4289

Pluses And Pitfalls In Voice Mail

It s happened to you: Vour phone call to a company IS answered not by a person at the other end but by a recorded voice offering you a menu of options to choose from and phone buttons to press. Interactive voice response (IVR) technology is here to stay, but it can frustrate and annoy as readily as it facilitates customer service.

Many companies find IVR trees up employees for other duties and provides convenience for clients and customers. It is increasingly used to disseminate basic information, to route callers to various departments, and to assist in simple financial transactions. Industry analysts estimate that the technology will be a $1.2 billion market this year.



"Larger companies are saturated with this technology," says Tricia Lester, director of marketing programs for Syntellect Inc., a Phoenix-based supplier of IVR technology. "Our marketing is toward smaller companies because the technology is moving down in price. And smaller companies are installing it because the technology is now tested and proven successful." Quality systems that handle one or two incoming lines can be purchased for as little as $4,000. And for many companies, the cost of installing a new system can be recovered in the first year or two through increased product ivity and reduced telephone staffing.

Voice processing has been a boon to the two major newspapers in Nashville, Tenn., the Nashville Banner and The Tennessean, which are separately owned but perform some administrative functions through a single staff. Before installing an IVR system, the newspapers had difficulties hiring people to run their customer-service operitions effectively. "We've had an unemployment rate of 2 percent in our market," says Patti Gibbons, director of customer information and programs. "I had positions open for more than a year that were going unfilled." IVR filled the void.

Now, customers can request a replacement for a damaged or missing newspaper, change their delivery service, temporarily stop their newspaper during vacations, or ask for an invoice to be sent —all by pushing the right numbers.

For businesses where staffing isn't a problem, IVR systems can free employees from many routine or repetitive tasks. Workers at the six branches of First National Bank of Hudson, Wis., "have become more efficient in their daily work" with the help of the new IVR system, says Susan Gilbert, executive vice president for operations. "They're not scrambling at 4 in the afternoon to try and get things done."

Customers now can obtain balances on checking and savings accounts, loan balances, payment and delinquent-account information, and interest, principal, and escrow amounts on mortgage loans. What's more, this information can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. "This 24-hour access to information is one of the great advantages of IVR technology," says Syntellect's Lester. "Small businesses typically don't staff to handle those hours, but now they can without hiring more people."


Update New Topic
If a company is going to install an IVR system, it should do so prudently, says John Goodman, president of Technical Assistance Research Programs, in Arlington, Va. Much of the technology is routinely misused, he says. For example, he explains, "in the process of trying to become customer-oriented, salesmen are creating a disaster and companies are encouraging them to do it. Companies are pushing every salesman to run around, hand out business cards, and say, If you have any questions or problems, give me a call' You then call him and get voice mail.

"The minute a customer gets voice mail, you take a 10 percent hit in customer satisfaction because they cannot get their problem solved immediately." Goodman also warns that many companies allow callers to get trapped in voice mail without being able to get out. "You are in voice-mail jail, which frustrates the dickens out of customers as well," he says.

Goodman and Lester agree that not only must you always give the caller the option of speaking to someone, but your IVR system must also limit the number of menu options it offers. Research indicates that three options yield a 94 percent satisfaction rate, and four options a 91 percent rate. "Five options drops your satisfaction rate to the 60s, and six or more options drops the level to [50 percent or less]," Goodman says.

annuities meaning ultimate assurance property settlement
wealthy and successful man rich choose buy home homeowner know insurance
ask mortgage lenders car accident settlement mortgage application
prepare investing stock shopping without debt factors affecting home loan
credit cards with no debt plan for business loans step buying insurance
choosing life insurance cheap car insurance debt with credit card
type of insurance how to request a claim deposit banks or insurance
need life insurance insure assets and liabilities contract buying a home
happy if in debt pay car installments most car insurance terms
urgent money request loan save money in stocks howto have a home
plan before retirement plan repayment carefully plunging to the depths
cut health care costs handling employee departure put on retailer shelves
low cost promotion guide to office colleagues get TQM traning
unconscious credit cards home to pay off debt want money to invest
credit card addiction manage credit card debt insurance agreement
loans for education lead to poverty what is private fund
overlook insurance also saving on debt do before retiring
homeowners insurance home insurance state farm car insurance
comprehensive insurance commercial insurance cheap auto insurance
cheap health insurance indemnity car insurance companies
progressive quote usaa car insurance insurance near me
term life insurance auto insurance near me state farm car insurance
comprehensive insurance progressive home insurance house insurance
progressive renters insurance state farm insurance quote metlife auto insurance
best insurance companies progressive auto insurance quote cheap car insurance quotes
allstate car insurance rental car insurance car insurance online
liberty mutual car insurance cheap car insurance near me best auto insurance
home insurance companies usaa home insurance list of car insurance companies
full coverage insurance allstate insurance near me cheap insurance quotes
national insurance progressive home insurance house insurance
health insurance quotes ameritas dental state farm renters insurance
medicare supplement plans progressive renters insurance aetna providers
title insurance sr22 insurance medicare advantage plans
aetna health insurance ambetter insurance umr insurance
massmutual 401k private health insurance assurant renters insurance
assurant insurance dental insurance plans state farm insurance quote
health insurance plans workers compensation insurance geha dental
metlife auto insurance boat insurance aarp insurance
costco insurance flood insurance best insurance companies
cheap car insurance quotes best travel insurance insurance agents near me
car insurance car insurance quotes auto insurance
auto insurance quotes long term care insurance auto insurance companies
home insurance quotes cheap car insurance quotes affordable car insurance
professional liability insurance cheap car insurance near me small business insurance
vehicle insurance best auto insurance full coverage insurance
motorcycle insurance quote homeowners insurance quote errors and omissions insurance
general liability insurance best renters insurance cheap home insurance
cheap insurance near me cheap full coverage insurance cheap life insurance
fast cash for house maritime lawyer houston personal injury attorney ocala fl
home equity loan reverse mortgage us bank home mortgage
personal loans for bad credit peer to peer lending home equity loan rates
refinance mortgage personal loan rates first time home buyer programs
cash out refinance home mortgage rates mortgage lenders
geico commercial safety insurance affordable health insurance
insurance companies near me aflac insurance guardian dental insurance
workmans comp medicare part c ameriprise insurance
medicare advantage allstate near me auto insurance near me

Update New Topic

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts