The Forecasts from Global Industry Analysts Inc. project, based on the demand from small and medium-sized businesses, highlights that the global market for IVR systems will reach nearly $2.8 billion by 2017. Sounds like interesting information? It is indeed!
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These days, most businesses use a professional IVR voice to connect with their callers. An IVR system increases customer satisfaction as it is available 24x7 and helps with immediate connectivity for urgent requirements. It also introduces them to the company and gives them a more personalised experience.
There are so many articles that talk about the benefits of an IVR. But did you know these interesting IVR hacks?
Here are the 7 most productive ways to use an IVR for your business:
1) For customised conversation: Callers calling…from different regions. Have you ever thought of connecting with them in their local language? Connecting with callers in their local languages eliminates the communication gap and improves chances of converting them into successful business prospects.
Let’s assume a customer who speaks only Marathi called a company. An agent who does not have any knowledge of the language picks up. There can be two resulting scenarios. First, the customer might hang up simply because he couldn’t understand the agent or was not able to explain his problem. Second, both might manage to converse but with limited understanding. In either case, language discrepancy can lose you potential customers due to poor customer service.
In such situations, an IVR in the preferred language can be played. It allows the caller to select the language he wants to interact in from a list of language options. This enables the customer to make quick decisions as the message is well conveyed and better understood.
2) To make your company look big and professional: If you have a startup and a limited workforce to carry out your daily tasks at office, it doesn’t mean you need to project the same image in the market. For instance, you have a workforce of two people and there aren’t any departments in the office. But, you can still portray your company as big with an IVR.
Thinking how? Here is the catch: you can map four departments such as Accounts, Sales, Operations, and Support in your IVR. The same two people will pick up calls for all the four departments making it appear that your company has a larger workforce. Moreover, the customised welcome greeting portrays a professional image of your company.
3) For better customer experience: An IVR automatically directs the customer's call to the agent who is most qualified to address his queries. It offers a menu of departments for the customer to select from. The customer selects the most appropriate department in accordance with his query. Consider the following example: A customer has a query regarding the product after purchasing it. The IVR menu has the following departments: Sales, Operations, HR, Accounts, and Customer Support. So, selecting the customer support department will solve the customer’s problem.
Customers find IVR very user-friendly as it saves them a lot of time if their call is directly forwarded to the right department.
4) For time-based routing: The time-based call routing feature helps you route calls based on time. All the calls after office hours can be forwarded to voicemails or to any other agent’s mobile number, who is responsible for receiving calls after office hours.
Imagine this: You own a company whose office hours are from 9 am to 7 pm. But like all other businessmen, you don’t like to miss any business opportunities, and therefore, any business calls. Here, the time-based call routing feature of an IVR can come to your rescue. Through this feature, you can route all the business calls after office hours i.e. after 7 pm to your personal mobile number or you can set an IVR saying that your office hours are over and you’ll contact them the next day when the office reopens. Can you guess what will happen as a consequence of this? You will never miss any business call.
5) For location-based routing: Using this feature, all the calls are routed based on the location of the callers. Here is an example: Suppose you receive business calls from all across the country. You can assign a particular region to a specific agent belonging to that area. So, if a customer calls from Kerala, his call will be routed to an agent situated in Kerala; similarly, this will happen for other regions as well. So, can you guess what will happen as a result of this?
Your efficiency will increase because the customer can meet the agent if he requires any support. This will save you a lot of time as well as your customers and will also leave them happy as a consequence.
6) As a virtual phone receptionist: An IVR can act as an efficient replacement of your receptionist. Recall the responsibilities of your receptionist. She handles all your business calls and forwards them to the concerned department, right? An IVR, like your receptionist, routes all the calls to the right department but in a more efficient manner and saves you a lot of time. Moreover, it also provides you reports of your call logs and it never goes on a vacation, and is available to your callers 24*7.
7) For marketing: Marketing is an inevitable part of any business. IVR, these days, is being used as a marketing tool by many. The welcome message, which plays when a customer calls your business, speaks for your brand and helps you build a brand image.
Bakasur, a restaurant in Bangalore uses IVR for personal branding. Whenever you call on their toll-free number, you hear a monster’s voice, showcasing their theme. Did you notice how Bakasur used an IVR to establish their identity with the customer and hence, used it as a marketing tool? If not, call them and find out right away!
Interactive voice response (IVR) is an automated voice for your callers, but can be used in multiple creative ways for your business. The above use cases highlight why an IVR is a must have for every business.
When are you getting one for your business?
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)
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- customer experience
- Interactive voice response
- Marketing Strategy
- Voice-based marketing automation
- customer support
- business calls
- virtual phone receptionist