If your customer’s experience (CX) with your customer service options stinks, how happy do you think they are? Not very, and the ramifications can be severe and long-lasting. CX is a foundation for customer engagement when it’s done right. Take note of these fundamentals for the hosted contact center, and in particular how self-service can either make or break CX. 

What’s so new about this? Nothing! Encounters with contact centers frequently fall short of the ideal. All too often, people are frustrated by long wait times and transfers to multiple representatives (who ask for the same information all over again). A poor CX can have serious ramifications. Negative opinions – expressed via social media, word of mouth, or by the path your customer treads stomping out your real or virtual front door – can impact your organization’s effectiveness in delivering needed services, and even its public reputation…not to mention your bottom line. 

Efficient, convenient self-service can polish your organization’s reputation.

5 CX Fundamentals

Delivering a superior CX is tied to several factors. Five fundamentals to embrace: 

  1. Convenience: People want the option to use self-service instead of waiting on hold for a live agent. They also want to engage using their preferred device (like their ever present smartphone) or the channel that’s handy.
  2. Personalization: A great CX depends on a technology platform that is highly adaptable to individual needs, and learns from the past customer behaviors and preferences. Personalized self-service saves time and avoids repetition of information well beyond automated help.
  3. Proactivity: The contact center experience should not be a one-way street. The best technologies feature proactive outreach (reminders, notifications, and satisfaction surveys) and a contextual experience.
  4. Reliability: Nothing is more irritating than a dropped call, busy signals or a website that’s down. Scalable cloud-hosted contact center technology ensures the high reliability that people expect.
  5. Protection: Your customers rely on you to protect and defend their account information, their identification and their transactions. The contact center should be covered starting with automated authentication and fraud prevention layers, well before anyone is harmed. 

Good vs. Bad CX

As a consumer, if you had a choice which customer experience would you choose? 

  • Uphill Battle: I call your company but you don’t recognize me; it takes a long time to find what I need, but I still have to talk to a representative to solve my issue; sometime later I hang up when we’re done.
  • Smooth Sailing: I call your company and you great me by name in my language; I quickly select my choice from a helpful menu; I get what I need by myself and hang up with a smile.

Now I’d take the Smooth Sailing CX any day, and so would your customers. Customers are not one size fits all, and your interactive voice response (IVR) self-service – usually their first point of contact with you by phone – shouldn’t be either.
Consider this, most customers today (particularly younger ones) would rather have a root canal than contact a company.  When the first point of contact in the IVR is painful, a root canal looks even more appealing.

Competitive Edge: 99.7% self-service rate

Banks and other financial institutions don’t stand still. There’s a competitive and customer need to do more and be more in today’s marketplace. 

One growing Forbes top-ranked Community Bank was facing customer call volume increases due to acquisitions, new banking products and services, and organic growth. They knew changes needed to be made to ensure consistency in service and value throughout these growing spurts.

Today the Bank’s IVR self-service gives them the automation and CX boosts necessary to grow and satisfy their customers:

  • Effortlessly handles nearly twice the call volume
  • Accommodates volume increases that will occur in the future as new branches are integrated

That’s what makes 99.7 percent more than just a number. It’s a success metric the Bank can stand by and a competitive edge they can depend on over time. Reaching a 99.7 percent self-service rate enables the Bank to empower their customers to meet their needs, proving that an easy path to find and resolve issues themselves is the preferred one.

This Bank learned what their CX fundamentals were and ran with them. They’ve eliminated the extra time and effort speaking to a bank represented would require (for both of them) for the most routine banking issues while solving convenience and continuity concerns.

So, what’s the fundamental component that will empower your customers and your business, and deliver a great customer experience?


I invite you to subscribe to our IVR blog to read more.



Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.