Reliably connecting your customers to the right representative or department is one of the cornerstones of quality customer service, and IVR call routing is one such tool that can add immense value to your customer service operations.
IVR is an acronym for Interactive Voice Response which refers to a call routing system that allows customers to navigate menu options using their voice or keypad.
IVR call routing uses speech recognition technology, which enables IVR systems to interpret customer responses and direct the customer’s call within an automated process. The IVR then routes the customer’s call to the correct department or agent based on the customer’s input.
This type of automated call routing can be hugely beneficial to your business in numerous ways, and in this article, we explore exactly what those benefits are. But first, let’s make sure we understand some of the foundational terminologies at play.
The differences between inbound IVR and outbound IVR
The differences between inbound and outbound IVR are primarily based on the direction of the call.
Inbound IVR works when customers initiate a call to your business. This type of IVR gives callers a self-directed menu where they can make selections until they reach the relevant department.
On the other hand, outbound IVR works when your business calls customers to send crucial communications or reminders – with the message in outbound IVR being automatic and pre-recorded.
What are some advantages of IVR?
IVR call routing reduces your call time during busy days by automatically taking calls, answering questions, and assuring the caller that you’re working to address their issues. It also enhances your team’s performance by helping them focus on more productive tasks instead of spending time answering simple questions via phone.
With an IVR system, your customers have a better experience because they don’t have to wait long for your customer service team to respond to their problems. IVR call routing also minimises human errors, such as giving customers incorrect answers or routing them to the wrong department.
All in all, an outstanding customer experience improves your brand’s reputation and ensures continuity of customer retention and relationships.
What are the various IVR call routing methods?
There are several IVR call routing strategies that you can use to maximise the benefits of IVR. Some of the options you can consider for your business include
Direct routing is the most basic IVR call routing strategy and sends your customers’ calls directly to a team or agent. For instance, if the customers select the option to speak with customer service, the IVR system can route the call directly to your customer service team.
This IVR strategy sends incoming calls to the least busy agent or team to ensure prompt response times. This option helps ensure that all your agents receive a fair amount of work.
This strategy routes calls depending on what time it is. It’s a helpful strategy if your business has customers making inquiries from various time zones. Time-based routing also works effectively for after-work calls, as the IVR can route calls to your softphone or voicemail.
Skills-based routing utilises a process that matches incoming calls to available agents based on their skills and qualifications. With this strategy, IVR systems can identify which agent is most suitable for a particular caller based on the issues raised.
Round robin routing
This IVR call-routing option allocates incoming calls equally among your IVR agents or teams. This strategy ensures that no one on your team is overwhelmed with incoming calls and that every agent can efficiently handle customer queries.
This IVR call routing strategy analyses the caller’s location and then connects them with the agents closest to them. This strategy is effective for businesses that require local agents to help customers in various locations, especially if your business has multiple offices across different states.
Sequential routing follows a preset list, whereby incoming calls are routed to the individual appearing first on the list. If there’s no response, the IVR system will redirect the call to the next person on the list until someone answers.
This strategy analyses caller data like account numbers, caller IDs, and their preferences. IVR systems then route calls to the agent with the required customer data to help them quickly solve customer problems.
Predictive behavioural routing
Predictive routing leverages AI to analyse a caller’s data, including their preferences, experience, and personality. Based on this data, the system will route the call to the right agent for a personalised experience.
Considerations for setting up an IVR system
Most providers of VoIP phone services will likely offer you an IVR system. When choosing the best one, you should consider a few things to get an IVR that boosts your team’s efficiency and customer satisfaction. Here are the key factors to consider:
- The number of departments you want IVR to cover
- Whether you want to route calls based on time and location
- Whether you want a single or multi-level IVR
- The options you intend to provide to your callers
- The stage at which the representative will respond to the call
Working with a reliable IVR provider will make it easy to leverage IVR call routing to manage customer calls and ensure that their queries are efficiently handled.
One Contact is your provider for IVR call routing
One Contact can work with you to integrate IVR into your business to help you reap all its advantages.
When you partner with us, we will provide your organisation with modern business phone systems, including IVR technology, all supported by our VoIP services. Coupled with our strong, secure, and stable Business Broadband, you can be sure that your business never misses a call and never misses a sale.
Get in touch with our experienced team today to get started on implementing an efficient IVR system that will ensure your business has top-class communication with clients.