To get the most from your IVR, you need to know exactly what’s going on within it at all times – and the key to total IVR visibility is comprehensive reporting.
A great IVR is one where any problems or bottlenecks are swiftly and elegantly fixed before performance starts to suffer. But it’s extremely hard to proactively fix issues that you can’t see. That’s where reporting comes in.
Today, data drives everything from maintenance tasks to high level business decisions – and proper reporting is the key to unlocking and understanding the wealth of data generated within your IVR. If you want to constantly improve IVR performance, safeguard against technical issues, and learn more from and about your callers, skimping on reporting simply isn’t an option.
Modern IVR reporting capabilities help generate and grant visibility of a wide spectrum of data, including:
Long-term Business Intelligence such as major caller trends, popular requests and product, changes in caller preferences and other high level insights that can fuel business decision making
Operational information granting deep insight into day-to-day performance and helping to identify potential issues before they start impacting customer experiences and overall IVR health
Performance metrics granting insight into how successful the system is a whole based on completion and containment rates
Broadly, these metrics are divided into three categories:
High-level metrics: Like the total number of calls, containment (how many customers complete their task in the IVR without transferring to an agent), abandonment (how many callers hang up before they’ve completed a task) and the volume of transfers to different destinations.
Task-level metrics: Like the number of people attempting a payment, the number completing a payment and the number that don’t complete for whatever reason – e.g. they didn’t understand what the system was telling them, the system didn’t understand what they were saying, or something unrelated to the IVR system – like their card being declined – prevented the transaction from completing.
State-level metrics: That give the details of what’s happening in a particular part of the dialogue – like how many people heard a particular message, how many hung up there, and how many gave a valid input that took them to the next step in the conversation.
These metrics are your key to an unbiased, clear understanding of exactly where your IVR is succeeding and failing. This data and visibility fuels VoxGen’s process of continuous, iterative IVR improvement. There is always more to learn from your IVR, and only by reporting on metrics at all three of these levels can you unlock that information and keep improving user experiences.
And this is where many, many IVRs fall down. While most have high-level metrics and some have state-level metrics, very few have task-level metrics – and those are the really important ones, because they affect the overall value of the IVR to you and your customers.
How it should be done
If your IVR lacks reporting sophistication, it’s time to build some in, pronto. The ideal reporting system will track all three levels of metrics and provide up-to-date and easily understandable reports (ideally dashboards) with flagging or alerting to highlight problems instantly.
And when it’s time to make a change based on what the metrics tell you, a great IVR is one that lets you A/B test changes and compare the results with previous time periods. So if it’s a BIG change, you can try it out on a small percentage of calls and see how the key metrics are affected.
In an ideal world, the reports will also feed into wider channel analytics so you can understand whether your channels are working in concert or against each other. But just reporting adequately on the IVR may already be a huge improvement.
Reporting is your friend when building and maintaining a great IVR. Track high-level, task-level and state-level metrics to see what changes or improvements you need to make.