What is Interactive Voice Response (IVR) – and why does your business need it?

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a telephony technology that allows dialers to navigate to the most appropriate receiver through the dial pad.

Through an IVR, callers use a preset phone system to reach call center operators. It enables customers to find responses to their inquiries by giving inputs or speaking via a telephone keypad.

Have you ever dialed a bank’s inbound call number? You probably got some voice instructions on how to navigate through the dial pad. That is a classic example of how an IVR system works. By pressing a particular item on the menu, it redirects you to another item. The IVR can offer an automated message or route the number to a recipient. That, among other reasons, explains why over 74% of customers contact businesses over the phone.

While the Interactive Voice Response is one of the best developments in the mobile phone industry, what are its perks?

IVR enhances mobile customer experiences

An IVR system comes with unique customer experience. Rather than the conventional method where a dialer could connect with the recipient directly, an IVR allows the caller to enter query details so at to connect to the right agent. Some companies are significant in such a way that reaching an agent directly without rooting the call renders it less effective.

IVR provides customers with an efficient way of connecting with your call agent. It thus increases customer satisfaction as customers no longer have to wait for the call to be passed through multiple agents. With an excellent interactive voice response systems, some customers can solve problems on their own. A caller will likely stick to your business if there is an efficient way to solve problems. 73% of Americans spend more money with companies that offer excellent customer service.

Routing the caller to the right agent or department

Different agents specialise in various services, and talking to one caller agent might not be helpful. Traditionally, a call would be passed among multiple callers before reaching the right one. Not many clients love the traditional method as it is costly and time consuming.

IVR systems are programmed in a way to help you connect with the right agent or department. It gets your customers to the agents most qualified to meet their needs. For example, a business banker performs different tasks from a teller. Therefore, calling a teller to inquire about issues with business banking might put not yield the best results.

Expanded call capacity

Businesses with interactive voice response telephony systems handle more calls than those without. IVR systems have opened a new world of automated responses that don’t make it mandatory to speak with an agent. Automation of responses opens up your call agents to a broader call capacity. Some simple queries, such as opening time, price inquiry, etc. don’t need the help of a call agent. They limit the time available for agents to pick up significant calls.

Implementing a well-programmed IVR makes it easy to offer simple, automated responses that don’t require speaking to an agent.

Creating a better company image

An efficient call system is imperative for a huge business reputation. An interactive voice response gives callers the right illusion about your business. First it feeds customers with the notion that your company is actually a bigger one. Also, the automated responses solve customer’s queries without contacting an agent. With prompt solutions and responses, the business sets itself high on the customer’s pecking order.

If you run a small company or a startup, an IVR can elevate you to higher heights. It sells the right company name in terms of responses, reliability, and availability.

Unlimited customer access

With interactive voice responses, your customers can reach your business at their convenience. The best thing with IVRs is 24/7 availability. Whether its office hours, weekends, or holidays, customers can access responses without the need for employee availability. The IVR systems are always available at the customer’s disposal.

Unlimited customer access opens your business to a broad client base. Customers can receive most of the needed services whenever in need. Although the help of a call agent appeals to many customers, an IVR comes handy when there is no recipient on the line. According to Smart Insights, 88% of customers frequently use IVR to solve their queries.

Empowering call agents to perform at their best

An automated response system is imperative to a better call agent service. The IVR directs the caller to the right recipient, something that boosts the agent’s service experience. A call is always routed to the best person who can offer the right solution. When routing happens, it improves productivity and allows agents to solve queries faster.

Also, IVR matches agents to their closely related roles as per their skills. This makes them feel more confident and able to perform at their best. Call agents can build their expertise by continually answering similar queries over and over again.

Improved first-call resolution

When using the conventional method of calling, it’s possible to have mishandled calls. This is because the traditional system requires the agent to pass the call manually to the capable receiver. An agent might not offer sufficient help leading to the abandonment of many calls. In a complex organization, the traditional method might prove catastrophic.

IVR systems use intelligent routing features to connect customers with the most capable agent in the first attempt. This connection reduces the time taken to confer with different agents. IVR ensures the customer query is solved faster with minimal wait time and consequently higher customer satisfaction.

Lowering cost per call

Typically, calling business numbers is more expensive than ordinary mobile numbers. The pinch of the high call rates befalls on customers, some who end up disconnecting calls due to lack of adequate airtime. Dropping of calls means that some customer queries might end up unsolved, a factor that might hurt your business.

An IVR sends calls through in lesser time compared to the traditional method. Also, the idea of linking up callers with the capable agent means lesser time will be spent on the line. Customers save even more when they get solutions through automated responses.

The Bottom Line

If you want to revolutionise your workspace, look for an efficient interactive voice response that best suits your business. By doing so, you will be setting the pace for effective customer care. The call center is an integral part of your business, and investing in the best technology makes it even better.

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