Interactive Voice Response (IVR)—so efficient for your business, yet too often so frustrating for your customers!

Businesses are torturing customers across the globe,  whether using IVR, phone apps or chat boxes. A bold idea can change all that.

We’ve all experienced it—the dreaded customer service call. You punch in the number. After a few rings, an artificial voice answers and asks for your account number. You enter the information, and the synthetic voice provides the menu options. You take your best shot at picking the option that will get you help—none of the options ever seem to match your exact problem. After waiting for several minutes, a human voice actually answers. The voice asks you for your account and identification information. You provide the information, wondering why you have to provide it again. You explain your issue, only to find you pressed the wrong option. The human voice graciously offers to put you on hold while transferring you to the right department. After holding for several more minutes, a new voice comes on the line and asks for your account number and identification…

Patrick Malatack, Twilio’s VP of Product Management doesn’t believe the interaction has to be this way. This bold leader thinks you’re overlooking the fact that your customers are human.

Twilio is a cloud communications platform with corporate headquarters based in San Francisco, California. Twilio provides software developers with a platform for building SMS, Voice & Messaging applications on an application program interface (API) built for global scale. An API allows software components to talk to one another to create a dynamic, interactive, and customizable communication system.  The added impact of using Twilio—infrastructure is available and scalable on demand.

According to Malatack, using a platform like Twilio to develop apps promotes positive customer interactive experiences by:

  • enabling customers to use communication channels they prefer rather than those the business prefers. Options to use voice, email, chat, text as needed are available.
  • only asking for required information (like account numbers) only once and when needed. Malatack refers to this as the app having context. Even when you are handed off to a different application within the system, your information transfers.
  • talking in language your customers understand—not using internal error codes, for example.
  • providing multiple avenues of communication, so you never have to put your customer on hold!

The promise of technology has always been to make life easier for all of us. The ability to make the customer’s interaction with your company a more pleasant and efficient experience is one bold idea that can revitalize customer service.

“The same technology that created a lot of this inhumanity for us is now actually enabling us to build more human experiences,” Malatack says. Technology that dehumanizes communications can now rehumanize it.

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