Making IVRs act more natural: Personalizing your IVR through CRM integration and dynamic menus

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Innovating-with-IVRFor quite a while now, the face of any contact center has been the Interactive Voice Response System (IVR). When customers dial the toll free number hoping to have their queries resolved, it is their first step inside the door of a business and what they experience thereafter that can make or break the brand’s image.

IVRs help reduce hold time, minimize abandoned calls, ensure appropriate agent transfer based on customer input selection and as a whole, play a crucial role in increasing contact center productivity. Yet, we often see businesses ignoring the potential of this medium and leaving the customers at the mercy of a poorly designed flow, driving them to extremes of frustration.

The question is how do we make our IVRs act more natural, more “human-like”, so that customers don’t seek the fastest way out instinctively?

A dash of personalization, now made possible by better collection, analysis and proliferation of customer data, can go a long way in bridging the gap between a customized service experience and a static one. Simple things like greeting the customer with a birthday message (if they call in on their birthday) or pre-defining language preference of a customer when they listen to the IVR, can do much more than adding a personal touch. A more refined option would be tailoring the entire IVR experience depending on consumer usage patterns. This basically means if a bank knows that a certain customer is subscribed to only credit card services with them, the IVR plays only credit card options for that user. That particular customer need not listen to the rest of the options of the IVR tree. Sounds brilliant, doesn’t it? Yes, in concept, but tedious in implementation, many would say.

Aspect’s Layer Concept

Aspect CXP –  a platform and toolset that supports the entire self-service application lifecycle from design, deployment, analytics to application tuning – can revolutionize the IVR for your business in more ways than one. Armed with a powerful architecture based on its Layer concept, Aspect CXP transforms complex and dynamic business logic into an effortless personalized self-service engagement for the consumer.

A Layer in CXP allows designers to easily separate the core application from the actual way it is presented to an end user – your customer. Layers can influence various aspects such as customer segment, language, persona, customer history or preferences (only to name a few) and they attach themselves with individual objects that make a core IVR application. So when an IVR flow is run the layer at each object is executed, and depending on the customer data received, the application dynamically adapts itself to create a personalized experience.

Let’s say we have three layers: Language, experience, and customer type. Depending on the caller ANI (the caller ID), the IVR would continue in Spanish, speak out a customized prompt for a power user and likewise, play a completely different set of menu options for a platinum customer!

 

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Aspect CXP is the answer to complete dynamic call flow development and we haven’t even spoken about predictive customer service yet!

Predictive Customer Service

Anticipating customer needs and incorporating it into your service is undoubtedly the new talk of the town. Mixing CRM data with a bout of analytics can take customer service a notch higher and completely transform the way a business functions. E-commerce giant Amazon is already working on a model of dispatching your goods even before you ordered them! So, how about you proactively announce the delivery status of a purchase to a caller even before you proceed to play out menu options?

It is also important to consider the operational aspect of a dynamic IVR system. It is highly unrealistic to go back to the development phase to fix minute preferential issues within the call flow – unless you have a tool that lets you do exactly that! Aspect CXP enables non-technical contact center personnel to monitor and modify call prompts or call flow logic in real-time using the built-in business user interface (BUI) option, a web-based configuration tool. By abstracting the complex underlying logic within a simple point-and-click interface, the BUI keeps the control of the IVR system with the people who truly understand the daily demands of the business.

Aspect CXP is also armed with an advanced Menu object, that makes designing of dynamic IVRs a delight. By giving developers the option to set custom sort orders, one can easily design a menu that plays:

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for Customer A and as per backend data, seamlessly switches to:

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for Customer B.

By using the inbuilt feature of auto-numbering, designing flows and likewise maintaining them is made easy. The Menu object allows switching from a speech-driven to a touch-tone-based menu easily as well.

Combined with layers, dynamic menus, and the business user interface, Aspect CXP serves the perfect recipe for a truly dynamic and personalized IVR that can transform the way your voice self-service functions.

A healthy business is that which constantly analyzes the success of its IVR and tweaks it as per changing consumer needs. A stagnant IVR is actually a sign of a stagnant business and reflects under-utilized potential of enhancing customer service. Aspect CXP comes with inbuilt analytics within the platform that allows not only business but even the IT personnel to gauge the success of a particular menu option at the platform level and tweak it as per success rate patterns. Keep following this series as we explore Aspect’s innovative offerings and how you can leverage them to extract the full potential of your contact center. Want us to help you innovate? Get in touch!

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Ayesha Borker

Ayesha works as a Solutions Consultant at Aspect. She holds an expertise in Self Service applications across all major vendors in the contact center industry. Having worked in several roles from engineering to consultation, she is a rationalist and problem solver. She is a travel geek, lifelong writer and will always welcome a plate of donuts.
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3 thoughts on “Making IVRs act more natural: Personalizing your IVR through CRM integration and dynamic menus

  1. You are right of course, Joseph! We are just showing Language as a Layer object in the diagram for illustrative purposes.

    1. Great, thanks! I just wanted to make sure there wasn’t something I was missing with the Layers.

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