Is your IVR perceived and a confounded machine
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This section of our technical library presents information and documentation relating to IVR Development and custom IVR software and products. Business phone systems and toll free answering systems are very popular for service and sales organizations, allowing customers and prospects to call your organization anywhere in the country. The PACER and WIZARD IVR System is just one of many DSC call center phone system features..

What is IVR Software?. An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) processes inbound phone calls, plays recorded messages including information extracted from databases and the internet, and potentially routes calls to either inhouse service agents or transfers the caller to an outside extension.

Contact DSC today. to learn more about our IVR services and IVR application development software.

IVR Perceptions

Page 3
By Ascent Group, Inc.

An Extract from IVR Improvement Strategies,
A new research report published by the Ascent Group, Inc.

What Did We Learn?

    1. Companies Implementing IVR Systems Report Significant Benefits. Nearly all participants reported benefits of reduced or avoided costs. Companies migrating from touch-tone to ASR generally reported a 15 to 20 percent gain in call completions. Others reported increased customer satisfaction for after-hours selfservice options. Estimating the number of agent-equivalents that would have been required to handle IVR completed calls—our panel ranged from 1 to 10,000 equivalent FTEs (two companies reported very significant FTE equivalents). Excluding the largest, the panel average 85 FTE equivalents—very real cost savings or avoidance.

    2. Account Inquiry Transactions Dominate Across Industries. Account inquiry is the most popular IVR self-service option offered, regardless of industry. More than half of participants offered the ability to obtain account and billing information. Another 30 percent offered self-service “pay by phone”. In general, customers appear to appreciate the anonymity of self-service account inquiry.

    3. Financial Services firms enjoy the Highest IVR Self-Service Rates. Financial Service firms reported a 70+ percent IVR self-service rate. In addition, Financial Services firms reported the most mature IVR implementations, averaging 11 years. System maturity, combined with the appeal of self-service account inquiry, has led to high acceptance and adoption rates within this industry.

    4. More Companies are Implementing Automated Speech Recognition. 40 percent of participants have speech recognition in place. Another 32 percent have near term plans to implement ASR. A similar benchmarking study in 2000 revealed only a 10 percent deployment rate.

    5. Companies Are Not Adequately Capturing the Customer Experience. Only half of participants actively measure IVR customer satisfaction (or have measured at one time). Only 14 percent report the adoption of usability labs or prototype testing. For those that do gather customer feedback, it’s usually obtained from customer surveys or focus groups, and not necessarily on a regular basis or coincidental to any changes.

    In addition, only a little more than one-third utilize call monitoring (live or recorded calls) to observe the quality of the caller’s interaction with the IVR. What is more surprising is that two-thirds of the participants with speech-enabled IVRs don’t utilize IVR call monitoring at all.

    6. Companies Are Not Promoting IVR Self-Services. Less than a third of participants promote IVR Self-Services to customers or callers. And, of those that do, this usually means printed messages on bills or on bill stuffers. A small percentage (27 percent) promotes through discounts or no-charge services, and even fewer (14 percent) asked agents to promote usage, when appropriate.

    7. Few Companies Test IVR Operational Performance. Only 18 percent of participants use or have used a service or application to monitor and test IVR system reliability and operational performance. These applications conduct stress tests and other simulation tests to measure IVR, system, and network responsiveness and reliability.

    8. Companies that “Selectively Force Callers through the IVR” achieve the Highest IVR Success Rates. 40 percent of participants selectively force callers through the IVR for some services. These same companies averaged the highest IVR Success Rates—more than 40 percent (percent of IVR completed calls versus total handled calls). Conversely, companies that present IVR services as “optional” average an IVR Success Rate of only 13 percent.

    9. Speech-enabled IVR Applications Experienced Higher Growth in IVR Success Rate than Touch-Tone Applications. Our evaluation of IVR handled calls over the past three years indicates that companies with ASR experienced a bigger growth in IVR handled calls than those without ASR—68% growth versus 30% growth. This doesn’t necessarily mean that ASR is found in the companies with the highest IVR Success Rates, quite the contrary. Participants with ASR averaged 18 percent IVR Success Rate while participants without ASR averaged nearly twice that. In fact, none of the Financial Services firms (industry with highest IVR Success Rate) have ASR. We found ASR primarily in Teleservices (outsourcing providers) and Travel, and to a lesser extent in Utilities and Retail.

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