Are You Comfortable with Your IVR as Your Customer's 'First Impression' Touch Point?
February 05, 2013
Is getting to know a company like getting to know a person? Everyone knows that first impressions are important (or else we wouldn’t have so many sayings like, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”) Turns out, first impressions may be even more critical for customers interacting with a company. Those first seven seconds – the period of time in which a person makes up his or her mind about another person OR a company – are likely critical when it comes to determining the future customer relationship.
Cloud-based contact center solutions provider inContact’s Brandon Dotts blogged about the topic recently, and examined how first impressions can set the tone of a customer relationship.
He wrote, “When your customers call you, they are interviewing your company -- every time they call! At any given moment, one of these thoughts passes through your customers’ minds: How quickly can I speak to someone? How many menus do I need to navigate? Will I hear the option that fits my reason for calling? Will the customer service representative be able to assist me effectively?”
Obviously, those questions are up to the company, not the customer. This is precisely the time a company will make or break a potential future customer relationship. Since you can never be completely certain who is calling: a new customer or an existing customer, each call must be treated as though it’s a “first impression” call.
Dotts pointed out that 80 percent of customers will stop doing business with a company after one bad experience, and 27 percent of those customers will never do business with that same company again.
Since the interactive voice response (IVR) solution is usually the first thing callers hear when they call a company, it’s extra critical that call centers pay attention to the quality of their IVR. If your IVR solution is old, outdated, poorly managed, or cumbersome to make changes to, you are doing neither your company nor your customers any favors. A customer who encounters endless menu choices, loops that see to lead to nowhere, irrelevant choices for his or her problem, and no means to reach a live agent directly is very likely to hang up the phone, never to call again.
So ask yourself… how optimized is your IVR to make a good first impression?
Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli
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