| By Guy Yair, Jacada Co-CEO
Break Down the Barrier: How to provide a Consistent Customer Service Experience by Visually Connecting Customers to their CRM data
Self-service not connected to the CRM
CRM Systems have traditionally been thought of as "top secret", exposed only to customer service agents and shared with the customer on a need to know basis by the agent, when addressing the customer’s question or concern.
Customers are changing. They are constantly on the move, tech savvy and impatient. When it comes to their service provider and customer service issues, they do not like to be dependent on anyone but themselves and of course their mobile device! Traditional customer service methods just aren’t going to cut it anymore.
Organizations that are attempting to provide self-service options to consumers are trying to please the growing demands from consumers. The problem is many of these transactions lack the proper integration to the CRM system, limiting their usefulness as they do not reflect real time customer information. This is why most IVR menus act as call routers only and are rarely able to actually complete a self-service transaction for consumers. The CRM data is simply not there.
Self Service Fails the Connected Customer
With the growing number of consumers using smart devices, and the increasing popularity of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy – people expect to have the Internet and real-time information at their fingers tips - anywhere, anytime, on any device. Connected customers further expect their interactions with companies to be as simple and intuitive as operating their smart phones, engaging social networks or using search engines.
Self-service promised to meet the above demands of the connected customer, while cutting costs in the contact center. Yet studies show otherwise.
In 2007 an IBM study of self-service applications found that 69% of respondees experienced technical difficulties with self-service. Jump forward in time and not much has improved with respect to customer satisfaction and self-service. A 2011 study on customer perceptions of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems found that 83% of customers still feel IVR systems provide either no benefit at all or – only a cost savings benefit to the company. This same study also found that the majority of consumers (67%) still prefer live-agent service.
For self-service to become a viable option that drives positive customer experiences and thus lowers costs for companies, the gap between agent-assisted customer experience and self-service, push-button IVRs has to be narrowed.
Integrating the CRM to the self-service transaction can fill this gap by creating a richer and complete self-service experience that actually diminishes the number of calls that make it to the call center and cut significant costs to organizations.
Start with your IVR- Visual Interactions makes it easier to connect with your CRM
Up until now companies could only offer non-visual, non-touchscreen IVR menus. However with HTML 5-based technologies, one of the ways to narrow the gap in customer expectations and actually deliver the financial benefits of self-service is to use a visual/touchscreen IVR.
A visual IVR interface provides a visual representation of the IVR menu. Users log into the company’s website or simply launch a mobile app to click their way from menu to solution quickly and efficiently. Users are able to retrieve relevant CRM information and complete routine transactions effectively - independent of live agents.
It can easily take a customer almost 30 seconds to listen to an IVR menu versus just a few seconds to scan a smart phone.
Visual IVRs Provide Direct Access to CRM Data in a Consistent Multi-Channel Fashion
Visual IVR Integrates seamlessly to backend applications like the CRM system. This means a rich service experience for the customers, which is visual and not bound to the traditional phone call.
In addition, visual IVR also provides consistency and continuity across all the multiple touch points used by the customer. While navigating the visual IVR menu, the user can select the "live chat" option or get transferred to a live agent at any point during the interaction. All actions performed by the customers in the visual IVR produce a breadcrumb trail visible to the agents, enabling a warm and seamless transition and in-context handling of calls directed from the self-service channel to the call center. When agent intervention is required, users are able to connect to a specific representative without having to repeat information or even schedule a call back.
With more issues solved through the visual IVR, call centers experience a significant reduction in inbound call volume while customers get a direct and fast access to their CRM data, better routing, low to no holding time, and a positive experience.