What is IVR?
IVR Stands for “Interactive Voice Response.” IVR is a telephony technology that can read a combination of touch tone and voice input. It gives users the ability to access a database of information via phone. A typical IVR system has several menus of prerecorded options that the caller can choose from. While many choices are as basic as choosing a number, some options may require the caller to speak detailed information such as his name or account number. This input is read by the IVR system and is used to access the appropriate information in the database. IVR telephony menu system enables the dial pad for identification, segmentation, and routing of callers to the most appropriate agent within your team. It is simple and effective and will significantly reduce costs and increase efficiency within any company.
The typical flow of IVR
In a typical scenario of a company that uses an IVR, a caller is first greeted by the IVR. After the greeting, they are asked to choose from a series of prompts (e.g. “Press 1 for Sales”). Based on the button they pressed, the caller is routed to the most appropriate agent or department. If all agents are busy when the caller contacts the company, the caller will wait in a queue.
IVR Systems empower you to:
Configure a personalized IVR message and prompts
IVRs allow you to record customized greetings, messages and prompts so that when your customers call your company, they will have a more personalized experience. “Press 1 for Sales” taken to a whole new level.
Use pre-recorded IVR messages
If you prefer to not use your own voice on the IVR, you can use pre-recorded IVR messages. Professionalism made easy.
Collect information about your callers
IVRs collect information about your customer’s needs and will transfer calls to the most appropriate agent or department depending on their IVR input. When calls are directed to agents using technology, the probability that the caller will be transferred to the wrong agent or department will be significantly reduced.
Automate customer support
IVRs allow your customers to solve their own problems and obtain the information they are searching for without speaking with an agent. Automated customer service made simple.
Prioritize calls based on the value
IVRs allow you to prioritize calls based on the caller’s value. When a high-value customer calls, the IVR will route them to the agent who is most qualified to meet their needs. If all of your agents are busy, they will be directed to the front of the waiting queue. Your team will never lose a high-value customer due to poor customer service or a slow answer time.
Route the caller to the right agent or department
IVRs will route your callers to the most appropriate department or the agent that is most qualified to meet their needs.
Thrive with high call volumes
IVR systems allow companies to easily handle high call volumes. Callers will automatically be directed to the agent or department that is most capable of meeting their needs or will wait in a queue when all agents are busy. Some IVR systems allow the caller the option of having an agent return their call rather than wait in a queue.
Improve your company’s image
Startups and smaller companies can use IVRs to make it appear that their company is larger than it actually is. If you only have a few people in your company, you can configure IVR prompts that allow callers to talk to sales, support, marketing or technical support, etc. Regardless of what department the caller chooses, they will be routed to the person on your team assigned to answer all of the calls. With an IVR your customers will be impressed with your company’s professionalism.
Benefits of using an IVR system
There are some major benefits of using Interactive Voice Response for your business. Some of them are as follows:
Increase first contact resolution
IVR significantly increases first contact resolution because callers are always directed to the agent who is most capable of meeting their needs or the most appropriate department. The agent who receives the call will be more qualified to answer the caller’s question and will be less likely to transfer the call to another agent.
You can use an IVR system to greet your customers in a very professional manner and to make it appear that you have more departments and employees than you actually have.
Increase customer service efficiency
Agents who work in a company that uses an IVR are more proficient at solving specific problems and meeting the specific needs of the customers that they are assigned. The result is an increase in customer service efficiency.
Reduce operational costs
IVR systems will replace a receptionist or a customer service agent who answers calls and directs calls to agents. They are also very affordable, will increase efficiency and will reduce operational costs, so the ROI is huge.
Increase agent and company efficiency
Agents who work in a company with an IVR are more skilled at addressing specific issues, are less likely to consult with colleagues or a manager and are also less likely to transfer the call to another agent. This results in a significant increase in agent and company efficiency.
Increase customer satisfaction
When your IVR is easy to use and reliable, customers will never be routed to the wrong department, or to an agent who cannot solve their problems.
The benefits to using an IVR are clear and the associated costs are relatively low. It is, therefore, a sound investment with huge ROI.
Author: Ramya Swetha Bandaru – HR Manager