then repeated in the IVR for confirmation and conveniently stored in your enterprise backend system.

One benefit of Text2IVR is allowing customers to enter free-form data while still engaged with the IVR, reducing or eliminating the need for the folks who live on Duquesne Avenue in Aquebogue, New York and others with complicated information to transfer to a live agent for assistance.

This lowers average handle time by eliminating the need to rely on the inaccurate voice recognition channel for those difficult names, addresses or alphanumeric strings, which reduces the overall call duration.

Text2IVR allows customers to resolve calls quickly, likely without the need to speak to a live agent, reducing call volume into your contact center. The Joaquins (pronounced wah-Keen) and Saoirses (pronounced SEER-sha) of the world will appreciate the speed and simplicity of transactions with this easy-to-use self-service solution.

For all these reasons and more, it’s critical to enhance your company’s IVR to collect free-form data from customers during IVR sessions via SMS, eliminate misinterpreted information and increase the accuracy of data collection to reduce call times and customer frustration.

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David Chang

Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Wealth Manager and CEO | Chief Editor, Author, Keynote Speaker, Consultant ArtofThinkingSmart.com | Political Consultant | Army Officer National Guard | Living To Fulfill Needs, Solve Problems, and Live Passionately!

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