In the scramble to keep up with customer demands for multi-channel, consistent and user-friendly service channels, many companies have updated digital offerings but let on-premise IVRs stagnate. And it’s no wonder; legacy systems take significant time and money to update. But with most customers still turning to the phone for service, you cannot discount the IVR’s impact on your business. It’s time to consider cloud IVR solutions. Here’s why.
Quickly Develop New Automation
Cloud IVRs support fast, easy deployment with design templates and tools that don’t require coding skills. They provide a smooth transition from on-premise to the cloud with the capability to add new functions in a short timeframe.
For example, after the main IVR is up and running, you may want to run a focused customer survey or handle calls generated by promotional events. As part of the cloud, the phone channel can pivot promptly whenever the market demands.
Bring the IVR in Line With Other Channels
Every modern company serves customers and prospects over email, text and social media direct messaging as well as the phone. And while traditional IVRs often exist as a technological island, customers expect the same experience across all channels.
In fact, McKinsey & Company identifies poor channel integration as a major reason IVRs can fail. Unfortunately, harmonizing an on-premise IVR with digital services costs more money and time than many organizations want to spend. But cloud IVRs easily integrate with other channels and often offer companion features such as chat or video in the same product.
Improve User Experience
Customers no longer put up with poorly designed phone menus or long wait times. But traditional IVR interfaces are hard to optimize because it takes a long time to change the call flow, and it’s difficult to capture usability data on a large scale.
On the contrary, cloud applications incorporate user-friendly tools for A/B testing, which helps you quickly zero-in on the most intuitive designs. Better caller experience improves customer satisfaction overall and increases automation rates.
Incorporate Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) will become a competitive necessity as more and more companies take advantage. Deloitte predicts that by 2020, the penetration rate of software that incorporates AI will hit 87%. Much of that will be delivered via the cloud.
Cloud IVRs that feature AI confer powerful capabilities without requiring specialized skills or software. For example, you can take advantage of smart routing algorithms that get customers to the right place faster. Or usher callers past the typical menu trees with natural language recognition. AI can also help people complete automation by drawing on contextual information to simplify common tasks like making payments.
By switching from on-premise to cloud, you’ll lower costs overall because the cloud platform has the advantage of scale. Cloud IVR providers specialize in maintaining hardware and software systems, so their internal experts and processes maximize efficiency. They also have more buying power which keeps subscription fees down.
Because cloud applications share resources, you can handle peak loads without purchasing and maintaining extra servers that sit idle most of the time. And when you want specialized features, such as AI, you don’t shell out for costly enterprise products or the technical experts required to use them.
Handle Peak Loads Better
Contact center managers spend much of their time staffing for call volume peaks and valleys. But even with the most careful planning, surprise bursts can overwhelm agents and clog up the queue. Cloud applications expand immediately to handle these unexpected demands and route customers to other departments or channels that take up the load.
Easily Update, Improve and Maintain Cloud IVR Systems
With a legacy system, you spend plenty of person-hours and operating budget just to keep everything humming. With a cloud IVR, however, the provider handles maintenance. They also stay in step with the latest software releases and hardware innovations, so you don’t have to wait for the next budget cycle to upgrade.
Ensure Security, Redundancy and Availability
You never have to worry about whether a cloud IVR is down. Providers ensure uptime and build redundancy into their systems, so if any servers go dark, they immediately fail over to back-ups. Likewise, they can offer the latest in data security, ensuring your customers’ details and your company’s reputation are safe.
Enhance Performance With Data Analytics
Many businesses with on-premise IVRs struggle to understand what’s happening in the application. As a digital platform, a cloud application tracks call volume, origin and routing data so you understand who is calling from where, when they’re calling and what they need. All that data feeds back into your application design for continuous improvement.
Include Cloud IVR in Your Business Plan
Overall, cloud IVRs release you from the care and feeding of aging technologies, so you can devote more time and budget to growing the business. If you’re ready for a powerful, flexible IVR, it’s time to switch to the cloud.