Redefining IVRís Role Pays Off
By Leonard Klie
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At American Express, the IVR helps customers quickly resolve basic inquiries, such as applying for a card, checking the status of an application, making a payment, checking balances and available credit lines, activating and replacing cards, changing PINs, verifying charges, receiving member rewards balances and information about promotions, and checking due dates of bills. According to Doria Camaraza, a corporate senior vice president and general manager of the American Express World Service Center in Plantation, Fla., the system performs well, achieving high satisfaction rates among users.
But that still puts the onus on agents to handle 5.5 million calls a year. To ease that load, Camaraza has upgraded the tools that customer service representatives use. Extensive call steering connects the customer with the right agent to ensure first-call resolution and minimize dial transfers. When an account number/ID is provided within the IVR, that number also is passed to the agent to help resolve the issue quickly.
"We're investing a lot in technology so the customer care professional spends less time navigating systems and more time with the customer," she says. "Now we have a whole contact management system so we can see all of your history with us. We've taken a much more holistic approach to customer service.Ē
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