Bad IVR experiences lose customers

IVR can be a great tool for companies in decreasing customer wait time and increasing customer satisfaction, but customers are sometimes not overly fond of automatic response systems–especially when they have bad experiences. A new poll shows just how costly those bad customer IVR experiences can be.  The nationwide poll found that more than 8 in 10 respondents said that companies will lose their business after a bad IVR experience. Compounding the damage, 70% of consumers will share their negative IVR experiences with friends, family and whoever might be listening via word-of-mouth, social media, and blogs.

Of all available customer service options, customers by far preferred speaking with a customer service representative (67%).  The next popular option was website based customer support ( 23%) followed by live chat (18%).  Only 16% of customers listed IVR as their preferred way to contact customer service. Because customers have such a negative perception of IVR, IVR is rarely the first method they use to contact a company. Instead, they prefer to search a company’s website for information, only using IVR if they need to speak to a customer service agent or are unable to find the information they need online.

IVR isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, however. Though companies are making progress in technologies that allow customers to help themselves, such as mobile applications and website chat features, 74% of respondents still said that it was important for companies to have a top-quality IVR. This is especially critical since most customers will have to navigate an IVR system in order to reach a live company representative. A Global Industry Analysts report predicts that the IVR market will reach $2.78 billion by 2017. Much of this growth is being driven by outbound IVR.  Many companies now use outbound IVR as a tool to proactively communicate with customers, deliver notifications, and facilitate collections.

USAN can make your company’s IVR a top-quality solution, not a necessary evil customers simply put up with. Our broad range of speech recognition technologies and telephony integration interfaces help customers connect with your business’s databases so that they can check balances, make changes, or handle almost any automated inquiry imaginable. Coupled with USAN’s Outbound Dialer, USAN can enable your company to use IVR to handle outbound customer contacts, customer self-service, and connect customers to live-agents. If your company needs to make IVR work for you instead of against you, contact us today.