Retail IVR Case Study

Tactical Improvments To The Ivr Helps Retail Group Give Callers Faster, Smarter, And More Engaging Experiences

At Shop Direct Group (SDG), the phones never stop ringing. With three unique brands managing over 31 million calls per year, the contact center is right at the core of the business. So, when they wanted to improve caller experiences, cut average call times, and make the IVR smarter and more welcoming, SDG got in touch with Waterfield.

By learning from their agents, analyzing customer contact experiences, and conducting use research such as call listening, interviews and usability studies, we were able to design a range of new IVR modules to serve the individual needs of SDG’s three brands. Today, callers get routed to an appropriate agent faster, and that agent knows who they are, thanks to automated identification and verification in the IVR.

But developing the new IVR functionality was just the start of Waterfield’s relationship with SDG. Through a process of continuous analysis and iteration, we’ve made a huge number of incremental improvements and updates to the IVR since the initial project.

Hero Image

How the Customer has benefited...

The Challenge

Improving Customer Experiences For 31 Million Caller

With such a high volume of calls coming into SDG’s contact center every day, something had to be done to cut call durations, improve routing, and contain more requests within the IVR. Achieving all of this required us to design some powerful new modules—keeping customer experience in mind.

Because the vast majority of SDG’s customer contact was happening by phone, it was also where the group found most opportunities to cross-sell and upsell. When creating the new modules, we had to ensure that customers would still be able to hear about offers and discounts—without making the system sound like an automated salesperson.

The Solution

A Three-phase Customer-centric Ivr Overhaul

To minimize disruption and ensure that the new functionality would be well received by customers, we carried out prototype usability research upfront, iterating the design to address usability issues identified. The IVR updates were then deployed in three phases:

Phase 1 introduced identification and verification for all calls, to identify each caller and understand their reason for calling before routing them to an appropriate agent.

Phase 2 saw the implementation of self-service for common requests like payments, order status, returns, account information, and catalogue orders—removing the need for callers to wait for an agent.

Phase 3 was the design and evaluation of a personalized on-hold experience. We recorded on-hold messages for each of SDG’s brands, ensuring that callers only hear messages relating to the brand they are calling.

BEFORE

2.1/5: average customer rating of the helpfulness of the information they heard while waiting in response to CSAT statements based on a 5-point scale.

AFTER

4.1/5: average customer rating with the new on-hold experience in place in response to CSAT statements based on a 5-point scale.

Continuous improvement based on testing and learning is part of Waterfield’s IVR design philosophy. As we manage SDG’s IVR for the client on a managed service basis, we’re able to monitor usage and routinely update the system accordingly. In this way we can keep SDG’s IVR experience as fresh and relevant as the day the new functions were first deployed—and avoid IVR rot.

Continuous improvement based on testing and learning is part of Waterfield’s IVR design philosophy. As we manage SDG’s IVR for the client on a managed service basis, we’re able to monitor usage and routinely update the system accordingly. In this way we can keep SDG’s IVR experience as fresh and relevant as the day the new functions were first deployed—and avoid IVR rot.

The Results

Shorter Calls And Happier Callers

With the new modules in place, customers get faster, more relevant service, agents spend less time asking the same questions at the start of every call, and the business saves money by containing more calls within the IVR.

Following The Implementation: 

  • 85%+ of callers are automatically identified and verified, saving 15-20 seconds of agent time per call
  • 88% said they preferred the new automated system to transferring to an off-shore agent
  • 82% of customers rated the IVR 7/10 with 50% rating it 10/10
  • Self-service usage increased by 20%, cutting the volume of calls that reach an agent

And those were just the results at launch. Thanks to Waterfield’s philosophy of continuous iteration, the customer experience for SDG’s callers has kept on improving for seven years.

KEY LESSONS LEARNED 

Companies looking to improve or upgrade their IVR experience can learn the following key lessons from this implementation: 

Get Started with Free IVR Assessment

If you’re interested in transforming your own IVR, or want to know more about what a customer-centric IVR from Waterfield could help you achieve, let’s talk. Get in touch today!

SCHEDULE REVIEW NOW

Join Our Team

We're hiring innovative, passionate team players.

See all open positions
NEXT Shuffle