There is an apparent disconnect between what businesses and customers believe constitutes good customer service in call centers. Currently, only 19% of customers are satisfied with the service they receive from support contact centers. On the other hand, businesses believe they’re doing the best they can by employing IVR systems. They consider them sufficient for improving hold times, routing calls to appropriate agents, and improving the overall call center experience.
Even though there is a clear demand for IVR, as 24% of customers stated they would like to interact with a speech recognition system, it doesn’t necessarily improve the customer experience. Only 13% of customers say IVR creates a good experience, 21% say it has no impact, and 61% feel it ruins the customer experience.
So why do customers detest IVR so much? First, 63% of customers don’t like IVR because they are forced to listen to irrelevant options. Next, 54% of customers complain that it stops them from getting through to a live person, 46% state that the menus are too long, and 45% say they often have to repeat themselves.
Even though most customers aren’t in favor of IVR, there’s no need to get rid of it entirely. IVR menus can be optimized and improved according to customer feedback. For example, they can be shortened, list only the most relevant or popular routing options in order of importance, and utilize DTMF tones instead of speech recognition. IVR menus can also be programmed to provide callers with callback options.
Making small changes like this can improve the call center experience tremendously. For example, customers expect their phone calls to be answered between one minute and 90 seconds in most cases. If the wait is longer than that, they are likely to get frustrated and hang up as they generally want to go on about their day and don’t have time to wait on hold.
You could easily resolve this issue with IVR, and customers would appreciate it. In fact, 75% of customers would like the option to be called back rather than wait in a queue.
Good call center customer service isn’t only about convenience. According to Accenture, 67% of churned customers stated that they would have stayed loyal to a business if they could resolve their customer service issues on the first interaction.
Customers often contact call centers believing that their problems will be resolved by the end of the call. Most customers associate first contact resolution with phones because they require less back-and-forth communication, as there’s less room for error. Moreover, phone support enables the caller and agent to resolve the problem in real time. However, this isn’t always possible, which disappoints customers and leads to churn.
Call centers can still aim to improve their first contact resolution rate through ongoing training and development for their first-line support staff, even when real-time problem-solving is not possible. By continually improving the skills and knowledge of these employees, call centers can help ensure that more customer issues are resolved quickly and efficiently during the first interaction.
This approach has been proven successful in the case of CloudTalk, which reports that last year, 65.6% of VoiP-related tickets had to be escalated to L2 tech support, but this year, it was only 43% due to continuous technical L1 support staff training. The first-line support improved by resolving 22.6% more VOIP-related problems at the first touchpoint in 8 months. This shows the positive impact of ongoing training and development on overall first-contact resolution rates.
What customers think about IVR
of customers say IVR creates a good experience, while 21% say it has no impact on the experience.
Customers prefer callbacks
of customers would like the option to be called back rather than wait in a queue.
Why customers don’t like IVR
of customers don’t like IVR because they are forced to listen to irrelevant options. Others (54%) complained that it stops them from getting through to a live person, the menus are too long (46%), and 45% say they often have to repeat themselves.
Demand for IVR
of customers stated they would like to interact with a speech recognition system.
Call center satisfaction
of customers are satisfied with the service they receive from support contact centers.
Customer expectations - call center answer times
In most cases, customers expect their phone calls to be answered between one minute and