Interactive Voice Response: Why Is IVR Useful for Business?
IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response and has already been adopted by numerous companies - and there are more and more considering it every day. It is a piece of technology allowing all kinds of businesses to stay available for their customers at all times, without the need to increase the number of employees. Clients are not considered to be the most understanding group out there, and they certainly don’t want to hang on their telephones to get information about your company. Most likely, they will decide to look for a product or services elsewhere. With a reliable IVR, you will be able to avoid such situations, and it isn’t the only benefit it can bring to your business.
What Is IVR?
IVR is an automated phone system designed to interact with callers by using keypads and AI-based voice recognition software. IVR may answer some pre-defined, straightforward questions, or redirect a call to the right department. It used to be implemented solely to improve customer service and call center services, but has developed significantly since then, and is now serving a variety of purposes.
How Can IVR Be Helpful to You and Your Company?
Simpler and Quicker Transactions
IVR payments service comes especially in handy when you have a customer base that needs to pay for your products or services regularly. There is no need for them to contact a regular employee every time, just like it is not necessary for you to sacrifice your valuable human resources for such a repetitive task. What’s more, many people have flexible or otherwise irregular working hours; therefore, they may not be able to contact you while you’re in the office.
Cost and Time Efficiency
Implementing an IVR system into your company will allow you to save on both time and money. First of all, neither you nor your employees will have to deal with every phone call. Some queries are so trivial that an automated system can easily handle them; others can be quickly redirected to the right person. It also helps avoid dealing with people who call wrong numbers, or have misunderstood your offer, which usually doesn’t take a lot of time but can be distracting. On top of that, an efficient IVR system will eliminate the need for an additional employee, which is much more expensive than implementing voice response services. And your current workers will be able to focus on their daily tasks, which will increase their productivity.
High-Quality Customer Service
This efficiency advantage works both ways, as it allows your customers to call your company whenever they want (the system works automatically, so it’s available 24/7). No call will go unanswered, so your callers won’t be forced to wait endlessly when your employees are all occupied. The system can redirect requests accordingly to callers’ needs, schedule calls, and appointments, and provide necessary information quickly and more accurately, as it is a customer who controls the conversation, using only their voice or touchpad; the key to success is a carefully-designed menu that will include all of the most frequent queries. The right person always answers redirected calls or, if they are occupied, there is no need for a client to wait, as the system can schedule another call for a specific hour.
Another great advantage of an IVR system is its ability to collect and process data, which is not possible with a live responder. If you are not entirely new to the field, you probably realize that gathering information about your client base is vital to your business’ success. It will allow you to constantly improve the quality of all your services, including your offer (by being a vital part of market research) as well as customer satisfaction and IVR technology. Therefore, the voice response system will not only help you learn more about your current client to adjust your offer accordingly, but it will also contribute to generating new leads by surveying potentially interested people and providing a high-quality customer experience.
A well-programmed IVR system can provide a customized experience to all customers, which may be critical to the outcome, as it is the first contact a client has with your company. You can work on your strategy and brand image, adjust the menus and prompts to suit your business and offers and make sure the callers get the right impression. The rule of thumb is to make everything as smooth, easy, and intuitive as possible.
Now, it has become more and more popular for companies to implement cloud-based IVR systems that can adapt to your customers’ ever-changing expectations, offer smart route calls, or provide information in various languages.
IVR is yet another piece of technology designed to help businesses increase their efficiency and productivity. There are some solid reasons why an increasing number of companies are deciding to at least try IVR systems - and most of them choose to stick with it. Interactive Voice Response will save you time and money, increase your business’ productivity by taking repetitive, tedious tasks off your employees’ shoulders, significantly improve the quality of customer service, and contribute to market research and marketing strategy planning. If your company relies on day-to-day contact with your callers, an IVR technology is definitely something to consider.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes