September 28, 2023
Information Insight

Improving Your IVR with Customer Journey Reporting and Analytics

Does this experience sound familiar? You call your bank, health insurance provider, or utility company. You get an automated response with nine different prompts and none of them match your need. You press zero. You say “Agent.” At this point, the only thing that can relieve your frustration is to talk to a person. But sometimes, the interactive voice response (IVR) just hangs up on you.

Now imagine your customers being on the other end of that exchange. A frustrating experience with an IVR undermines all the effort you put into creating an effective customer care program.  IVRs are a particular sticking point — in a survey of 4,000 consumers, more than half of respondents said that IVRs make for a poor customer experience. 

IVRs aren’t bad in and of themselves. The problem is that, often, the IVR journey doesn’t match the customers’ needs. When you optimize the IVR experience so that it aligns with the overall customer journey, it can become a useful tool for your customers and the business. Customers can self-service or get to the right representative more quickly. When calls are routed more efficiently, it minimizes the number of calls agents have to take and reduces operating costs.

The key is leveraging data to drive decision-making and make the IVR work more effectively as part of the omnichannel customer experience. 

Improve the IVR Journey with Omnichannel Reporting

IVR may be a complex channel to manage on its own, but it doesn’t exist in a silo. Between phone, email, chatbots, and online portals, today’s customer experience is an omnichannel experience. According to Salesforce, customers use an average of nine channels to communicate with companies. As you respond with integrated touchpoints that allow for seamless interactions, consolidating the data derived from each channel can improve the IVR experience and the end-to-end customer journey.

Personalize IVR Interactions

A common frustration with IVR systems is that they don’t serve up options that are relevant to the customer. With consolidated data on previous interactions, you can anticipate a customer’s needs and route them to the appropriate place quickly. For instance, if someone has an open support ticket (which they may have started via chat), the IVR can start with a prompt asking if they’re calling in reference to that case. If they say yes, you can send them to an IVR path that allows them to check on the status, close the case, or talk to a representative. This type of personalization minimizes the need for additional questions and makes the customer feel like their needs are being anticipated, which ultimately speeds up time to resolution.

You can also personalize the IVR journey based on products or customer demographics. The IVR journey for a customer with a prepaid credit card should feature options like checking their balance, refilling their card, and reporting unauthorized transactions. For someone with a retirement account, the IVR path may also offer the option to check their balance, but it should also include prompts for changing enrollment and learning about investment options.

Channel Shift to Promote Self-Service

One of the key benefits of consolidated customer experience data is that it allows you to understand how your customers interact with each element of your contact center. As you gather data on how effective the IVR is for certain requests, you can use channel shifting to offer customers alternative ways to address their issue. For instance, if the first call resolution rate for account history requests is low, you can include a prompt notifying callers that they can use your online portal to view their full account history, search for specific transactions, and download documents. 

If you track contact center performance in real-time, you can also use channel shifting to help reduce call volume during peak times. The IVR can alert callers that call volume is currently high, and they can complete many requests on your website or via email. 

Use IVR Data to Learn More about Your Customers

The data you collect from your IVR can be very powerful. You can track which languages your customers select or how preferences vary in callers from different regions. You may have more callers from a location where you don’t have physical locations. Or, you may find that customers that use certain products are more likely to complete their request on the first call. You can then investigate why satisfaction levels vary and use those insights to improve the IVR journey and broader customer experience. 

Refine the Customer Journey

Use IVR data to uncover common customer pain points and improve their experience with the contact center. For instance, if customers have to answer the same question multiple times, you can reconfigure the IVR paths to streamline the process for them. 

Your IVR data can also help you get a better grasp of why people are calling the contact center, which can evolve as the customer experience and your offerings change. For example, as healthcare providers offer more telehealth services, they may see an uptick in calls for troubleshooting. They can use IVR data to measure how many of these calls are coming in, and improve the experience for customers across channels by creating IVR paths that help them with common issues with the telehealth platform and directing them to the website’s help page to self-service.  

Kenway Can Help You Implement a Customer-Centric IVR Journey

Managing the IVR journey as part of a broader, complex omnichannel customer service program can be challenging. Integrating siloed data into a consolidated reporting and analytics platform requires expertise in the variety of tools available and the processes that make them work effectively. 

Kenway can help you make the IVR journey better for your customers. With our contact center solutions, we help companies create and improve their IVR systems to meet the evolving needs of their customers. 

When a Fortune 50 telecommunications provider needed help integrating two IVR systems, we designed and built a scalable, seamless solution based on deep discovery of the firm’s customer experience and IVR best practices. Today, the company has a unified customer experience with consistent prompts and branding for all callers. The new integrated structure allows the company to report and analyze customer interactions with a single view. 

Would you like to improve your IVR journey? Our experts are ready to help. Schedule a consultation today:


1. What is an IVR path?

An IVR path is the journey a customer takes when they call in to a contact center. A company may have multiple IVR paths. All paths may start with the same information, such as account verification or language preference. Next the IVR may ask why the caller is calling, and offer up different options, or paths, based on their response.

2. How does IVR work?

IVR works by using natural language processing (NLP), natural language understanding (NLU) and/or dual tone multi frequency to gather information about a caller’s identity and reason for calling. The IVR can be used to streamline interactions and route callers to the right agent or allow them to self-serve.

3. What is IVR management?

IVR management is the process of designing and maintaining IVR systems. It involves managing the IVR platform itself, along with relevant telecom resources and processes.

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