Telephone keypad

Simplifying IVR routing and scripting

As part of their customer service strategy, Ashford Borough Council commissioned SDS to work on their existing IVR system to ensure that users were getting the best experience from the service provided.

The team at Ashford established that 80% of calls received by the ABC contact centre are short queries that are resolved relatively quickly. The remaining 20% are calls that require knowledge or expertise to resolve a more complex query or issue.

Ashford want to ensure that those who require more specialist assistance get through to an advisor as swiftly as possible. To help them achieve this they would like customers who have quick queries to self-serve either via the IVR system itself (such as payments) or by sign posting customers to the most convenient web page so they are able to complete their transaction or find the information they need.

This will lead to a better customer experience for residents as well as freeing up customer advisor time to spend with those who really need it.

Routing based on customer needs

SDS started by drafting out the flow of the current IVR and then working with customer service managers and advisors to understand the performance of the IVR and where customer pain points existed, identifying where callers could be routed more effectively to the website or relevant advisors.

During the initial workshops, the team were able to establish user needs and business needs. They established what services already had an online presence so that customers could be signposted appropriately and were able to define what calls specifically would need to be answered by customer services advisors.

Starting with a blank canvas and with user needs and business needs identified, SDS built a new ideal routing flow, signposting customers to the website where appropriate and providing simple messaging to advise customers needing more direct support.

The impact of COVID-19 on the project

At this point, COVID-19 hit and Ashford had to quickly implement a much leaner IVR to deal with the very different requirements during this period. Upon reflection Ashford felt they would like to vastly simplify the IVR when they switch it back on after this period.

So, whilst COVID-19 messaging is in place and during a lockdown situation, SDS held a virtual workshop with the Ashford customer services team. We used an online business process app where we collaboratively refined and simplified the proposed call flow and SDS are now adding scripting to the process.

Whilst the COVID-19 IVR is in place, Ashford have time to re-record a new set of scripts and prepare a new, leaner post-COVID-19 IVR.

If you require any assistance with your own IVR routing and scripting, please contact us.