What’s IVR? And why would my business need it? Well, if you’ve ever called customer support for your bank or pretty much any well-established service, you’ve encountered IVR – Interactive Voice Response.
This automated phone system acts as the first point of contact for customers where they are greeted and their call is routed to the right person.
In this article, we explore IVR, how it works, and what crucial advantages it can provide your business operations.
What is Interactive Voice Response (IVR)?
Interactive Voice Response is an automated business phone system for companies and organisations. Essentially, it’s your digital receptionist!
Whenever a customer or client calls your business line, it activates with a pre-recorded voice message that greets them or presents them with a menu. Once the customer presses the correct number or says the right word, the system will automatically route their call to the proper destination.
IVR is especially helpful when dealing with large call volumes, where people can get simple questions answered and/or be directed to the correct department.
Regardless of industry, most established companies use IVR to considerably improve their business communications.
How does Interactive Voice Response (IVR) work?
IVR works by presenting callers with a menu when they dial into your company. From there, they can select what they need via touch-tone or voice recognition.
IVR uses both your telephone system and your internet connection to carry the signals and route calls where they need to go. Since the IVR system takes care of handling customer queries automatically, it requires less human intervention and improves the overall customer experience.
How Interactive Voice Response can benefit your business
Here are ten major benefits your business will experience from implementing IVR phone systems:
1. Reduction of call times
Typically, people call your business to get questions answered or problems solved – and some days, there can be a lot of people calling in.
With IVR, you have an efficient and effective system that can automatically take calls, answer simple questions or let people know there’s an issue being worked on.
In the case where the caller needs more specialised help, then the IVR system can route them to the relevant person to help.
2. Improved team performance
Interactive Voice Response phones can help your team to perform their duties with more focus since they aren’t required to answer calls for simple questions.
Additionally, IVR can route calls to them only when they’re truly needed, which will improve overall productivity. IVR technology can perform a lot of the heavy lifting or routine tasks, freeing up your team to focus on their core responsibilities and more urgent requests.
3. Improved customer experience
IVR also creates a better experience for customers.
They don’t need to spend minutes or even hours waiting to get a resolution for their issues and they’re immediately routed to the correct person or department that can solve their problems.
There is also the added benefit of calls being answered and acknowledged, even if an employee isn’t available straight away. The customer is reassured that their call has been spotted and will be dealt with as soon as possible – instead of having to leave a voicemail or simply ringing out without a response.
4. Enhanced business presence and brand reputation
This goes hand and hand with the previous benefit.
For small businesses, it gives your company an air of prominence, while for large businesses, it makes it easier to handle large call volumes at once.
Interactive Voice Response can also be used to share important messages such as issues currently being resolved or promotions and discounts your clients should be aware of.
All of this combines to create a business presence that is omnipresent and available at all times.
5. Increased availability
Today, customers expect speedy support to be available around the clock.
While it can be expensive to hire a full night staff, an IVR system can handle the job by providing customers with relevant information such as account details, office hours, and more.
Under the right circumstances, your Interactive Voice Response can answer queries without a real person ever needing to pick up the phone.
6. Reduction in the number of human-made errors
No one is perfect, so errors are bound to crop up when people are involved.
Interactive Voice Response can help dramatically reduce the number of such mistakes, such as a customer being given the wrong answer or being routed to the wrong department or employee.
7. Effective routing of calls
Whether it’s customer support or sales, IVR can effectively route calls to the right department and people without making mistakes, vastly improving efficiency and continuing to deliver your callers a fast and streamlined service.
8. A cost-effective solution
The largest benefit of Interactive Voice Response probably comes from the enormous cost-savings it offers a business.
Instead of recruiting, training and paying the salaries of employees to answer calls, an IVR system can handle a lot of the heavy lifting for you, allowing you to invest in the right areas.
9. Interactive Voice Response means improved security
Interactive Voice Response gives an extra layer of protection for your business phone systems.
Most IVR systems require verification through voice or touch tones to ensure they are real customers and not bots, saving your employees valuable time and ensuring a greater level of sincerity in all customer interactions.
10. Beneficial across almost every industry
No matter what industry, if you’re using phones then you can benefit from Interactive Voice Response.
From schools to hospitals, and retail to finance, IVR can improve your business communications and free up staff for more important tasks.
One Contact – your Interactive Voice Response provider
When you partner up with One Contact, we can seamlessly integrate IVR into your business so you can reap all the benefits of this time-saving and low-cost technology quickly.
And when supported by our strong, stable and secure Business Broadband, our VoIP-based IVR services ensure you stay connected to your customers, whatever the nature of your business.
Get in touch with us today to implement an efficient and secure IVR system so your business is always there for your customers when they need you the most.