What is IVR? - Surveys, Best Practices, & Design


Confirmit Team

Confirmit Team

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Confirmit’s dedicated teams work to deliver world-leading customer experience, Voice of the Employee and Market Research solutions. 


Author Bio

Confirmit's Interactive Voice Response (IVR) survey for call center software

What does IVR stand for?

How does a company with a support center ensure that the service delivered by representatives consistently meets corporate standards and drives high customer satisfaction? A common solution for monitoring the support experience is using a satisfaction survey to collect customer feedback. Listening (and responding) to the voice of the customer is a crucial step for businesses to maintain high-quality customer service. One popular method for collecting this type of feedback is the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) survey.

What is IVR used for?

Interactive Voice Response can be leveraged differently across different industries, but typically an IVR survey is a pre-recorded automated phone survey in which the customer responds vocally to questions or types numerical responses using the keypad.

Confirmit IVR enables you to create pre-recorded automatic telephone surveys during which the customer responds to a brief series of questions. Download Confirmit´s IVR solutions to learn about IVR survey methodologies that best meet the needs of your business.

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Following is a list of common IVR survey approaches:

• Inbound IVR Survey


In this method, invitation to participate in the survey is sent via email, letter, or printed marketing materials and the customer calls in to take the survey (usually via a toll-free number). This methodology works well when the service has taken place in a retail or food service environment.


• Outbound IVR Survey


In an Outbound IVR survey, the customer is called to participate in the survey via an automated system, from customer information that was collected as part of a transaction. In this method, it is important to consider the volume of customers calls going through the company call center, and understand the implications of those calls on the overall phone system.


• Call Transfer IVR Survey


With a call transfer IVR survey, customers are invited to participate in a survey at the start of the support call then transferred to the pre-recorded survey once the transaction is complete. This is an example of a post-call IVR survey. The invitation to participate can be made with an automated question prior to connecting with a customer service representative, or by having the representative offer the survey prior to discussing the customer’s issue. Call Transfer IVR Surveys are an ideal method because they collect immediate reactions and top-of-mind customer feedback.


• IVR Hybrid


This method uses an outbound call with a live representative soliciting participation in the survey, followed by a call transfer to the automated survey once the customer agrees. This is another example of the post-call IVR survey method. This is a useful methodology when a live representative is needed to help provide context for the survey request or the survey content.

Once the survey methodology has been chosen, there are a few IVR best practices to consider in the actual design of the survey questions.

 

IVR Best Practices:

Use Proper Rating Scales


Customer feedback surveys are typically based on a 0-10 point, or 1-10 point, scale which captures a certain degree of nuances from an analytic standpoint. With an IVR survey, these scales can present difficulties when they require the customer to enter a two-digit rating from telephone keypad. For instance, the system may fail to capture both digits when given a rating of “10”, and record it as a  “1” instead. To avoid this problem, some advocate the use of a 5-point scale, or even, a 7-point scale. If a 10 or 11 point scale is chosen, the IVR technology should allow for ample response time and/or confirmation of the scores entered.


Length of Survey


Since an IVR survey is automated, there is a greater chance for drop-off than with an interviewer-administered survey- so it is important to keep it short and sweet. Try and make the survey as brief as possible while including enough questions to fully evaluate the transaction being measured. Also, key questions (the important stuff) should be at the beginning of the survey, to maximize the number of responses.

Open- Ended Questions

Another primary IVR best practice is asking for open-ended feedback to more fully understand the voice of the customer. Keep in mind there should always be a limit on these types of questions, to avoid additional drop-off on the survey. Once this data is collected, additional data tools and transcription capability are usually required to analyze verbal feedback data. Additionally, there are IVR survey data integration tools available to simplify the analytics portion when necessary.

To avoid this problem, some advocate the use of a 5-point scale, or even, a 7-point scale. Once the methodology and design for an IVR survey has been decided, it is critical to have full program buy-in from senior executives. Ideally, responsibility for customer satisfaction should cascade down through the organization – from CEO to support call center representatives. Ensure that there are follow-up processes in place for representatives to contact unhappy customers and resolve their issues. Provide continuous training opportunities to ensure excellent customer service is an ongoing priority, and reward those who receive consistently high feedback to keep agents engaged and motivated.

Finally, make sure there is communication with customers on an ongoing basis to let them know how vital their feedback is to the organization – this will help in efforts to drive customer satisfaction and sustain your voice of the customer program over time.

To find out more about Confirmit's IVR solutions, take a look at our IVR fact sheet. 

 


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