Yelling at the Sky – More IVR Challenges

When you think about it, what simple tasks in life couldn’t be frustrated by a poorly-designed IVR system? The folks at Burnistoun, a comedy on BBC-Scotland, begin to explore just that question:

An IVR system that is incredibly (and impressively?) obstinate is pretty rare these days. But IVR frustrations are well-documented, and we’ve all probably felt just as helpless while trying to deal with stubborn technology at one point or another.

So let’s draw a few lessons from the experience of these poor guys:

Embrace Opt-Out Options

If there was only just a chance to press a button to get to the 11th floor, the two guys in the video would be well on their way up (and, sadly, depriving us of the comedy). In any IVR system, the last thing you want to do is leave users stuck in a maze of commands and questions with no way out.

When ever possible, make it easy for callers to opt-out of the automated voice recognition system and speak to a real, live, breathing human being. It can make all the difference in the world.

Expect Diversity

Whether it’s Scotsmen or recent immigrants or proud mumblers (like myself), a successful business means a wide, diverse range of customers calling with a wide, diverse range of accents (hey at least you re probably not facing the IVR language challenges that some do in South Africa). An inability to handle their accents can result in anything from simple frustration to disillusionment with your company and system to callers feeling utterly insulted.

At Acclaim Telecom, our IVR systems are designed to be both as flexible and accurate as possible for all range of callers.

Go the Extra Mile

If your IVR system is targeting a very specific group say, businessmen in Aberdeen go that extra mile to make your system receptive to the accents, colloquialisms, and vocal tics of that group. Not only will it smooth the process, but demonstrate an understanding and empathy for the caller as well.

Contact us for more information about our turnkey IVR solutions.

Not just your best; what is required!

Winston Churchill once said, “Sometimes doing your best is not good enough. Sometimes, you must do what is required.”

In a world still marked with a degree of financial uncertainty, changing and unpredictable government policies, and increasing competitive forces, business must still go on.

Cloud computing, Software as a Service, and interactive mobile applications are prime examples of changes in technology that are impacting how our clients do business. That is especially true in areas of customer service, customer relationship management (CRM), and call center operations. To ignore these changes and technological advances may go beyond foolish; it may well put you at a strategic disadvantage or perhaps even drive you out of business.

As a long term, established (since 1993) firm providing IVR hosting, IVR Speech applications, and IVR extended life maintenance services, we have had to change, adapt and lead our company in response to economic changes as well as technology advances. Some challenges have been easier to address than others. Services which once contributed the lion’s share of our revenue are now but a fraction of their original level. Had we not adapted and correctly predicted areas of change in our industry, we would have ceased to exist.

We are no different than our clients in that respect.

Acclaim Telecom recently attended NACDS Marketplace 2010, a large trade show for the pharmaceutical industry to showcase our latest product release, Smart Mobile RX. This product incorporates two of the leading IVR industry trends; a hosted services offering in a Cloud Computing environment combined with smart phone / mobile application deployed as a Software as a Service offering.

The marriage of these two services accomplishes what in most cases can be a very difficult task: simultaneously drive down operational cost, improve customer service and satisfaction levels, and enhance the convenience factor of the user experience.

If you are still using legacy IVR technologies within your call center, CRM or customer service applications, you could be putting your company at risk. A very real risk of losing customers to competitors who have implemented more progressive methods of servicing their clients in either a pre or post-sales support role.

We are constantly impressed with how our clients develop creative uses and solutions using IVR and smart phone technologies. They are not doing this with the intent of “doing the best they can”, they are doing it to make their company number one in their industry.

So as previously stated, “You must do what is required” if your business is to grow and flourish.