IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response. It is a technology used to greet callers and automatically route calls.
60% of consumers prefer to pick up the phone – Search Engine Land
The fact of the matter is customers rely on calling. IVR technology serves as a critical tool to answer every call. It offers clever routing and cuts operational costs.
Customers also often require a wide range of business communications. IVR’s self-navigation option allows customers to be connected to the right person in your organisation.
This blog will highlight the benefits of IVR. We will look at how it works and what it stands for. Discover the ten reasons your business needs to automate calls with IVR.
- What is IVR?
- How Does IVR Work?
- Reducing Call Times
- Improved Employee Performance
- Better Customer Experience
- Enhanced Brand Image
- Reduces Errors
- Call Routing
- Lower Costs
- Increased Security
- Varied Applications
Decoding Interactive Voice Response: What Is IVR?
So, what is IVR in telephony?
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is an automated business phone feature. It’s a call technology that activates when a caller rings your business. The feature plays a recorded menu or audio to the caller. The automated menu then routes the caller, depending on their answers.
The automated menu options can vary. Customers can have their questions answered or be directed to the right person. In addition, IVRs may provide general business information.
The best part is, businesses across any sector can use IVR to boost its business communications. For instance, many call centres tend to implement IVR systems. It helps deal with high call volumes and also saves business and callers’ time.
How Does IVR Work?
As we mentioned, IVR is an automated phone feature. The technology provides an automated menu option for callers. Customers can select their chosen option through touch tones or speech recognition.
IVR signalling happens between your telephone system and internet connection. A predetermined list offers your callers options that they can choose from their questions are answered or their call is routed.
That way, little to no human intervention is needed.
- Example: Press 1 for Sales, Press 2 for Support.
Previously, traditional IVRs were only used in contact centres. Their use was very one dimensional, queuing callers with little to limited routing options.
Nowadays, IVR technology can help all kinds of businesses. Let’s take a multilingual IVR for a large financial business as an example and what it might look like:
10 Reasons to Consider an IVR Phone System for Your Business:
Businesses that implement an IVR phone system reap the benefits in the form of efficient and effective customer service. It is a phone answering system that can be used by small businesses as well as larger enterprises. Advantages of IVR include:
- Cuts operational costs
- Speeds up responses
- Boosts team productivity
- Enhances business brand
- Small businesses gain a professional reception
- Lowers customer frustration
Most importantly, you are giving the customers what they want. This improves customer service and business reputation.
79% of customers would rather self-serve than human-assisted support channels. – Forrester
Now we know how it all works and what it is, let’s get into the real benefits of IVR.
Reduced Call Numbers and Call Times
Looking for a solution for high call volume days? Sure, you could hire additional staff.
However, there is another option. IVR acts as another (cost effective) member of your team, taking calls and directing customers to the correct answers. This saves your teams and customers time.
60% of respondents believe that one minute is too long to be on hold.
32.3% believe that customer service should be answered immediately. With no hold time. – PRWeb.
Failure to deal with high call volumes has a detrimental effect on your business. Your customers could be waiting on hold or dealing with multiple transfers. This results in a low level of customer satisfaction.
With an IVR feature, you can limit the number of calls coming through, shortens calls and minimises transfers.
Better Employee Performance
Ensuring your team can focus on their work is vital. Routing calls to the correct departments will boost productivity. IVR removes a lot of extra work by ensuring that every call is answered and routed to the right agent.
Perhaps you run a holiday resort or hotel. Your phone system is the connection between you and your hotel guests. IVR technology can ensure your teams are not standing by the desk phone all day.
With IVR, you can route calls depending on the guests’ options. So housekeeping, food and general information have different phone lines.
That way, technology can work behind the scenes without taking a team member’s time.
Improved Customer Experience
Customer experience is the primary focus for every business.
Why? Well, happy customers boost your business revenue.
93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service. – HubSpot Research
Adding IVR customer service features provides callers with a quick way to resolve their issues. They are connected to the correct department seamlessly. That way, responses are fast and correct!
Enhanced Brand Image
Are you looking for a way of making your small business seem bigger? Or maybe you want to manage your large business brand. Interactive voice response can do just that.
For smaller teams, IVR can make your business appear more prominent. Ensuring all calls get answered will instil confidence in your caller. Therefore, they are more likely to do business with you.
72% of customers will share a positive experience with six or more people. – Super Office
Furthermore, you can customise the messaging on your IVR and use it for promotional offers, marketing campaigns or brand awareness.
Answering calls quickly and creating positive experiences leads to brand ambassadors. Blueface’s TrustPilot is an example of great calls leading to excellent customer experience.
51% of customers want businesses to be available 24/7. – Freshdesk
Customer desires are changing. Speed to resolution and always-on availability is key. IVR systems ensure your business is always there for customer queries. All without employing numerous staff for costly night shifts.
Businesses can use IVRs to set up out of office messaging, keeping callers informed. Customise it how you like, and it will continue to run without the need of any human interaction.
The level of detail of your IVR depends on your needs. In some cases, the customer may get their questions answered there and then without ever needing to speak to a human.
Human error happens (A LOT). Calls get dropped and customers get transferred to the wrong departments. With interactive voice response, these errors are a thing of the past.
33% of people are most frustrated because of having to repeat themselves to multiple support reps. -HubSpot
Gain specific call routing options through predetermined rules and setup. That way, no mistakes are made and callers always get the right department and answers.
Efficient Call Routing
An interactive voice system works with your callers. Blueface helps you create custom IVR options with easy-to-use, click-and-drag tools. Blueface IVR call flow designer elements include:
- Ring Strategies
- Call Flow Menus
- Call Paging
- Voicemail Mailbox
- Play Custom Music on Hold
- Video Conferencing
- Call Conferencing
- Whitelist (for important clients)
- Echo Testing
- Call Flow Switching
Customers can ring in and decide where they want their call routed. This makes calls more efficient.
From here, intelligent hunt groups kick in. Route calls directly to customer service or route new callers to the sales department. You can even route calls to your mobile app. Simple setup and call flow provides drag and drop options. You can get your phone system working like clockwork!
Lower Operational Costs
One of the top reasons to get IVR for your business is cost savings. No human intervention means no need to hire additional staff. Furthermore, companies can save on extra hardware and training.
A typical customer service call handled by a live agent costs €2.50 to €5.50. While IVR calls cost €0.02 to €0.20 per minute. – DMG Consulting
IVR allows you to provide great service even with a small team without missing calls. That way, money can be saved. All through a handy, automated system.
With any technology comes security concerns. IVR technology adds an extra layer of security to your business phone system.
Some systems require voice recognition to verify caller identities. Additionally, touch-tone selection can verify the caller. Custom audio can ask the customer several questions, such as account number, pin code and so on.
Callers can be verified before speaking to an agent and you can also notify callers that their call is being recorded prior to answering.
Varied Applications Across Industries
One of the most frequent uses of IVR is to route business calls. Nevertheless, it has many different applications across various industries.
- Medical: A high call volume industry. IVR can lessen operational needs, offering patients different lines for their queries.
- Finance: Callers get straight to their accounts through account number verifications. Paying bills or closing accounts, all without human interaction.
- Retail: IVR self service offers promotions, business orders, connect to the right location and more.
- Education: Phone lines for parents, students, departments and more. IVR is fantastic for fee collection periods.
Get Started on Your IVR Journey With Blueface
Blueface’s IVR system provides an intelligent call routing tool. It even acts as another team member. As we know, customer satisfaction is everything.
This is why IVR is included in Blueface’s communication platform.
Enjoy efficient business communications with Blueface’s auto attendants/IVR.
- Design your own call flow depending on your customers’ needs
- Improve your team’s speed to answer and call times
- Save on new hires and training costs
- Provide out of hours support
Do you need an IVR system for a small business or a large multinational?
Blueface is here to help.