Why Collaboration Results in Better Voice Applications
In this sponsored post, Plum Voice shares the value of democratizing the development of voice applications by giving stakeholders self-service tools.
Interactive voice response (IVR) remains a critical channel for interacting with customers. A 2015 study found that 65% of all call center inquiries came through voice channels. This begs the question: How can you better manage your communication efforts to ensure customer self-service doesn't fall through the cracks? After all, you want a voice application that people will actually like, not one they will hate.
The best option is to build your own applications that automate customer interactions. Doing so provides an unprecedented amount of control over the application and the customer experience. You will not have to retrofit an out-of-the-box solution or adapt your workflow to existing applications built for other businesses or industries. Technology built in-house isn't static or beholden to vendor updates either. Knowing the ins and outs of a software application will make it much easier to change and fine-tune over time.
The downside is that building applications in-house requires considerable developer resources. But does it have to?
A Simple Solution
A key item to remember is balance. Automated voice applications help to balance the call load between self-service and live agents. When caller questions and issues are resolved quickly, customer satisfaction increases. That's not surprising. But getting an application that delivers that balance takes finesse.
One solution that simultaneously reduces the burden on your developers and spreads out the task of creating voice applications to different stakeholders is the use of rapid application development (RAD) that separates roles and responsibilities. Before you write off the idea of getting others involved, take a moment to think about how including additional perspectives can improve your IVR offerings.
A Role for Everyone
When designing a customer-facing application, no one is better equipped to help than those employees who talk to customers every day and focus on customer experience directly. Leaving the most customer-savvy employees out of the process, like those who occupy roles in customer service, sales, and marketing departments, is a missed opportunity at making a better, customer-centric application.
For example, customer service can help identify the most common customer inquiries and make sure those are the first options that callers hear. Marketing can help craft the language in the prompts to ensure they appeal to callers and are effective.
A RAD platform with built-in development lifecycle management tools, like Plum Fuse, means that these stakeholders aren't limited to submitting a report and having someone else implement their ideas. These tools provide granular control of and access to the app-building process. Fuse utilizes drag-and-drop functionality so non-developers can easily create applications.
Being involved in this manner also allows these stakeholders to test different ideas in real-time on their own, without having to wait on developers. They can make active contributions in a timely manner instead of being relegated to the sidelines.
Whereas before developers had to design, develop, and deploy applications, with lifecycle management tools they can oversee the project and focus on the more complex aspects, like integration. This frees them up to concentrate on other important projects.
With everyone collaborating on the application in real-time, the entire creation, testing, and deployment timeline shrinks dramatically. A RAD platform can have a powerful, professional IVR application into production in a matter of weeks.
Sign up for a trial of Plum Fuse, a cloud-based, collaborative, communications platform that makes building enterprise-caliber voice applications simple.