No matter what you want to achieve with your interactive voice (IVR) system, it must be efficient and helpful to your customers. In this post, you’ll learn more about welcome messages and examples of keypad options that make it easier for both you and your customers.
Begin with a strong welcome message
Value the first impression, and feel free to be brief when you welcome the person calling. If you want to add, for example, opening hours for your departments or stores – say so after you have mentioned that there will be keypad options. For example:
"Hello and welcome to Siri's paint store! You will soon get a few options, but before that, we want to let you know that our opening hours for our store is…"
This way, the person knows that they can choose a department or store without losing patience when listening to your welcome message.
The first selection
Seconds play a crucial role concerning the waiting time it takes before a caller is connected. For example, if you first provide them with four choices and then they have to wait – don't let them wait too long.
Here, the seconds are crucial to avoid losing a customer. You have to consider that they must have enough time to pick the right keypad option. At the same time, they should not have to wait too long before being forwarded. Limit it to five seconds. That may sound short, but those seconds of silence feel significantly longer for the customer. Again, you do not want them to lose patience and hang up!
Three smart keypad options
Here are three different ways to streamline your keypad options, so that it benefits both you and the caller:
1. The customer gets to choose based on opening hours
There are settings in the Telavox IVR system that allow you to give the caller different choices depending on when they call. For example, if your marketing department does not open until 10 AM, you can arrange for no available selections for them during the morning. That way, a person who calls at 8 AM does not have to be disappointed when they have chosen a department but never get forwarded since the marketing team is not in yet.
Read more: How to change the opening hours in your PBX.
Do not forget that the voicemail can be active around the clock, which means that customers can reach you at any time. The system should handle all questions with possible automated answers. And even if the only reply the customer gets outside opening hours is "Welcome back again later", the customer feels seen and informed.
2. Identify the customer to be able to prepare for the call
A classic and smart way to identify the customer who is calling is to ask them to enter their social security number. The receiver can see the customer's previous interactions with the company – before they take the call. The customer does not have to describe their previous problems, and the receiver can, with the data received, help out more efficiently.
3. Set up your calls based on area code
There are ways to become even better and more personal, for example, allowing choices depending on area code. That is perfect if you have offices or shops in several cities around the country. If you call someone with area code 040, you should go directly to keypad options for Malmö. For those calling with area code 08, they should end up in Stockholm, and so on.
Don't forget to check your interactive voice system when setting it up! Ask someone from the outside to call and test the function, so everything works as desired. Ask them to check that the keypad option to reach Finance actually goes to that department and that the number of choices is enough.
Also, make it a habit to continuously check your system. Maybe things have changed within the company, or you have a time-limited campaign in the IVR that needs to be removed.