Capturing Data is a Great Idea - If You Use it
January 07, 2014
By Susan J. Campbell
, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Technology is a wonderful thing – when it works correctly. Likewise, even correctly functioning technology can achieve less than the desired result when you miss the mark on design and execution. A softswitch can help your company easily integrate your website with Web service calls and the use of IVR to streamline operations. Before this implementation, however, pay attention to strategy.
Case in point – I needed to research why our mobile data share plan was already reaching into overages and the billing month still had two weeks remaining. I logged into the provider’s website and noticed the information shared in the emails sent to me did not match the information listed on my account online. Seeing the “Need Help? Online Chat” button at the top right, I immediately clicked.
As I excitedly awaited the response from the agent, I was thankful I could get to the bottom of my issue quickly and without having to make a phone call. That satisfaction eventually turned to frustration when the agent took too long to respond with information I didn’t need. She first had me verify my account information. This step is not as bothersome as I do want to be sure only I can access my account – but I clicked on the chat button from within my account page.
The frustration stemmed from the many steps required of me to verify my information, only to be told the steps to then access accurate data usage information – on the very page I was using thanks to following the exact same steps. When I pointed this out to the agent, she apologized and told me that the chat service was for navigation help only. The problem here is not so much that the service was for navigation only, but I was required to explain my reason for needing help before the chat even began. Had this information been reviewed, my time may not have been wasted.
Such an experience can hurt a brand, even one as large as this provider. Indosoft (News - Alert) may have a better solution, providing companies with a Visual Dialplan Builder to enable the execution of web services from within an IVR Dialplan. As a new feature in the Q-Suite, the data captured in the IVR can be used to established parameters for the Web service calls. It can be used to validate customers, set up a priority call list, apply custom business rules and more.
The point to this latest announcement from the softswitch provider is to create the right experience for the caller and provide the data necessary to the agent handling the call. This not only ensures the interactions are very smooth, it also communicates the right information so they customer gets the help they need when they need it, keeping efficiency at the forefront.
Had such a service been in place when I contact my wireless provider, we may have saved significant time for both sides and frustrated never would have been created. For the smaller players – take note: customers can tell when your flow of information doesn’t make sense. If you ask a question in the IVR, make sure that information gets to the agent and incorporated into the response right away.
Edited by Alisen Downey