Q&A: Anand Janefalkar on the Ideal IVR

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IVRs are nothing new. Poorly designed systems have been angering customers for decades, but it doesn't have to be this way. We talked to Anand Janefalkar, Founder and CEO of UJET, about how well designed IVRs can improve customer experience.  

Q: What does a basic IVR have to accomplish in order to be successful?

A: The goal of any good IVR system is to get customers connected with the right support agent who understands their issues and can resolve them. When successful, even the most basic of IVR systems are able to design their menu options to be as specific as possible. The more specific an IVR’s menu can get, the more likely it is that customers will be connected to an agent who can help them on the first attempt.

Q: We all know people who sigh and complain the moment they hear an IVR system. Why does IVR have such a bad reputation?

A: One of the more frustrating scenarios customers can face with IVR is that contextual information is not transferred with them. After they have gone through the process of inputting all of their information and are finally connected to an agent, they must turn around and repeat it all so the agent can understand their situation. 

Q: What do IVR designers often overlook when designing a system that leads to problems down the line?

A: It’s important that IVR designers not only design a system that is efficient for today but a system that can expand and bring on new capabilities to meet the needs of tomorrow. If not taken into consideration up front, an IVR system can become disjointed or confusing when looking to implement new features and functionality down the road. 

Q: How can a well-designed IVR system improve customer service and satisfaction?

A: The shift to the cloud has made it much easier for organizations to incorporate customer data and other technologies into their IVR system. By integrating with a customer relationship management (CRM) solution, IVR systems have more information at their disposal and can better route customers to the right agent who can help resolve their issues in a timely manner.

Q: How do customer data and personalization fit into the IVR picture?

A: Today, delivering a one-of-a-kind and personal customer experience is just as important as the products themselves. With more information and context at their fingertips, agents can feel empowered to not only resolve issues faster but do so in a personal way. 

Customer data and feedback can also be leveraged in order to optimize your IVR tree to deliver a more personal experience. Based on common issues or problems, support teams can fast track specific inquiries, or provide more self-service options for key issues. 

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