Customers these days are greatly inclined towards self-service options. A customer experience study conducted shows that 71% of customers want to solve customer service issues on their own.
These statistics indicate that customers prefer to use self-help tools instead of contacting company agents. Due to this rising demand for self-service options, market is flooded with self-service tools. Among the various options available, IVR and Chatbots are the most preferred self-service tools.
IVR enables customers to solve customer service issues on their own by using self-help options. Whereas, chatbot – Artificial Intelligence (AI) program, provide answers to quick customer queries on the chat without any manual intervention or human assistance.
According to IBM,
Chatbots help businesses to reduce customer service cost by answering up to 80% of routine customer service questions.
Many businesses leverage virtual assistants to reduce response time and improve first call resolution. Analysts have already stated chatbots as the future of customer service.
According to Reuters.com,
“The Interactive Voice Response Market is expected to witness growth at a CAGR of 7% during the forecast period from 2017 to 2023. Increasingly being employed by a variety of business organizations, the global market is expected to reach an estimated value of USD 3.7 Bn by the end of 2023.”
Consistent growth of global IVR market suggests that chatbots will not replace IVR fully in the near run. Businesses prefer IVR to chatbots when it comes to deploying self-service strategies. There are several reasons which support that IVR is in the market for a long haul.
5 Reasons Why Chatbots Will Never Replace IVR Systems Completely
1. 57% Customers Still Prefer Talking to a Real Person
Most customers these days contact a business using more than one communication channels. But 39% of customers call a business frequently when they are ready to make a purchase or transaction. Likewise, 57% of customers prefer resolving customer service issues by talking to a real person. Hence, it is evident that customers prefer to talk with a live agent before going for a big purchase.
Using an IVR system enables a customer to access relevant information and discuss concerns directly with a real person. Having a chat with a real agent instils trust in the customer and nudges them to make the final purchase. IVR provides a perfect integration of agent-based assistance and self-help options that increases overall customer experience and loyalty.
2. IVR Solutions are Easier to Access the Chatbots
To initiate a chat, customer need access to the internet. It is impossible to use the chatbot in the absence of internet connectivity. Also, if the internet connectivity of your network operator is poor, using chatbot can get tricky. Lag in the messages makes the conversation inconsistent and infuriates the customer.
However, unlike chatbots, IVR solutions can be accessed without any internet connection. Customers only need to dial on the company number to connect with the company IVR. Hence, a wide range of customers finds it easier to access and use an IVR system than chatbots.
3. Customers Value First Contact Resolution
According to a customer experience report,
“Customers still value first contact resolution, but 40% say they must contact a brand two or more times before a customer service issue is resolved.”
The businesses cannot improve customer service experience without increasing first contact resolution consistently.
Like chatbots, IVR systems also help businesses to boost customer service experience by increasing first contact resolution. Cloud IVR solutions increase first call resolution by supporting skill-based incoming call routing. The feature enables businesses to resolve customer service issues on the first call by transferring the incoming call to the best-suited agent, department, extension, or call queue.
4. Chatbots Have Their Own Shortcomings
While implementing customer self-service, decision-makers must remember that IVR is a mature technology while chatbot is a new age technology which is continuously evolving. Chatbots suggest or recommend the best answers to a customer by leveraging machine learning algorithms. Although, answering complex queries can become be risky with ML algorithms. Most companies are deploying chatbots to tackle simple or basic queries.
The solutions or options provided by the chatbots vary depending upon the complexity of the queries asked due to which customers are often frustrated while using a chatbot.
To cater to every possible query asked by the customer, the business needs to build complex and customized chatbots. But a large number of businesses still lack the skill and resources required to implement self-service through complex chatbots. Whereas in the case of IVR, the complexity of the query doesn’t impact the functioning of the IVR. Every kind of query from simple to difficult is quickly answered through self-service or live agent options.
5. IVR Technology Has Been Evolving Continuously
IVR system has been evolving consistently. Hardware-based models of the telephony systems were providing callers with simple voice menu prompts. But the businesses can now use hosted IVR solutions without investing in hardware-based infrastructure. Cloud IVR solutions are easier to use, customize, extend, and scale than conventional IVR systems.
They further help a business to boost customer experience with features like real-time call monitoring, call recording, built-in text-to-speech solution and third-party application integration. Cloud IVR system helps callers to resolve complex customer service issues by leveraging advanced technologies like Automated Speech Recognition (ASR), Natural Language Processing (NLP), and Computer Telephony Integration (CTI).
Best of Both Worlds
Both self-service options – chatbot and IVR – help a business to boost customer experience and reduce the customer service cost. But each of these customer service technologies has its pros and cons. Thus, best solution is to integrate IVR and chatbot. You can use chatbots for simpler queries or queries with direct answers and can use IVR to handle complex set of queries. By using strengths of both these tools in your business, you can easily accelerate customers service quality in no time.