Over the years, businesses have realized that they need to think beyond the ordinary when it comes to customer communication. They have devised several ways to ensure that they are always there for the customers who want to connect. One of these is Interactive Voice Response (IVR), an automated telephony system that provides a pre-recorded message to the callers. The message is meant to guide them through a menu or route them to a relevant department or agent who can address their query. While the technology delivers better experiences to the callers, it reduces the human efforts as well. Overall, this makes it a good way to enhance the company’s revenues and optimize its costs. Before knowing more about the ways organizations can leverage IVR, it becomes essential to know the benefits it traditionally delivers.
IVR- The conventional advantages
- As the technology has been around for years, countless businesses already have an IVR system in their existing ecosystem. Moreover, these systems have been serving them extensive advantages and contributing to their growth right from its inception. Here are some conventional uses of the technology for businesses.
- Being available to the customers is the secret to success. Smart IVR technology makes it possible, with the callers being routed to the most qualified agent to give them quick and informative responses. Better customer service translates into loyalty and stronger brand image.
- Traditionally, businesses have been relying on IVR to deliver personalized experiences to the callers. For example, you can use it for playing personalized greeting messages for the known customers and even greet them by names. Further, it has multi-language capability so you can deliver the messages in the preferred language of the caller.
- The system acts as a virtual receptionist that is available for round-the-clock operations. There is never a lag in availability and the interactions are handled seamlessly without the customer having to queue up. This gives them an impression of dealing with a professional company and you get the credibility you want.
- Enhanced productivity and efficiency is another widely used application of an IVR system. It handles call routing effectively so that agents receive contextual calls that they are capable of answering. Additionally, automatic call routing saves their time as they need not transfer the calls to other departments and agents.
- As the system automates the tedious task, the chances of human errors are reduced to the minimum. The entire call routing process becomes fast and flawless, which improves the customer experience. At the same time, it serves cost-effectiveness with reduced dependence on humans.
IVR applications- Beyond the conventional
Traditionally, Interactive Voice Response is regarded as a technology that augments customer support. But it can do a lot more for your business than you can imagine. Here are some innovative applications of this amazing technology.
Lead routing: Beyond just enhancing customer interactions, IVR is becoming a growth catalyst for sales. It has a huge potential for accelerating the lead conversion efforts for a business. In fact, some businesses are actively using it to identify pre-qualifying leads. The system is ideal for lead scoring because it can instantly gauge the callers’ interests through their response. If a specific lead scores high enough, the system directs their call to a relevant sales rep to close the deal.
Marketing promotions: The IVR experience of your customers is just like any other interaction they have with your brand. Proactive marketers can use customised messages to infuse brand’s values, introduce a new product or present a special offer. Further, these systems can also be used in integrated marketing campaigns, such as by adding a number to a print advertisement, an email or and local numbers to extend the campaign’s reach and efficacy. Callers can call for entering contests, taking surveys and redeeming special offers.
Surveys: As the business landscape becomes competitive, customer feedback becomes a vital tool. Surveys are an excellent way to get genuine feedback from the customers and use the insights to make better decisions. IVR-enabled surveys have emerged as a popular means to get immediate answers to questions via keypad touch and voice calls. The response rates are good because smart marketers often keep the surveys small and prioritize the order of questions to address the call drop issue.
Appointment reminders: IVR serves as a useful application for providers who offer appointment-based services, such as in case of medical practitioners, restaurants and car repair services. You can note the phone numbers of individual customers while scheduling their appointments and later send them automated reminders using the technology. While the system can enhance the customer experience, it can bring huge savings for businesses by reducing no-shows to the minimum.
Payment processing: Another innovative means to use IVR is by letting customers conduct simple payment processing such as paying bills and updating account information. Certainly, this increases customer convenience to a significant extent. With a well-designed phone menu, the system allows you to tailor the call flows to funnel the callers efficiently and securely. The advantages extend to businesses as well as they can use it for simplifying payment collection.
Advanced speech recognition: Interactive Voice Response systems, when coupled with Advanced Speech Recognition (ASR), let the caller use voice prompts for explaining the issue. This is a good alternative to the conventional touchpad-technology as it makes the communication more active and ensures fast track response. Further, speech recognition drives efficiency in customer service as well.
Considering these innovative applications of IVR systems, they become a far bigger and better investment for businesses than ever before. In fact, it would be hard to imagine a future for businesses without IVR. Since customers expect them to be always at beck and call, being available always is the key and IVR lets a business do it. Further, it has the potential to strengthen customer connections with better experiences, services and support for them. At the same time, it enhances the productivity and efficiency of the sales team, which is the core of every business. Obviously, IVR emerges as a tech asset for enterprises that want to stay ahead of time and win the customers trust as well.
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