Selasa, 28 Agustus 2012

IVR Systems: Four Critical Components For Utilities

Investing in an interactive voice response service is often one of the first steps a utility company takes toward smart grid software solutions for their business and their customers. While there are many IVR systems currently available, not all of them are tailored specifically to the needs of utilities. Be sure to compare features and establish that the software is designed for power grids and energy providers rather than being a generic customer service platform that could fall short of what you'll need the first time you need to use it for a large call volume emergency.

1. Utility-Specific Interactive Voice Response Service

Utilities who supply power to a large segment of their local population need IVR systems that address the specific needs of their customers. While being able to handle large call volume is always important, if the program is a generic customer service platform, you may find it falling short during power outages or disaster situations. Do you really want to take the chance that a system that can also be used by retailers or sales teams will provide you with the service your customers deserve? A system that is utility-specific will feature message scripting tools and call handling logic that is driven by the needs of utility customers.

2. Customization For Specific Scenarios

Customization is crucial to successfully responding to specific situations. Look for IVR systems that can be customized not only to the size of your business and customer base, but to specific incidents as they occur. You should be able to tailor scripts to a variety of scenarios, including routine calls, emergency outages and impending update notifications and more. Some companies offer interactive voice response services that include professionally scripted replies based on your input, giving you relevant protocols that always sound professional while addressing the needs of callers. Comprehensive call handling logic can be tailored to quickly route customers to the appropriate response recording or send them directly to a customer service representative as needed.

3. Adaptability To In-House Programs

You can't always upgrade your entire system to a complete smart grid software system due to budget restraints, the limitations of current systems, or the excess technological load that would be brought to bear by a whole new system. IVR systems that are adaptable to current programs and power grids make it easier to slowly roll your current, outdated technology into a comprehensive smart grid over time. Be sure to ask vendors if their program is adaptable to legacy platforms and in-house telephony. Also be sure that their message scripting tools can be used to scale your IVR to a variety of situations and needs.

4. Versatility For All Call Levels

It may defeat the purpose of investing in smart grid software if the IVR systems you choose aren't versatile enough to respond to a variety of situations, including emergency outages or disasters. You don't want your interactive voice response service to respond in the same way to callers looking for billing information and callers reporting downed lines or other emergencies. The right IVR systems offer voice recognition logic that will not only quickly route each call, but recognize the urgency of the call and handle it accordingly.

The right interactive voice response service is critical to your customer's satisfaction and the efficiency of your crews in a variety of scenarios, including disasters, upgrades and day-to-day functioning of your utilities. By carefully comparing IVR systems, you can find the one that's best for your company.

Milsoft's Interactive Voice Response Service is part of their line of IVR systems for utilities of all sizes. Check out their suite of smart grid software solutions for the twenty-first century. For an online demo, visit their website.

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