What Is IVR, and Why Should a Business Use an IVR?
You might have called the telecom service customer care number, and you would have heard.
“Hi, Thanks for calling ABC telecom. If you have any concerns regarding your last recharge, dial 1; If you want to know about the best recharge offers, dial 2; If you want to know your recharge date, dial 3; If you want to talk with our customer care agent, dial 4.”
You probably got this kind of voice instructions that tell you how to navigate through the dial pad. That’s the typical example of an IVR system, and how does it work?
IVR stands for an interactive voice response is a telephony technology that allows dialers/callers to navigate to the most appropriate receiver through the dial pad or keypad. IVR helps the callers reach the call center operators or desired tasks.
Although in business terms, it refers to a large umbrella of software-based communication solutions. It depends on the company that offers these types of services. Some companies offer essential services that allow small businesses to run their day-to-day operations, such as recording automated voicemail messages and route calls. On the other side, some companies offer full-fledged IVR systems with website, database, and CRM integration and robust reporting and bill processing options.
An IVR is one of the biggest reasons why over 74% of customers contact businesses over the phone. As we got to know that Interactive Voice Response is one of the best developments in the mobile phone industry, we’ll talk about the benefits of the IVR as well.
How Does an IVR System Work?
As we already told you, that interactive voice response system allows callers to interact with automated voice messages before they get connected to a human operator. This technology works simultaneously with Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency tones.
Now, let’s understand how it matches various technologies and is built into DTMF tones. Also, DTMF tones are compatible with speech recognition, making it possible for callers to communicate using their native language when responding to a prompt.
Some IVR technologies come with built-in artificial technology that makes them smarter while responding to the customers and gives them the ability to answer more accurately. When IVR gets connected with the phone tree, it gives the ability to attend to more calls to the call centers or support centers.
As artificial intelligence is a new technology and it has opened other ways to contact centers, this has eliminated those irritating long menus. With AI technology, a call center can become more intelligent and determine which call should be connected directly to the live agents that are available at the time.
Let’s see how it actually works – the IVR system works by integrating existing physical phone system setups with VoIP technology so that it can route calls wherever the concerned person wants. IVR software supports the combination or integration to add automation and menus that direct calls to the appropriate department.
For example, there is an issue with your bank account, and the bank uses the IVR system to streamline its process. When you call them, you are directed to choose whether or not your account issue is an emergency by dialing 1 or 2. Now there are two options; first, understand and resolve the issue with the help of auto prompts; second, connect with the live agent.
It is as simple as that, and it just makes the difference for an organization to maintenance requests and customer experience.
Reasons Why Should a Business Use an IVR.
Here are some of the best reasons why a business should use an IVR:
Enhance Customer Experience
An IVR system is more effective in enhancing a customer experience. In the conventional method, the call could connect directly to the live agent. The agent has to ask everything about their issue; they give the resolution or transfer the call to the appropriate department. With the IVR system, the hassle of asking about the issue is. IVR allows the caller to enter query details so that it can redirect the call to the right agent.
Some organizations have created their system in a way that reaching an agent directly without rooting the call renders it less effective.
So ultimately, IVR provides an effective and efficient way of connecting customers with the support agents. With no waiting time and no passing, the call to various agents can increase customer satisfaction.
An excellent IVR system can help customers resolve their issues on their own. Also, the customer will stick to your business if you resolve the issue quickly and without any hassle. According to a survey, 73% of people spend more money with companies that offer excellent customer service.
Helps to Route the Call to The Right Agent
The company hires different kinds of agents, and they specialize in various services and categories, and to reach the call to the right person might take so much time. Suppose a company uses a conventional method where a call passes through multiple agents before reaching the right agent. In that case, customers don’t like this traditional method because it is more time-consuming and it is more costly from the company’s standpoint.
These days, the IVR system is a vital part of any call center, as it helps to connect with the right person or the department. It automatically and logically connects the most eligible agent with the customer with any particular issue.
For example, in a bank, a business development agent performs a different task from an account. Therefore, calling the account to inquire about issues with the business might not yield the best results.
Expands call handling capacity
After implementing IVR, technology businesses can become more capable of handling more calls. Business without IVR systems makes blunders when the calls get increased. IVR systems allow agents to rest by automating the system and don’t make it mandatory to speak with an agent.
Because of automation, agents get the power to expand their calling capacity. IVR automatically handles simple queries such as opening time, price inquiry, and more. A well-programmed IVR makes it easy to offer simple, automated responses that don’t require speaking to an agent.
Creates a better image of a company
An organized call system can be a great way to maintain the company’s image and reputation. When a customer feels a good interaction with the company, it increases the reputation and gives the right image of the company.
Also, it shows the company’s professionalism and compels the customer to think that the company is bigger than it is. Additionally, when the automated responses solve customers’ queries without contacting an agent, it gives some sort of excitement to the customers.
Suppose you are a small company or a startup and thinking about implementing an IVR system in India. First, you need to think about how and where the IVR system fits in your company, as it shows that your company takes your customers seriously by being reliable and available.
Provides Unlimited Access to The Customers
The best part of the IVR systems is 24/7 availability. This feature allows your customers to reach your business at their convenience without thinking twice. It can be any time; whether it’s during office hours, weekends, or holidays, customers can independently access responses without the need for employee availability as IVR systems are always available.
A business gets unlimited customer access as it opens a broad client base. Whenever a customer gets any problem or needs any kind of help, they can receive most of the services. However, the best help can be provided by the call agents only, but IVR comes in handy when there is no one to receive calls. Smart Insights say that 88% of customers frequently use IVR to solve their queries.
Empowers Call Agents to Perform at Their Level Best
To improve your agent’s performance, an automated response system is critical because an IVR system directs the call to the agent who is perfect for that particular task, and this thing boosts the agent’s service experience. Also, this type of routing improves productivity and allows agents to solve queries faster, as the call is always routed to the right person.
Additionally, the IVR system matches their agent as per their skills so that they can adequately resolve the issue, and at the same time, they feel more confident and able to perform at their best. It also helps the call agent to build their expertise in a particular sector by answering similar queries over and over again.
Improved First-Call Resolution
There is a high chance of mishandling the call while using the traditional calling method. That’s because, in a traditional system, the agent passes the call manually to the right recipient.
Therefore, customers get irritated by getting transferred from agent to agent, and this leads to high-level call drops. This can be a disaster in a big organization whose operations are a bit complex.
An IVR system in India can very intelligently and can connect the customers with the most competent agent in the first go. It reduces the time taken by different-different types of agents If the connection would have been the traditional one. IVR makes sure that the queries are getting solved in the minimum time with higher customer satisfaction.
Decrease the Cost Per Call
Generally, calling on a business number is quite more expensive than the ordinary one. Customers don’t want to spend calling charges while talking with any customer support executive, and sometimes calls get disconnected due to a lack of adequate airtime.
Call drop is not suitable for any business; if the customer is dropping calls, that means some customer queries might end up unsolved; in the long run, it can be very harmful to your business.
Compared to the conventional method, an IVR system sends calls faster. Also, the system directs the calls to the right agent on the first attempt. Customers save even more time when their problem gets resolved through automated responses.
Some considerable IVR Features:
Below we have mentioned some critical features that can be considered while going to implement an IVR system in your business:
Cloud or Onsite
Cloud-hosted IVR system is quite simple; all the data and IVR system reside on cloud servers. Maintaining and managing the system and data gets done by the vendor. On the other hand, the Onsite IVR system gets installed with the company’s existing telephony system, and all the data and systems reside in the company. The burden of maintaining and managing the system falls on the company.
Cloud-hosted IVR systems are quite popular these days, and most of the companies offer hosted IVR systems. If you don’t have any specific reason to use onsite IVR, a cloud-hosted option would be a great option to go with.
Inbound and/or outbound
As you might know, there are two types of IVR services, inbound and outbound. An inbound IVR system handles incoming call volume, while the other one makes calls on either a total or partially automated dialing basis.
Many companies are out there that provide inbound and outbound both. But do remember that inbound IVR services are less expensive than outbound services. So make sure with your requirements so that you don’t pay extra for the feature you don’t want.
Self-service is a lite version, or we can say a basic version of inbound calling. Most companies offer full-fledged IVR systems that are high in pricing and then separate, lower-priced, self-service IVR options.
Evaluate your business requirements, and if your business needs only simple call routing or bill paying, and you don’t need an outbound calling facility, self-service is probably the best option to go.
Text to talk
Before paying the fee, you should ask if your IVR system includes the text-to-talk feature. It is a handy feature that allows you to do exactly what it sounds like. You can simply set up your IVR system prompt by typing (like “Please press 4”), and then you could select from a menu of voices to say that prompt.
This will give you a professional sound, and you don’t have to hire any professional to record in-house sound prompts.
It is not mandatory that every IVR system company provides full integration with existing databases, websites, and CRM systems, but many companies provide. Obviously, the offers that provide full integration are often higher priced than those that don’t. Still, integration with other software is a pretty helpful feature and brings a lot to the table.
If an IVR system is not integrated, a caller that’s routed through to a live agent will have to relay to that individual who they are, customer ID, and some other essential pieces of information. Then the agent has to look up the customer’s history in the CRM or database. On the other hand, an integrated system could ask for a user ID and password; once the customer entered that proper user ID and password, the IVR system would instantly access their information.
Dashboard and analytics
You should always check the dashboard option and the options for viewing analytics and pulling reports. Analyzing the dashboard features will give you an idea of how easy it will be to access your IVR system and change it as needed. Also, ask about any other specific report that your business needs and make the final decision after resolving all the confusion.
EasyGoIVR – Best Hosted IVR for Call Center
EasyGOIVR is a cloud-based IVR software that provides multiple features for your calling business. The software does it all – right, from personalized call responses to real-time call reporting and monitoring.
This cloud-based IVR comes with plenty of useful features; it offers personalized greetings depending upon the campaign-specific DID number, Interacts with the callers, directs the call to the most appropriate destination as per the caller’s needs, and shows the graphical representation of all connected and answered calls.
Below we have added some key features of EasyGoIVR:
- Automatic Call
- Call Recording
- Call Tracking
- Customer Agent
- IVR System
- Easy monitoring
- Easy scalability