Often, the first interaction that customers have with your company is with your phone system, and a good first impression is critical to the relationship with these customers. This requires great, well-designed call flows. A call flow is a road map to how callers will be served from beginning to end. A good call flow design provides optimum service and the best customer experience. It is a prerequisite for planning and implementing an auto-attendant or IVR.
How To Create the Best Auto Attendant for Your Phone System
Phone calls to your business represent revenue. Significant revenue is spent causing the phone to ring and revenue is lost when the phone is not answered.
Before You Get Started On Developing Your Call FlowHere are a few things to decide before developing an IVR call flow:
- Think brand: Develop a clear persona or vocal image for customer interactions that supports your brand values.
- Hire a specialist to help with phonetics and linguistics – get it right and you'll dramatically improve completion rates in the IVR.
- Hours of coverage - The services your contact center provides during business hours can be very different from what is provided after business hours when trained agents are not available. When providing service both during and after normal business hours, consider the capabilities of your available agents so you can address the different services available.
- Supported languages: English and non–English callers may request different services and information. A mere translation may not be sufficient and various menu options may have to be offered to address these needs.
- Advanced non-announced options If your center needs to respond to unscheduled events or emergencies periodically, you can build options into your call flow to fast-track calls.
- Research your audience Determine which customers are going to be more likely to use automation and bear this in mind when you develop your persona. Consider providing a dedicated number for specialists and partners that allows for dedicated options and allow priority access to company experts. Another example would be creating a dedicated number for support and reduce a full set of options for the callers.
- Prioritize topics based on frequencyLet the callers get to the most requested topics at the beginning so they can access them quickly and easily.
- Allow Access to Live Agents: Unless the IVR application is designed for self–service only, offer callers the option to talk to a trained specialist during normal business hours early in the process so they don't become frustrated and hang up. We always recommend that dial "0" for agent is made available even if it is not announced.
- Minimize words: Keep menu prompts short and concise and use the same language callers use and avoid using industry slang callers may not understand.
- Conduct extensive user testing before going live. Continue periodic testing to fine tune the call flow to enhance performance. Review IVR usage data to ensure that most frequently used topics are offered first.
- Measure the drop-outs. You should also think about the MI you want to get out of the application so it can be built into the design. KPIs include where drop-outs are occurring because they are an indication of where customers are having problems, log the number of callers who follow each path within the IVR to help you in future designs.
- Don't expect to get it all right first time. Be realistic and set reasonable goals. You might only get 50-60 per cent completion rates at the first attempt. Be prepared to tune the application to achieve those 70-80 per cent completion rates.
Each step or branch in your IVR design should have a number associated with it. Consult your phone system for the appropriate numbering scheme. Numbering each step and node helps track each prompt that needs to be created and identify each step as its added to your call menu.
Call our Specialist. He can be reached at:Dar ZuchBusiness IT Specialist - CalgaryHelia Technologies