Customers have more options than ever to get in touch, but voice continues to be the top channel they turn to for support. Here’s how we’re making IVR technology and the voice experience better for customers.
Nothing can replace the power of the human voice. And, while it may feel like no one talks on the phone these days (let alone go through IVR support systems), it remains the top channel that customers turn to engage with companies on, especially when they want answers fast.
Yet there’s no doubt that while experiences with customer service over the phone can be amazing, they can also be equally as frustrating . From seemingly endless options to choose from (think ‘press 1 for support, 2 for billing’), to pre recorded messages or lack of available live agents, to the long wait to get redirected as you route calls to the right department (praying the line doesn’t drop before they get connected), and after that, having to repeat their history to a brand new agent—getting help can sometimes feel more frustrating than what they’re calling in about.
And for those well-meaning agents on the other end? Well, unfortunately it isn’t much better for them either. Because companies often integrate separate voice solutions with the platform they use for the rest of their channels—integration which is often disjointed or non-existent—agents usually have little visibility and context into who the customer is on the other line, and their history.
This not only limits their ability to provide the kind of personalized service they want to—and that customers themselves want— it also leads to inefficiencies and added costs that end up costing a contact center millions each year.
But what if phone support could feel as personal as two friends talking?
If customers could always be routed to the right agent to help them?
If agents could be more productive?
And if you could save your contact center real dollars?
These are the questions we asked ourselves as we designed our voice experience.
To start, what is IVR (interactive voice response IVR)?
What is IVR?
IVR means “interactive voice response.” IVR technology (interactive voice response system) is a combination of voice and touch tone inputs that help direct customers to the most relevant call agents. IVR technology allows customers to access and entire call tree of information that helps them get better, faster service. For companies, IVR software enables them to save call center agent time, and helps promote greater customer satisfaction by being able to direct customers to the best point of contact, faster.
How does IVR work?
As mentioned, IVR software works by providing callers with an entire call tree that is accessible via touch tone and voice.
IVR Phone System Price
Usually, you’ll find that basic IVR phone systems are priced at $10/user/month. However, when using enterprise IVR phone systems, these costs can increase up to $60/user/month. Gladly is the only customer service platform that has fully integrated, native IVR and voice built-in, at no additional cost.
Enter Gladly Voice & IVR Support System
Building the best IVR experience
Because so many customers still turn to the phone for support, we knew that building an enterprise-grade IVR phone system was key. But, we also knew we wanted to build it in a way that would improve and create the best IVR experience.
Unlike most customer service platforms in the market, we made the intentional decision not to rely on third-party apps or separate solutions, but embed our Voice and IVR system (that automated menu you usually hear when you call into customer service) into the same platform as all the other digital channels.
And because they’re built-in, not bolted on, Gladly is also able to leverage something that other IVR support systems can’t: all the rich context and information about the customer and their history that lives within Gladly—from what a customer said in an email three hours ago, to the language they’re most comfortable speaking in—and use it to truly elevate both the customer and agent experience and drive stronger, more personal relationships.
IVR Support System That Get Customers to the Right Agent, The First Time
Routing a customer in Gladly isn’t just about Service Level Agreements (the target window companies set within which agents are expected to respond to a customer). With Gladly, you can decide which agent or team a customer should be routed to based on their individual characteristics—their lifetime value, the country they’re based in, or even the language they speak—to ensure that they’re always routed to the agent best-suited to help them.
Let’s take the example of Kara, a customer of high-end furniture store Moderno, who has a question on her recent, sizeable, purchase. With Gladly, Kara doesn’t have to call a specific VIP number to get the VIP treatment she deserves. Because of her recent purchase, Gladly can recognize her status as a customer with a high lifetime value, and automatically uses intelligent routing to get her straight to the dedicated concierge team that helps Moderno’s top-spending customers.
That way a high-value customer doesn’t slip between the cracks, and automatically gets the high-touch experience without Moderno having to lift a finger.
Interactive IVR That Make Customers Feel Known
With legacy IVR phone systems and technology, when an agent answers a call, they may fly into the conversation blind, with no context of why the customer might be calling in or who they even are.
But when an agent accepts a call in Gladly, we’re able to identify a customer that’s reached out before via their phone number, and surface the key information you know about them in their own, individual profile.
From being able to reference their past conversations and order history, to knowing which color they prefer, Gladly empowers agents to build the emotional connections that engender long-term loyalty.
An IVR Support System That Makes Customers Feel Like VIPs
IVR software help companies direct customers to the right place quickly. But, when customers have an urgent question, they want to get directed faster. In fact, 98% of consumers admitted to trying to skip a company’s IVR to go straight to human support.
We wanted to ease the pain from the typical IVR technology experience, and make it feel personal and hassle-free.
With Gladly, companies can reference the information they already have about their customers (both in Gladly and in their third-party systems), and use it to take their IVR support system to a whole new, personalized and efficient level.
An Ultra-Personalized Interactive IVR Technology
Ever wish IVR technology could just read your mind? With Gladly’s interactive IVR, companies can deliver ultra-personalized service that anticipates their customer’s needs.
For example, a high-value customer that calls in from Frankfurt can be greeted in German and routed to a German-speaking agent ahead of other customers. Or if there’s a customer with an abandoned cart calling in, Gladly can have them skip the IVR call tree menu, and route them straight to agents skilled in handling and troubleshooting payments.
An IVR Software That Gives You Options
Companies can also use the data they already have about a customer, and integrate it right into their IVR phone system, effectively turning their IVR into a personalized self-service channel.
If a customer calls for an update on their recent order, for example, Gladly’s IVR technology can pull that information from the order management system, and deliver it straight to them. That way customers don’t have to wait on the line for help with simple tasks like checking their order status, canceling an order, or starting a return—which makes for happy customers, and leaves agents free to handle more complex issues.
And if a customer doesn’t feel like waiting, or needs help on-the-go, they have the choice of switching over to SMS instead—giving customers the freedom to choose the channel they prefer, while encouraging cost-savings for a company by moving them to a lower-cost channel.
IVR Support System That Help Agents Work Faster & Cut The Unnecessary Costs
Bolted-on IVR phone systems can also lead to unnecessarily complex workflows for an agent—having to accept a call in one window, taking notes for that call on a separate platform, while trying to piece together the customer’s history in yet another platform, all with multiple tabs open for each ticket.
Every second it takes to navigate through these various windows and tabs adds seconds to meeting the overall SLA, average handle time, and the cost per contact, costing the contact center potentially millions in agent hours.
What’s more, companies are often paying more for these complex workflows, having to shell out not just for customer service software, but also pay separately for a Voice and IVR solution on top of that. With the licensing costs of these third-party solutions ranging anywhere from $80-$120 per agent per month, this can start adding up quickly.
With Gladly, our Voice and IVR support system don’t cost you anything above the cost of our platform—that’s money in your pocket.
The Real Deal – Gladly Voice and IVR Technology
“To do everything Gladly does, and have a fully-functioning voice channel too, is pretty revolutionary.”
– Micah Solomon, CX Consultant
Our enterprise-ready, built-in Voice channel has all the features most important to your agent and customer experience, including:
- Key customer information. A single view of key customer details and conversation history of the customer calling in.
- Enterprise-grade call controls. Agents can put customers on hold, mute themselves, conference in a third party, or transfer the customer to another agent via a cold or warm transfer.
- Local and International Voice availability. Host local, national, and toll-free numbers in more than 100 countries.
- SMS, MMS, and Voice. Enable companies to send and receive text messages on designated numbers. Companies can also host local, national, and toll-free numbers including Voice, SMS, and MMS on the same number.
- Call recording capabilities. Record calls for reference and training opportunities.
- PCI-compliant. Pause recording feature so agents can take payment information in a PCI-compliant manner.
- Integrate as-is. We also offer flexible deployment options including WebRTC, SIP, and direct dial, so you can get going quickly.
Our built-in, flexible IVR helps you create an ultra-personalized experience for your customers, and includes:
- Voice and touch-tone recognition. Let customers choose between speaking their options, or using touch-tone (or a combination of both).
- Text-to-speech. Include written text in your IVR flow.
- Multi-language support. IVR support in more than 70 languages (and counting).
- IVR Data Dips. Reference the information you already have about a customer to help personalize their customer experience.
- IVR-to-SMS call deflection. Give customers an easy route if they want to switch to SMS, so customers connect the way they want to, while helping you save costs too.
- Admin UI. Make changes as and when you need to through an easy-to-use Admin UI….
Voice continues to be a fan favorite amongst customers, and when done right, can create a personal, individualized experience that can truly impress. See how today’s leading companies are using Gladly Voice and IVR to stand apart from the pack in our webinar.