Nov 5, 2013 10:02:00 AM

When Offering an Agent Hurts Your IVR

Posted by Niccole Muraca

Providing callers with the means to opt out of the IVR is a must. There are always going to be those callers who would prefer not to cooperate with the IVR and want to speak with an agent. However, offering the agent upfront can negatively impact the value of your IVR and prevent callers from self-serving. So, how do you make yourself accessible without damaging the potential of your IVR? 

This was a challenge faced by a financial services provider who recently asked AVOKE to perform an IVR analysis to uncover improvement opportunities. During this analysis, one of the things that immediately jumped out was the company’s high opt out rate. The design of the company’s IVR included a main menu with an upfront agent option.  By utilizing the AVOKE Call Browser, which features whole call recording and automated tracking of call events, the company was able to isolate calls containing opt outs and gain visibility into how callers were interacting with their IVR.  Quickly, they discovered that 23% of callers were opting out at the Main Menu, significantly impacting the effectiveness of their system.  

While their intention was to provide callers with an easy route to an agent, this company’s upfront agent option was hurting their IVR strategy. The upfront agent offer discouraged callers from using the IVR and its self-service functionality. While 50% of agent handled calls were routine inquiries lasting less than 4 minutes, the self-service rate was below 20%. Many callers simply opted out at the Main Menu to speak with an agent. AVOKE determined that just by removing the upfront agent option, the company could increase self-service by 25-50%! A simple change with BIG savings.

In this day and age, IVRs don’t need to advertise the agent option. Instead, offering a hidden dtmf-0 and agent option provides callers with the chance to opt-out. And if your company determines that advertising an agent option is a necessary requirement, careful placement can ensure it does not interfere with the effectiveness of your system.

Are you trying to gain visibility into your system? Need to understand why your IVR’s opt out rate is so high? Learn more about AVOKE and how whole call recording can help by clicking here

Topics: IVR, Self-Service, Main Menu, Whole Call Recording, Opt-Out