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How To Improve IVR Containment Rates?

4 Mins read

Customers were never interested or patient enough to hear all the lengthy IVR menu, before pressing the 0 button. If the first two options are not satisfactory, they usually request an agent. It is fair as well, as nothing can replace a human interaction that is convenient and helpful, instead of an automated voice. 

However, business owners cannot tend to all customers through agent assistance. High inbound volume, if routed to agents always, will clog up the queue. This will increase the abandon rate and overall customer experience. Not to mention, this will take a toll on your agents and the room for making mistakes will just keep growing. 

Improving the IVR response can potentially redirect your traffic away from your agents. It can lower your AHT and enhance the customer’s experience. Call centers that have new-age IVR technology, tend to have better customer satisfaction rates, without shedding extra resources. This is why you must focus on improving your IVR containment rate. 

What is IVR Call Containment?

IVR call containment is a call center KPI that can estimate the proficiency of your IVR systems. The idea is close most issues within the IVR menu itself, without having the need for human support. In other words, containing most support cases within the IVR. 

Ideally, if IVR call containment rate is higher, then the inbound lines will be cleared for customers with complex cases. For example, if a customer is calling to check balance or shift funds, these can be done automatically through IVR without any agent assistance. At the same time, another customer wants to enquire about a suspicious deduction on her account. The second customer clearly needs human assistance and should be able to acquire it. 

Although, the majority of call containment relies on IVR structures. If the menus are lengthy or complex, then customers will always just press ‘0’. On top of that, if customers have no access to self-service or priority-based queuing, then you are just wasting everyone’s time. Lack of proper strategic call routing can bring down your call center efficiency, dramatically. 

IVRs are still one of the most common channels for customer service. Customers just blindly dial the support line in expectation of quick agent assistance. But it is possible to offer them, clear and non-complicated IVR menus with options to switch to a different channel or self-service. 


How to improve your IVR containment rates?

IVR call containment solely depends on how impactful is your menu structure is. Whenever I hear an IVR menu, I expect it to cover all departments and offer me enough time to press the buttons. This aside, I expect it to route me to the right person in-case the menus aren’t covering my issue. Hence, you must identify the bottlenecks in your existing IVR system and then enhance its efficiency with added adjustments. 

An User-Friendly IVR Tree:

When I say user-friendly, I mean make it efficient. Customers do not want to call your company to hear promotional voice message. That is extremely repelling and irresponsible, especially when a person is in need. Instead, greet the customer and quickly jump to the point. Structure the IVR in layman’s terms so its easy to comprehend. You can also personalise the experience by the asking the customer to verify themselves and then offering them relevant solutions. Once integrated with your customer data platform or CRM, the IVR can retrieve relevant data like knowing the delivery status or similar information. This completes the customer request and increases the IVR containment rate. Lastly, ensure that your IVR system routes all calls to the right department or offers a call-back in-case a customer refuses to wait. All these micro adjustments enhance the customer’s experience and ensure that they can always call the IVR to seek resolution. 

Learn From Your IVR Analytics:

Much like any other call center solution, you must always go through the analysed data. IVR analytics can help you identify major and minor issues with your IVR system. These setbacks might be preventing your team from meeting their monthly or daily KPIs. 

Introduce Visual IVR:

Visual IVR, as the name suggests, is a solution that offers the IVR menus on a mobile screen. The customer can take their time and interact with the options on their mobiles or computers. Millennial customers are more accustomed to using their smart devices than speaking to agents. When they call the service number, the regular IVR provides suggestion to opt for a digital service. An SMS with the Visual IVR link is sent to their phones which pops-up the IVR menu. They can follow the prompts as per need and arrive at a resolution.

Visual IVRs are far more efficient than traditional ones as they can integrate several channels to offer an omnichannel experience. Through the Visual IVR menu, the customer can choose to chat with a bot or an agent, or visit the FAQ page or even speak to an agent over the call or video. The multiple options to redirect the customer towards assistance, is what makes Visual IVR stand apart. 

Visual IVR also allows a customer to enter their information which allows the system to adjust itself to their needs. Customers will discover a new level of convenience through such solutions, which is known to improve the containment rate.

Introduce Conversational IVR:

Another landmark in the IVR is its integration with Artificial Intelligence. AI-powered IVRs are also known as conversational IVRs, which can talk and respond to customer’s inputs. The virtual assistant in the IVR basically, mimics a human like a conversation. It is as if a customer is talking to an agent. 

Through speech recognition, the AI can discover customer’s intent and respond in real time. The conversational IVR is resourceful, independent and sophisticated. The automated experience can resolve all non-complex customer issues without any human assistance. 


Improving your IVR containment rate, also improves your customer satisfaction score. If your customer cannot find resolution on one channel, that means the process isn’t friction-free. Customising your IVR at will and pairing it with newer innovations such as AI, will only make it seamless and smarter. Tweaking the IVR from time-to-time is important to keep up with rising customer trends, all the while meeting your key metrics. It is a good practice to measure the IVR containment rate regularly and keep improving on it to make the optimum use of the IVR system.