The highest cost in most contact centers and even business, in general, is personnel. Frequently, a reason for this is the lack of automation and the ineffective use of technology. IVR systems can play a significant role in helping reduce labor costs in contact centers and other areas of the business.
Intelligent IVR systems can route calls based upon caller information. The two most basic forms of information are the ANI (Automatic Number Identification), often referred to as Caller ID and DNIS (Dialed Number Identification Service). Each caller is calling from a number (ANI) to a number (DNIS). These two essential pieces of information often allow IVR solutions to route calls based on the following properties.
- Database Status: If someone placed an order a week ago and called in this week, they may be checking the status of their order. Instead of using high-value resources to give shipping status and necessary information, an IVR system call look ahead in the database to 1) realize they are likely calling for an order status, 2) ask to confirm this is the case, and 3) speak the status through an automated system. Meanwhile, your contact center agents can be handling new sales calls.
- Geographic Routing: Frequently, contact center agents handle different geographic regions. When a call comes from a 972 area code, an intelligent IVR system can properly route the call to the appropriate person handling the Dallas, Texas area. This automatic routing prevents someone in Buffalo, New York, from investing time answering the call only to route the call to the contact center for Dallas.
Customer Information (screen pops)
Many contact center agents invest time and energy asking for information from a customer when their database already has much of the information they are requesting. Instead of asking for all of this information, IVR systems integrate with databases to help screen pop the customer data when they arrive at the contact center agents’ workstation. This data reduces the amount of time an agent invests in gathering information and provides a better (and more seamless) customer experience.
Contact centers often serve several needs; sales, customer service, taking payments, processing orders, checking the availability of products, scheduling appointments, handling product returns, warranties, and more. By leveraging an IVR system to handle the lower priority tasks, contact center agents can focus on higher-value tasks. For instance, if your contact center sells products as a core competency, you might use an IVR system to automate the warranty process. This automation allows your higher cost assets (people) to focus on higher-value returns (sales).
Customer Satisfaction Surveys
You may be asking how customer satisfaction surveys help reduce labor costs. The fact is, most contact centers admit they’re overstaffed. Yet, they’re challenged with identifying the appropriate areas to reduce staff. By leveraging IVR voice surveys, contact centers can better understand their weakest links and often remove unnecessary costs from these less valuable resources.
For more information and sample case studies on how IVR systems help reduce labor costs, please Contact Us today.