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Maximizing IVR Value

1. Set clear goals for your IVR investment

The unmet potential of IVR

Many businesses miss out on millions of dollars in potential cost savings because they limit their IVR use to strict routing logic. Properly deployed, an IVR can enable callers to accomplish self-service tasks in a consistent, satisfying manner that is highly cost-effective for the business. Using thoughtful design, good IVR applications reinforce the brand and contribute to a unified cross-channel experience.

Successful IVR strategies

Without a clear goal, many companies let their IVRs stagnate, which ends up eroding customer satisfaction. Businesses who implement automated voice systems typically achieve success by aiming for one of three goals:

Maximize cost savings

Self-service tasks cost a business pennies compared to dollars with agent- assisted tasks. Multiplied across millions of calls a year, the clear ROI makes IVR a compelling investment. Rather than striving for maximum automation by making live agents less accessible, companies achieve the highest cost savings by optimizing the system for caller success.

Provide great customer experience

What is your business goal for implementing an automated voice system?

With a well-designed IVR, customers gain fast access to the right information when completing regular transactions and they spend less time on hold. Companies invest in IVRs to provide a consistent, positive customer experience for these tasks.

Differentiate with a unique, positive brand experience

Companies that lead their industries in tough economic times understand the importance of great customer service to foster customer loyalty that buffers against competitive pressures. The IVR is one way a company can provide successful experiences to its customers that, combined with a positive experience in other interaction channels with the product or service, can add up to brand preference in the customer’s mind.

2. Measure performance with task completion rate

Most companies track their IVR performance by automation rate. Managers who want to improve their automation rate need to look one level deeper. A successfully automated call is made up of one or more completed tasks. Tracking task completion rates within an IVR menu can reveal clear performance improvement opportunities.

Task completion rate: The one metric that matters

The moment of truth for an IVR is whether or not a customer can accomplish his intended task. For example, if a caller wants to check on the flight status for an

PAGE 4 | APRIL 2009

© 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

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