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5 ways IVR systems benefit your business growth

Let us talk about the business benefits of IVR systems today. 

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems – a popular and advanced voice technology used by large and small businesses today, to keep customers engaged and answer their queries through pre-recorded voice messages and menu-based prompts.  

IVR technology has been in use for years, but with the pandemic affecting businesses worldwide, more businesses have adopted it to track call centre traffic, patterns in queries and complaints, and manage volumes with limited workforce.  

Using advanced IVR solutions for SMEs many businesses have been able to facilitate call tracking, lead capture/generation, customer data mapping – in short leveraging technology to add value to customers and businesses at every touchpoint. 

On that note, let us look at some of the common benefits of using an IVR number in business. 

1. Efficiently manage all incoming calls 

A multi-level IVR solution enables business to manage large volumes of calls efficiently. An IVR system can operate 24/7 even on off days, vacations, and holidays, ensuring that no customer call goes unattended. Unlike human call centre agents, IVR systems can simultaneously manage multiple inbound calls, and direct relevant calls to agents using automatic call distribution. 

This is beneficial to a small business as it ensures that no call goes unattended, calls are promptly returned, and customers are satisfied with the service received.  

Some of the additional benefits that IVR tech offers businesses include: 

  • Personalised calling experiences for the caller, but identifying them (based on phone number or key inputs), and predicting their purpose by referencing to previous interactions or open tickets  
  • Customised IVR menu and call flow based on business requirements to help customers find information or resolve queries faster 

Not all IVR service providers offer the same features and functionalities. Some offer unique features that businesses can opt for based on their requirements.  

For instance, some IVR tools (e.g., Knowlarity) offer multi-lingual support. This helps businesses attend to customer calls in vernacular (e.g., Hindi) in additional to English. This helps small businesses reach a wider local audience base with ease. 

2 . Open new sales and revenue growth channels   

A cloud IVR system is not what businesses conventionally looked at to amplify sales. It was built to manage call volumes and help customers resolve queries by routing calls to relevant agents. But, as businesses grew, technology evolved, and new challenges emerged, there was the need to streamline processes and make the most of every available opportunity. 

IVR tech therefore evolved to function as an additional channel to drive sales and revenue. Some of the ways IVR can accelerate sales for business include: 

  • Integrating the IVR system with a CRM (or a smart telecalling software) to track and manage leads, assign tasks to relevant agents, and engage customers 
  • Adding marketing promotional content and offer updates during call waiting time to grab customer attention without being intrusive 
  • Using advanced features like payments processing to facilitate instant purchase and payments 

At times, IVR systems do not offer the option to integrate other contact centre systems. At other times the business needs are greater than the IVR functionality. In such cases, consider getting a telecalling CRM such as NeoDove, to accelerate the sales process. Telecalling software come with a host of features such as auto dialler, SMS automation, etc. to enable businesses amplify the sales and customer engagement process.  

 

3. Increase employee productivity and efficiency 

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems were built to help businesses utilise their resources better. The idea was to support customers with their queries and concerns, while ensuring that resource productivity is enhanced.  

The self-service option in IVR systems based with the automatic routing of calls to relevant departments and agents help to achieve this purpose. 

Simply put, customer responses to IVR prompts allow only important calls to be directed to agents. It can help callers find solutions to simpler tasks (e.g., details on payment due dates, account balance, room/flight availability etc.) and direct only important or specific calls to an agent that require expert intervention.  

While building a IVR strategy for improving efficiency keep the following in mind: 

  • Ensure to configure Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) so that calls are directed to relevant agents only 
  • Set parameters for routing calls e.g., agent experience, expertise, languages known, availability, etc. 
  • Use IVR systems with additional value-added features like sticky agent features (e.g., offered by Servetel IVR solutions) to allow callers to speak with the same agent they had spoken to previously to save time and be more efficient 

Employee productivity and performance is one of the critical areas that all SMEs struggle with. With IVR systems, the idea is to keep employees available and attending to complex tasks and customer requirements and use an automated cloud telephony system to manage routine, regular queries and tasks.  

The secret to success therefore lies in how businesses design their IVR strategy and menu, and how often they analyse and update it. 

Read more about : Business software

4. Enhance customer experiences 

A robust IVR system will also help businesses to enhance their customer experiences. Using IVR tech businesses no longer have to keep an incoming call waiting in queue (poor customer experience). Instead, callers can be greeting with pre-recorded voice messages, prompting them to take actions based on their purpose and query. This not only helps in providing positive customer experiences but also saves business’s time and cost and creates opportunities. 

Some of the things to keep in mind when using IVR for customer engagement include:  

  • Design a short, well-scripted IVR menu to help callers respond to prompts easily 
  • Identify the key pain points and script menus that drive self-help 
  • Build an IVR strategy that adds value to customer calls e.g., during call-waiting design IVRs that provide relevant information or special offers that customers will find useful  
  • Allow callers the option to connect and speak with a live agent without navigating through long menus 
  • Select different formats for responses e.g., button input, touch, speech recognition etc. 
  • Use IVR solutions with advanced features e.g., voice mail and IVR call-backs, to return calls to customers (when agent is unable to attend call) and enhance customer experiences 

Remember, the goal of IVR systems is to bring efficiency in processes and people, while improving customer experiences. When customers choose to reach contact centres with a query, it’s imperative to deliver a positive experience.  

5. Enable informed decision making 

Another advantage of IVR systems is that it tracks and monitors calls and conversations and builds data-backed reports for businesses. These analytical reports provide insights that enable businesses to make informed decisions. Some of the improvement businesses can incorporate with data can be: 

  • Track call volumes and allocate additional agents to manage higher calls during specific time  
  • Monitor calls to understand call types and revise IVR menu for self-service accordingly 
  • Understand bottlenecks in the customer-journeys, especially when they seek assistance from an agent, and redesign the IVR menu  
  • Allocate budget to agent training, technology enablement, etc. based on call volumes 
  • Automate processes to cut costs, improve efficiency, and provide better customer support 

Reports are important especially for small businesses working with limited budgets and resources. It enables them to plan strategically, and spend on areas that will deliver higher RoI, create new opportunities, and help them to accelerate growth.  

 The age of IVR solutions in India: Next steps for your business 

 IVR technology is evolving. Over the last decade, the technology has evolved to enable businesses to do more with every available opportunity. 

Small businesses worldwide are leveraging IVR systems to grow and create a professional brand image. By offering first-time resolution, quick navigation, simplified menus etc. IVRs are making it easier for businesses to streamline and automate processes using digital solutions. 

Some IVR tools also offer IVR survey features for callers to respond on the success of their interaction post a call. Additionally, with cloud-based IVR tech, it is convenient to scale as business grows, without having to make heavy investments in building IT capabilities and infrastructure. 

In a nutshell, IVR service is more than just a technology offering. It is a part of the larger picture and contributes to how customers and brands interact, engage, and build relations.  

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