As a consumer, you’re undoubtedly familiar with that lovely voice telling you to “press 3 for sales” when calling a company’s customer service department. However, many CEOs, entrepreneurs, and managers don’t understand the value that such a tool brings to their respective businesses. This post will explain what an interactive voice response (IVR) software is and how it can help you gain more customers.
IVR: What Is It?
Interactive voice response or IVR has become an essential self-service channel. It was initially introduced as a cost-efficient way of routing customers to the right department or agent using customizable call flows. Today, fully integrated toll-free service providers, like Kall8, offering IVRs already supply users with various menus of automated prompts for servicing their own inquiries. Users only have to follow an integrated voice response dialogue to achieve this.
Here are some insights on how businesses can use interactive voice response software:
- Reach Many Callers Simultaneously
An effective interactive voice response system can handle up to hundreds of calls at once. It’s actually one of the benefits that business owners overlook about IVR. It can speak to many callers at the same time, thus, minimizing misdirected calls.
Companies can reduce missed calls by up to 60 percent by implementing capable IVR software. By using one, calls can be answered on the first ring. It keeps callers moving through the system towards the appropriate representative. As a result, it has the potential to increase a company’s revenue per call by up to 15 percent.
- Configure Personalized Prompts And IVR Messages
A personalized experience is what today’s consumers are looking for before sticking to a brand. Luckily, for business owners, like you, it’s something you can provide by utilizing an IVR. Interactive voice response systems allow you to record customized prompts, messages, and greetings to develop a personalized connection with your potential and existing customers. It’s “press 3 for sales” taken to an entirely new level if you think about it.
- Messaging Updates
With the use of IVRs, it becomes possible for business owners to switch their messaging to alert customers to whatever issue. It’s beneficial if, for instance, you want to inform clients about a sudden service outage or deliver an advance notice of a software update. Yes, you heard it right– interactive voice response software allows you to perform updates on customer messaging on the fly. That way, you can update your IVR’s messaging to inform customers that you’re experiencing a higher than normal call volumes. Getting a heads up will give them the chance to seek alternative means of communication instead, such as text messaging or live chat.
Similarly, since you can deliver an advance notice of a scheduled downtime for a specific service your business provides, customers won’t have to call and ask why their services are temporarily not working. It will save time for your agents, allowing them to answer or handle other incoming requests.
- Stronger Brand Image
Like your website or logo design, the tone, scripts, music, and voice you choose for your IVR system altogether conveys the personality of your brand and business. They’re extremely important since callers experience an interactive voice response through prompts, greetings, and, increasingly, through conversations.
Call flows also communicate volumes regarding dedication to the customer experience and about your brand. If you’re a healthcare provider, for instance, your customers would surely be glad about an expedited path, which allows them to speak to an advice nurse. If you’re a mortgage lender who takes pride in simplicity, you might want to give borrowers a streamlined self-service option to connect with one of your representatives when they need help with their loan. An option for reviewing their account status and making payment can also be of great help.
By having an interactive voice response aligned with other identifiable elements of your brand, you can create consistency and cohesion that builds a powerful image among your customers. It goes a long way in helping salespeople navigate difficult times brought by the pandemic.
- Route Calls With Speed And Efficiency
Some callers need to speak with tech support, while others may need to talk with a customer sales representative. Representatives may inefficiently use their time by speaking to customers meant for another department. It happens when callers get sent to the wrong parties. An interactive voice response system can solve that by allowing a quick and accurate directing of callers. Most businesses are using IVR to bring a caller to the right department or person as efficiently and as quickly as possible. Of course, the last thing you want is for a potential customer to become frustrated with your company’s customer service and hang up. If that happens, you’ll end up losing what could be another client added on your pipeline.
The associated costs to using an interactive voice response are relatively low, and the benefits, as discussed above, are clear. It’s, therefore, a sound investment, with a potential for huge ROI any business can take.