Interactive voice response is one of the most effective technologies for providing efficient customer support. It is up to the consumer to decide whether they want to speak with a contact center representative or check up information themselves via IVR service.
Furthermore, customers are sent to the appropriate individual with the appropriate skill set, which not only helps customers obtain rapid response but also results in calls being completed more quickly. The following are some examples of how this technology may help your company give excellent customer service.
What is IVR?
IVR, or interactive voice response, is a feature of automated commercial phone systems that engages callers and collects data by offering them options from a menu. The system then takes appropriate action in response to the caller’s vocal response or keypad responses.
This technology’s actions are determined by the caller’s selections; it may offer information or, if the situation is more complicated, direct callers to a human agent who can better meet their requirements.
An Interactive Voice Response is something you’re familiar with if you’ve ever dialed a company phone number and were greeted by an automated system that subsequently interacted with you by playing a pre-recorded message.
What is the Use of IVR?
IVRs are typically used by businesses or contact centers to route calls depending on the choices made by the caller. It may detect whether the caller wants to reach the billing department, the technical support team, or just a human operator based on these options.
It’s also utilized to deliver information such as promotions, updates, or other critical information or instructions.
One example is informing callers that the system would record their calls and asking them whether they want to continue.
Traditionally, it was solely used to arrange contact center queues. IVR calling systems, on the other hand, have gone a long way since its inception and are now often utilized for the automation of simple operations to give callers with self-service alternatives. This is to address simple consumer demands and inquiries that would ordinarily be handled by contact center operators.
IVR service currently do the following processes:
- Inquire about your account’s balance.
- Account details may be accessed.
- Change passwords or set PIN numbers
- Find information (product price, directory, etc.)
- Completing lead forms and surveys
- Make modest payments or financial transfers
Working of an IVR
This technology used to be quite difficult to set up. The needs are not only costly, but getting them to operate together used to be somewhat difficult. Traditional IVRs, in reality, required the following before they could function:
- The IVR software- This is distinct from the primary communications platform (on-premise or cloud-based phone system) and requires its own hardware to function. It required a telephone service (PSTN or VoIP phone system), a database (from which to draw information), and its own infrastructure, which included numerous servers.
- To work- the interactive voice response (IVR) software had to be installed on a separate computer, and you needed a telephony card, which is specialized hardware that allows you to incorporate hardware components into a computer.
- To top it all off, it was a difficult piece of technology that required an expert to setup and set up because it used its own proprietary programming language.
- Of all, all of it is in the past. Only call center software suppliers trapped in the past think these are still cool.
IVR or interactive voice response, often known as voice portals, is automatically incorporated into modern cloud contact center solutions such as Office24by7. The provider in the cloud handles all of the components required to make the technology operate, such as telephones, databases, and servers.
This eliminates the need for separate software, in-house infrastructure, or professionals whose sole responsibility is to maintain and operate the IVR. When compared to standard traditional methods,, this should result in considerable cost savings.
Because it is integrated, it also functions well with other important aspects such as automated call distribution (ACD). Here’s how a basic IVR interacts with your contact center’s other features:
- When a call is received and answered by the ACD’s auto-attendant, your IVR takes over and displays the phone menu to the caller.
- The caller navigates via the phone menu. Callers are given a number of alternatives.
- Most IVR systems communicate with your caller via dual-tone multi-frequency tones, or DTMF tones, which is just a fancy way of stating that it uses the caller’s telephone touch-tone phone keypad.
- Voice response with speech recognition has also been used in newer cloud contact centers’ IVR functionality, allowing callers to engage with the system using their own voice.
- The IVR self-service procedure allows the caller to resolve their query or reason for calling as they traverse the menu. If not, it will categorize the call into a category. This is the qualifying step, after which the skills-based routing function will be activated.
- IVR enables the system to find agents who are qualified to address the caller’s demands. The call is then routed to an available qualified live agent by the ACD.
Customers can traverse experience with the aid of the IVR menu. It can be activated by the caller by pushing the touch-tone dialpad or by speaking, depending on the programming.
It’s undoubtedly happened a million times to you. “Press 1 for customer service or press 2 for technical assistance” comes to mind. If you are familiar with those phrases, you have a rudimentary understanding of what this menu is.
Given that it can have several layers, it is also known as a phone tree (or branches, if you will). Depending on how deeply you design your menu, one selection may lead to two or three more possibilities. Naturally, it is advised to maintain the menu or phone tree as simple and easy to understand as possible.
How to Set Up Your IVR System?
Creating an IVR used to be a difficult process. Setting up the technology isn’t as difficult now that it’s included in a cloud-based call center system.
Office24by7, in particular, makes it simple even for those with no programming experience. You may configure this platform using a simple drag-and-drop interface that you can access from your web browser.
This allows you and your team to develop and tweak the menu and call flow to best serve your consumers without depending on a professional. This reduces the operational costs for an organization. Adopting a new function into your contact center may provide several benefits and advantages to your company.
We have curated a blog discussing about 11 best practices to provide an engaging IVR experience, do here.
Here are some of the business benefits of IVR service-
Improves Customer Service
Nobody enjoys squandering their time. But that is exactly what might happen when someone dials a number. There’s the long wait for a live agent, the longer hold periods because the agent isn’t completely trained to handle an issue, and the continual switching between departments.
Worst case scenario, their issue remains unresolved after all of that.
Every stage in the IVR has a function when it is properly built. It can either offer callers the information they need or identify their requirements so that they are connected to the appropriate agent the first time.
This improves first contact resolution (FCR) and eliminates the need for customers to contact the company again. As a consequence, clients will believe that working with your organization is not a waste of their time or money.
The top systems are highly adaptable, giving you several options for personalizing your IVR interactions with your callers. This features personalized business greetings that can be changed on the fly. When integrated with your customer relationship management system, you may additionally match personal information with the caller’s phone number or account number, and the IVR can respond accordingly.
There is also the possibility of setting the IVR menu in many languages so that callers may select the one with which they are most comfortable. The options are nearly limitless.
Less Response Time
Have you ever ordered your favorite cuisine and waited a long time for it to be delivered? As a consumer, you have a strong desire to settle your difficulties with the service you requested by calling the company’s hotline or customer care number.
Customer service is an unavoidable component of any organization, whether it is small, medium, or enterprise-level.
An IVR service will assist your consumers and increase brand loyalty. It has an effect on the prospective customer’s purchase choice.
Gives That Professional Touch
IVR calling systems were formerly prohibitively costly. That doesn’t even take into account the hardware and infrastructure required to support it. That is why many people still identify this with enterprise-level solutions that can only be implemented by large organizations.
However, it is not the situation with cloud.
It is currently a standard component in most cloud contact center solutions, which are also less expensive than on-premise versions. As a consequence, whether you have a small or mid-sized business, you can use an enterprise-level IVR system to help you project a more professional image without breaking the budget.
A cloud-based IVR system eliminates the possibility of downtime. Due to multiple servers and backup infrastructure, the IVR service remains operational even if the server fails. IVR enables you to provide 24X7 service with near-perfect uptime. That is all your clients desire in terms of a flawless customer experience.
Data based Routing
The data is used to send priority-based consumers to a salesperson.
For example, if a consumer calls about his bank account and enters his account number into the IVR system, indicating that his account has lately had fraudulent activity, he is sent straight to a specialist agent.
This technology is not intended to replace human agents. It was created to make your call center agent’s life considerably simpler. The amount of calls handled by humans would be reduced if an automated IVR handled many of the easier inquiries.
Without a suitable IVR, contact centers might become overburdened by a large amount of inbound calls, resulting in agents getting calls that they are unprepared to manage. As a result, agents become agitated since they don’t know what to do to address the customer’s problems. Frustration leads to stress and depression. The next thing you know, you have lethargic and unproductive staff on the verge of quitting.
An IVR that has been appropriately configured can reduce the number of calls handled by agents by handling basic inquiries. It also works in tandem with the skill-based routing function to guarantee that agents only get calls for which they are qualified.
This results in more efficient, productive, and satisfied call center agents.
The nicest thing about IVR is that it does not require humans to function.
This implies that, unlike humans, it does not require sleep or rest. Customers may contact your firm at any time of day or night, and an automated greeting will greet them. Depending on how it is configured, it can even conduct small transactions.
Tracks Calls Quickly
IVR directs your callers swiftly and efficiently. It projects a professional picture of your company. It decreases caller wait time and enhances the likelihood of first-call resolution. The automated call distribution tool rapidly distributes calls to the appropriate department. This saves your salesperson time and allows them to focus on other things.
The IVR system saves time for both agents and customers. With the event of basic requests, the system may assist clients in self-service. This implies that customers will no longer have to wait in line to talk with a representative in order to obtain a rapid reply. Agents may be assigned to consumers who have complicated demands. As a result, when IVR handles the easy duties, more personnel will be free to accept these calls.
Makes Your Brand More Accessible
In the event that operators are unavailable during off-hours, IVR can considerably extend the hours of availability. Few questions may be quickly resolved by self-service, and an IVR system is appropriate for off-hours use since it not only resolves simple enquiries but also records consumer replies.
Gather Customer Feedback
Customer feedback should always be documented promptly after a call. Customers may be hesitant to provide feedback directly to the agent, and sending a survey through another channel is not the most effective approach to gain their involvement. After a service encounter on the voice channel is concluded, the client may be given the option of conducting a quick survey powered by an IVR system. This means that clients may readily voice their honest comments through the same channel of interaction.
Analytics for Better Performance
A cloud IVR provides an analytical insight. It allows you to track the number, origin, and timing of consumer calls. This is beneficial in terms of personnel scheduling.
You may have observed that certain businesses have increased call volume at various times of the day. By collecting this data, you can ensure that bottlenecks are avoided. This helps to increase company prospects while decreasing negative client responses.
Less Abandonment Rate
Using a sophisticated and integrated IVR system allows clients to swiftly conduct transactions or examine information. You may avoid unhappy clients from hanging up on you and abandoning the deal by creating an intuitive and robust IVR.
Eases Customer Identification
The identifying procedure may be automated using IVR systems. so that the salesman gets all of the necessary information before answering the phone. Customers can enter data while on hold or in the ACD queue. These elements make a caller’s engagement with your company more pleasant and boost client satisfaction.
Streamlines the Sales Process
During IVR, it is simpler to close a transaction. Faster orders mean more inbound call capacity and the ability to handle more orders per working day.
Productivity levels climb, increasing sales income, simplifying the sales cycle, and allowing your small firm to thrive.
Reduce Manual Errors
IVRs, like people, are automated, thus they are not prone to mistakes. Consider hiring a real receptionist to answer inbound calls to your organization. Aside from the risk of being overloaded by large call volumes, manual processing of incoming calls might result in errors in which calls are routed to the incorrect department or agent.
When your contact center has an IVR system, all calls follow the same logical order that has been set into the phone menu. This lessens the need for people to make judgment calls, which is ultimately to blame for many call handling errors.
You have the benefit of ensuring that each caller has the same IVR experience by automating how your organization takes calls.
IVR Role in Customer Experience
The entire quality of your client’s exposure to your organization is what customer experience is all about.
It is critical that you maintain a great client experience in order to preserve your business. As you make your clients happy, they will start trusting your brand more and this results in brand loyalty. Consumers that have a favorable experience with your firm can become brand ambassadors, which can lead to additional customers.
What is IVR’s involvement in all of this?
If you think about it, your IVR may be their initial point of contact with your firm. It might therefore set the tone of your interaction with them anytime they have questions or issues that must be addressed. A smart, well-structured IVR system may get your consumer off to a good start. Here are some of the ways which you can use to improve customer satisfaction using Office24by7 IVR service.
Delivering what the consumer requires as soon as possible is one of the quickest strategies to boost customer satisfaction. And what could be faster than a consumer finding the solution they require on their own?
Customers no longer have to endure long wait periods and hold durations, or even engage with agents, thanks to the implementation of self-service alternatives for simple tasks and transactions.
This has the added benefit of taking these easy operations off the agents’ plates. This allows them to handle more complex instances that the IVR cannot handle.
Skill Based Routing
IVRs also aid agents in providing a better customer experience.
How? By just delivering them calls that they can manage.
The cloud contact center’s intelligent routing capability enables businesses to assign talents to their call center personnel. The caller’s issues and the abilities required to remedy them can be assessed through a series of IVR menu selections.
The call will be directed to the agent most suited to handle the issue based on that information. As a consequence, it minimizes the likelihood of a caller being routed to an agent who is unable to address their inquiries, which can result in a terrible customer experience.
We have curated a detailed blog about IVR service, do give it a read.
Wrapping It Up
Companies that opt for IVR service have observed potential increases in customer satisfaction as well as their agents’ productivity. It is time for all the organizations out there irrespective of the size or industry they are in, to opt for IVR technology.
If you are in the market looking for a reliable IVR calling system, then look no more. Office24by7 can be your right partner. With more than a decade experience in the field, Office24by7 has become one of the go to IVR service provider for various medium to large scale businesses in the market.
Equipped with every advanced feature that is there, you will have everything streamlined in the perfect way. Ensure that every customer of yours is provided with exemplary service without burning out your agents using Office24by7 IVR technology.