Automating your business processes can have a substantial, positive impact on your company’s productivity and profits. The time you save with fewer manual systems can help your company scale much more quickly, but only if you’re timing is right for making the switch to automated business software and services.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems are rapidly gaining popularity among businesses who service customers through a call center or contact center environment. An IVR system can be easily integrated with your call center software and other business applications to streamline your operations and help boost your customer satisfaction levels with automated agents.
As with any business software system, there are pros and cons to using automated IVR agents in your company. For many businesses, the advantages of automation outweigh the disadvantages, but it’s important you understand both to make the right decision for your unique company.
Pros of Automated Agents
There are many advantages to using an IVR system in your business, and with high levels of customization, you can create experiences that are helpful and meaningful to your customers while also streamlining and automating some of your manual processes.
Automated agents can help your call center function more effectively and efficiently. You can customize workflows that fit your common customer needs so that people who call in for service can find solutions without long periods of time on hold.
You can also set up your IVR to help route calls quickly to the right person on your team based on some simple questions your automated agent provides when people contact your service department.
Using an IVR system can help increase your company’s productivity levels. When you set up your automated agents with great care and attention to detail, you can help eliminate a large amount of the basic questions that must be handled by live agents. Your auto attendant can help supply answers to commonly asked questions and even trigger email responses when a customer requests information. This means that your live agents can focus on serving top clients or answering more complex questions that your customers need help to resolve.
IVR can also help boost productivity on outbound calling activities with an auto-dialer feature. This helps your sales team filter out any disconnected or incorrect numbers and save time by only connecting them to valid numbers on their list of leads.
Consistent and Reliable
When you use an IVR system, you can create a consistent and accurate experience for customers who call in looking for help on common issues or questions. You can add levels of complexity to your automated agent processes to make sure your customers receive helpful information and are routed to the right person if needed.
24/7 Customer Access
Another great advantage of using automated agents is that you’ll be able to offer customers access to support no matter what time of day or night they call in. This will help build trust in your customers when they know that they can reach your company and receive help and solutions after hours.
Cons of Automated Agents
While there are many advantages to using automated agents, there are some cons to automating portions of your customer care.
There are many people who simply prefer a human touch and want the attention of a live agent when they call in for help. These customers often feel that automated agents are extremely impersonal and do not enjoy this type of experience when they call in for support.
While there are customizations you can make to your IVR to make it highly personalized and helpful, you may not please every customer. If you understand your customers well, and have done research into their communication preferences you will be able to gain a deeper understanding of their expectations when it comes to customer service. If the majority of your customers prefer to speak on the phone to a live agent, then using automated agents may not make sense for your business.
As business software solutions become more powerful and offer more complex levels of automation, many people begin to worry about being replaced by a system. While it can make great business sense to automate manual systems, it can also cause employees to worry about the existence of their job in the future. There are quite a few automation trends in customer service on the rise, but the majority of them all support a good customer experience and help assist your live agents, not replace them entirely.
Automating manual business processes can help your business function more efficiently and help you scale with success as you grow your company. An IVR system can offer your business many benefits when it comes to automating portions of your customer service, but you should also be mindful of the disadvantages of automated agents so you can make the best decision for your business.