July 25 2012

Contact Center Lessons: Why We Changed to IVR


admin, safelite delight
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Guest Column By Brian O'Mara, Vice President of National Contact Centers

BrianOMara

Safelite® answers anywhere between 15-18 million calls per year, and we had long been committed to answering all of our calls live with stellar CSRs right here in the U.S.

Recently, however, we’ve shifted gears to better serve our customers and have implemented a very succinct automated system to quickly guide the customer where they need to be.

Upon calling Safelite, the customer is now greeted by an automated attendant who asks two easy questions. The first question is language preference – English or Spanish. The second question is payment preference – Cash/Credit or Insurance/Commercial.

Thanks to this change, Safelite has increased answered opportunity calls by 10 percentage points… and decreased the number of robotic sales calls clogging up our system.

Another effective solution that Safelite has used for several years is an INI launch-port and routing engine technology that determines if the call number is assigned to an active work order, and if it is, it sends the call directly to the market to speak with a local service representative.

According to an earlier poll on our blog, customers often don’t mind these short cues. When asked, “How important to you is it to have a company answer phones live?” 25% said, “Somewhat important… as long as the prompts are short and get me to the right person quickly, it’s OK.”

Lesson learned? For years, we believed the best customer service required live answering. Now, we’re finding the two short prompts can streamline the customer experience and help us better deliver delight.

As we always do, we’ll continue to weigh our options to deliver the best customer experience. If that means returning to live answering, we’ll be sure to keep you posted!

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