Why We Are Seeing a 40% Increase in IVR Response Rates

There is nothing like forced isolation to make people want to connect. The shelter-in-place orders being enforced across the country in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are testing all of us to stay indoors and practice social distancing, and many are just tired of sitting around the house. In response to forced isolation, more people are picking up the phone and accepting phone calls, including answering CX IVR voice surveys.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Verizon has seen an average of 800 million calls each weekday since stay-at-home orders have been issued, which is twice the volume they typically see on Mother’s Day. And people are talking longer. AT&T reports that wireless minutes usage is up 39 percent and Wi-Fi calling minutes are up 78 percent. People now have the time and inclination to spend more time on the phone as a way to connect with the outside world.

PinPoint Research has seen a 22 percent rise in customer call center post-call IVR surveys, and an increase in response rates to 40 percent.

We are seeing the same phenomenon increase the number of incoming queries to customer call centers. Our research shows that call center traffic is up 22 percent as more people use their phones to address their questions rather than submitting an online query or sending an email. The telephone always has been a preferred means of customer comments, and now that everyone is isolated more consumers are using the phone to reach out to companies, retailers, and service providers.

What’s more important, people are answering the phone as well, including outbound customer IVR surveys. PinPoint Research has seen a 22 percent rise in customer call center post-call IVR surveys, and an increase in response rates to 40 percent. An unexpected side benefit of the nationwide quarantine is we are gathering more customer response data than ever before.

Learn More About Your Customers in Crisis

If there is a silver lining to the current health crisis it’s that we have an opportunity to engage with customers to a degree we have not in the past. Where markets like financial services and healthcare see customer support calls as the norm they are now being deluged with more incoming calls than they can handle. Retailers, service providers, and other market segments are seeing a similar flood in telephone support traffic. As everyone struggles to keep up with call volume, assessing customer experience (CX) is more important than ever before.

Measuring CX after a call center engagement has become common practice. Now, however, your customers are more willing to engage at a deeper level. Using follow-up IVR survey calls you can learn more about customer perceptions and brand engagement by asking more complex questions.

This also is the ideal time to adopt open-ended questions as part of your IVR surveys. People want to be heard and giving them a forum to share their views will give you more detailed and candid responses than ever before. Open-ended questions tend to be less biased, and recording spoken responses are more representative of the customer, providing more qualitative data for analysis. And by adopting automated voice transcription technology, you can quickly convert open-end responses into a rich data archive to feed analytics and learn more about customers’ perceptions and needs in this time of crisis.

Use Open-End Engagement

Remember, however, that conventional call center platforms are not designed to conduct CX research. Most IVR survey platforms are inflexible and make it difficult to customize queries and responses. They can be slow to deploy and lack integration with other technologies and operational systems. They also tend to lack real-time reporting and normalizing responses for database storage can be slow and painful.

When you choose the right Voice Driven SurveysTM you eliminate many of those problems. With support for real-time transcription, you can turn IVR surveys into actionable responses. Analytics and machine learning makes it possible to immediately identify dissatisfied customers or call out issues that need immediate attention, flagging those respondents for a return call from the customer service team.

Posted Under: IVR, Voice Surveys

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