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Start With Natural Language Routing

February 28, 2019

When considering how to modernise your call centre operations, the options seem overwhelming and infinite. When we approach call centre projects at DVELP, we often discover that the best starting move is to displace the existing IVR with Natural Language Routing.

This way, we have been able to make the biggest improvements and savings without delay, whilst simultaneously laying the groundwork for further enhancements.

The Legacy Landscape

DTMF (Dual Tone Multi Frequency) is when customers who call route themselves to the right department using the keypad: “Press 1 to check your balance; press 2 to make a payment …”

DTMF offers poor customer experiences. With complicated decision trees and long audio menus, 10% of callers give up before ever reaching an agent. DTMF IVRs simply do not meet the expectations of discerning customers in 2019.

When 3/4 adults never go back to a brand after an initial bad contact center experience, you can’t afford to fall behind.

“In crowded markets, great companies distinguish themselves at a customer service level.” - George Hu, COO Twilio

As the first point of contact with your business, your IVR should be better. DTMF is on the decline for competitive companies. 67% of the US’ top performing companies use Natural Language-enables IVRs.

Natural Language Routing offers a more intuitive, more efficient alternative to DTMF.

The NLR Difference

With NLR, you can route your customers to the correct agent/department in a single step.

The NLR Difference

Instead of messing around with a keypad, your customer can just speak naturally:

IVR: Hello, this is National Bank. In a few words, please tell us why you’re calling today.
Customer: I need to cancel my card.
IVR: I’m connecting you to the Lost or Stolen Cards Team.

However, implementing NLR can also be the start of so much more.

Further Enhancements

DVELP’s NLR solution uses market-leading technology from Twilio and Google to interpret utterances from the customer as intents. These ‘intents’ are used to route calls to the correct department, but can also replace manual disposition or ‘Reason For Call’ codes during agent wrap-up. That’s expensive agent time saved.

When we implemented NLR for Marks & Spencer, automated disposition codes saved their agents 10 seconds in Average Handling Time. For a call centre receiving 11 million calls per year, that’s 30,000 hours saved a year.

With the ‘intents’ you can then plug in an analytics tool - we use Looker - and run live analytics for your call centre. This gives you fresh insights into customer behaviour and surfaces trends in real-time.

For example, it might be quite normal for the occasional customer to have difficulties logging into their account. However, if suddenly you see a large spike in calls concerning the issue, you might have something to investigate, and quickly.

Furthermore, with the help of Google’s Dialogflow tool, you can automate conversations. Repetitive and valueless queries such as balance checks could be contained within the IVR. This frees up agents to focus on complex queries and revenue-drivers.

Dialogflow can be updated easily and in real-time, allowing managers to improve the system without delay. You could build out further flows or add new concepts to the systems knowledge base. That’s great news for one-off events or product launches.

Start With Natural Language Routing

When 68% of customers resolve issues on the phone, but 50% say IVR is the biggest source of customer service frustration, implementing Natural Language Routing is a great place to start.

With the rise of technology like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, Capgemini research predicts that 40% of consumers will prefer to engage with organizations using voice assistants by just 2020.

Our NLR solution at M&S sees a caller engagement rate of 95%. That is: callers choosing to interact with the voice assistant.

More than this, Natural Language Routing can be a springboard for iterative improvements.

With a tried-and-tested NLR solution ready to go, DVELP can develop a POC for your business in just 2 weeks.

Get in touch to start your call centre revolution.


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