What Is IVR Call Routing and How Does It Work?
Firstly, let’s start with IVR.
IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response. Put simply; it’s a set of pre-recorded menu options or greetings. This menu begins when a caller rings. Once the caller hears the menu options, they can make a selection. This selection can be made from a dial pad or through speech recognition. The caller then gets an answer or is transferred to someone who can help.
Your IVR must match your business tone and brand. For example, if you sell children’s toys, you will use more lively music and style. In contrast, a medical clinic may use no music and a more neutral tone. Let’s look at what a sample IVR call flow might sound like.
Sample IVR Scenario
Inbound IVR vs Outbound IVR
Inbound IVR is when someone calls your business. The caller gets a self-service menu to make their selections. This menu allows them to reach different business departments. Inbound IVR usually facilitates support, sales and general customer queries.
Outbound IVR is when a business calls a customer. This is an automatic, pre-recorded message for customers. It can be used across voice calls, messages and emails. This is generally used for outbound sales and marketing messaging.
Advantages of IVR
With an interactive voice response system, businesses can route calls based on the customers direction. It also helps eliminate the need for an extra receptionist or admin. Most importantly, it leads to an overall better customer experience. Here are a few more business IVR benefits:
- Less wait times
- More inbound calls
- Less operational costs
- Always-on availability
Different Types of Call Routing Strategies for Your Business
Now that we know the benefits, the next question is how do we use it? Your team can use several call routing strategies with your IVR system. Let’s look at some intelligent call routing options that your business can use.
Startups or smaller operating businesses generally use this type of routing as it’s very straightforward. Suppose the caller wants customer care, they dial 1 for customer care. If no one picks up, it continues to go down the predetermined list.
This routing is a surefire way to ensure your customers get informed responses. Skill-based routing could be through a selected topic or departments. It’s very helpful for multi-language teams. If the caller wants a Spanish speaking agent, they get a sales representative in their desired language.
Least Used Routing
This allows businesses to distribute calls fairly. The calls will be routed to an agent who has been the least active in that period. This type of routing is helpful for large contact centre teams. It helps with utilising all workers throughout the day.
Trying to manage a multi-location team? Too many numbers for all your branches? Geographic routing can resolve all this. Set an automated menu for your caller to select their location. That way, they are sent straight to their desired location.
In this type of routing strategy, calls are routed depending on the time of day. This is very helpful for customers calling from different time zones. It also works well for after-hours calls. Calls can be routed to voicemail or your softphone.
If you’re a high call volume business with rich data, why not use it? Data-directed routing looks at the number calling or account number imputed. From there, the calls are transferred to the correct agent, depending on the profile. This can be a real time saver for a busy recruitment or sales firm!
Round Robin Routing
This type of call routing evenly distributes inbound calls. Calls are spread across each employee, so they all get an even number of calls. When employee A answers the first call, employee B will get the next, and so on. This provides better call management for customer care teams.
Sequential ringing is another fixed list. A predetermined list is set out, and the calls are directed to the first person on the list. If they don’t answer, it goes down the list until the call is answered. This helps smaller teams miss fewer calls.
Predictive Behavioural Routing
Predictive routing is an AI-based calling tool. It looks at the caller through a range of data. This can include personality, experience and preferences. The call is then routed to the correct agent, depending on the results. This works well for finance, medical and retail industries, providing a very personalised experience.
How to Set Up an IVR
Most VoIP phone providers offer a form of IVR. When it comes to selecting which is best, the more customisable, the better. This allows you to create some of the call routing options listed in the blog.
You want your IVR to help with team efficiency, customer satisfaction and assist the tasks of both sides. So here are a few questions to ask when setting up an IVR for your business.
- Do you want a single or multi-level IVR?
- What departments do you want covered by IVR?
- If you are multi-location, do you want to route calls based on location and time?
- What options do you want to offer callers?
- At what stage will a representative answer the call?
- Who will pre-record your IVR menus and greetings?
With the right help and provider, setting up an IVR is simple. Blueface offers a virtual phone system with IVR functionality from better call control.
Get Started with Blueface
IVR technology and ring strategies are fundamental for happy customers. It also helps with operational needs and costs.
Are you a large call center dealing with 100s of calls a day? Or maybe you are a construction startup looking to reduce hold times and the need for reception staff. An IVR phone system and clever routing can help with all of that.
Blueface IVR is a market-leading solution. Included in every hosted seat, it’s a straightforward and customisable feature for business communications. Do it yourself through our easy to use UC Platform, using a simple drag and drop your call flow.
Your callers can enjoy a self-service menu of pre-recorded options. Blueface IVR is backed by intelligent calling routing systems, so your customers get the answers, departments and resources they need.
Contact our team and discover what IVR can do for your business. We will help you with your IVR layout, messaging, and some innovative ideas to help you get the most from call routing.