April 24, 2013

Understanding IVR survey (Part I) : Methodologies

by Evelyn

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” – Kenneth Blanchard

How do you ensure that the service rendered by your call center agents meets your organization’s standards?  How do you know if the services delivered are up to your customer’s expectations and satisfaction? How can you monitor the experience, collect valuable feedback and find ways for improvement?  The obvious answer is to perform a customer satisfaction survey.

And indisputably, one of the easiest way to perform a customer satisfaction survey is to use the IVR system. An IVR deployed survey is a pre-recorded automated survey in which the customer responds to questions either by voice or by typing in numerical responses using the telephone keypads. It is convenient, easy to deploy and a great way to gather quantitative feedback in a cost efficient manner.

However, there are many approaches to the IVR survey. As not one survey method is suitable across all industries, knowing which method to use is important to:

  • create a pleasant experience for the data collection

  • collect meaningful data that can be translated to improvement strategies

  • create the most effective way to solicit responses and feedback


Let’s look at some commonly known IVR survey methodologies:

Inbound IVR survey
Invitation to participate in the survey is sent via email, letter or printed materials such as receipts and advertisements.  Customers then call in to a certain number, usually a toll free number to take part in the survey.  Usually this method works well  in a retail or food service environment.

 Outbound IVR survey
Outbound IVR survey is used commonly for internal employee surveys. A broadcast of the survey is usually done to inform employees about the survey to encourage all employees to give their feedback. Survey questions are then pre-recorded.  For external market survey, customers are called to participate in the survey via an automated system using customer information that was collected as part of a transaction. One consideration: when deploying an outbound survey, you need to consider how these outbound calls will affect your call volume and phone system.

Call transfer IVR survey
This method is typically used to get immediate responses about a support given.  It will first be announced to customers at the start of the call that they’ll be invited to participate in a pre-recorded survey at the end of the call. Upon completion of the support rendered, the transfer can be done via pushing a key to connect to the pre-recorded questions or transferred by the live agent. Call transfer IVR surveys are ideal for collecting immediate responses and feedback.

IVR Hybrid
This method starts by having the live agents making outbound calls to customers to solicit participation of the survey.  Once the customer agrees, the call is then transferred to the automated call survey. This method is useful when a live agent is required to explain the survey context and content. Organizations who opt to outsource their surveys to a 3rd party usually adopt this method to save their own resources and ensure the objective of the survey is achieved.

 Next month, we’ll look at some important considerations when designing an effective IVR survey.

Evelyn has recently escaped from a 12-year maddening rat race. Managing local and regional accounts for telecommunication solution providers, she knows too well the value of a good customer experience and effective communication. As a new member of the team, she hopes to share interesting updates and random musings with you at McGirvanmedia (Asia) Sdn. Bhd.

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