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Ivr - Excellence to Customer Service

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Discussion 2

Conclusion 5

References List 6


IVR - The secret to Great Customer Service

What is IVR? IVR is a short form for Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. It is a technology that when a customer calls with a question about their credit card bill or to talk to a support officer, they are talking to the IVR system. The IVR system has a pre-recorded voice that guides customers through the menu options, using speech-recognition software to understand the difference between “billing” and “support”. If a customer wants to talk to a “real” customer service officer, he can always press zero.

There are many companies that have implemented the IVR system. From banks to airlines companies, you can simply pay your credit card balance; book or check for flight status through the IVR.

Large and small businesses have adopted this system because it saves money which previously was spent on living, breathing employees. How effective is an IVR depends on the percentage of callers who ask to speak to a live operator. The lower the percentage, the more successful the system.

But how does customer service benefits from IVR technology? Since good customer service involves developing bonds with customers which hopefully leads to a long term relationship. So how does good IVR system deliver great customer service? Let’s find out!


Some people say that IVR is wrong and because people wants to talk to a person, not to a machine. And some has also critiqued that by having IVR, the company is not customer focused. It is common for customers to hang up once they hear an automated voice response. However if you are able to make full use of the IVR, you will reap the it’s benefits.

For example, Great Eastern Insurance has been using IVR for more than 10 years and have gone full IVR with speech recognition technology since 2004. Their IVR system named “Lee Lee” was born after lots of planning and research. They worked on three benefit angles which are Call Centre Productivity, Corporate Image and Customer Delight. Call Centre Productivity is when more people uses the IVR which means fewer calls will be passed to the Customer Service Officers. This will in turn lead to productivity and targeted routing. The second benefit is Corporate Image. To move into state-of-art technology means the company is taking the lead by leveraging on cutting edge technology. This has enhanced Great Eastern’s brand value. The third benefit is Customer Delight. They no longer looking at giving customers just what they want. They strive to give more than a good service and raise the service bar by giving them a fantastic service or “wow” experience. 1 The Road to IVR Excellence

After launching Lee Lee, they have received numerous positive feedbacks. Some of the feedbacks are the system was easy to use, accurate in voice recognition, it saves time as transactions are done faster, hands free and there is no need to push any buttons and lastly it’s availbility for 24/7. Because of the demand to cater to Mandarin customers, Lee Lee was upgraded yet again. And have received great feedback on the ease of usage and accurate voice recognition. Thus, the road to IVR excellence has started.

We have looked at how the local company has used IVR to enhanced their customer service level. Now, we take a look at overseas company make use of IVR to deliver great customer service.

US Airways has been effectively delivering proactive customer service using IVR. They have implemented an IVR systems that proactively suggests solutions to callers based on data about their purchase history and the reason they are most likely calling.

US Airways take four steps to implement their proactive IVR system. The first step is to compile a list of their most common customer service scenarios. This has eventually help them in create a list of solutions to proactively suggest to people who called. Some companies assume they can find the most common reasons customers call just by looking at which options in their IVR system callers choose the most however, this can be misleading.

The second step is determine where these most commonly asked questions typically occur in the customer lifecycle.This has eventually help them determine when you should proactively suggest a specific solution to customers. US Airways’ analysis of customer calls, for example, found that flyers who call anywhere from a month to two weeks before their flight typically want to change their reservation.

To make these determinations, they have a system for tracking customer purchase and interaction history. To pick up trends around the sequence of events that leads customers to call them.

The third step is to program rules into your IVR that tell the system what solution to proactively suggest, and when to suggest it.

The last step is measure the success



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