What is IVR (Interactive Voice Response): IVR Meaning and Benefits6.6 min read
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is an automated system designed to help customers who dial in through speech recognition or pad-dialing. IVR system helps combat long wait times, unsatisfied and confused clients, and employee workload. IVR technology can route calls to human agents in various departments who are specialized in related issues, handle simple tasks, and collect data.
If you are interested in how Interactive Voice Response (IVR) can benefit your company, this article has collected valuable answers for your organization, whether it is a contact center, a hotel, or another kind of business.
What Is Interactive Voice Response (IVR)?
Customer support is crucial for every business as clients have questions that need to be solved as soon as possible. The most common (and fastest) way to reach a company is through a phone call, and even small businesses can experience a struggle to handle a high volume of calls.
That’s when an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) comes into play. It is a system that interacts with incoming calls from customers via voice or dialing, or it can also be used internally for business employees. An IVR system provides customers with limited menu options, and if the category is not listed, the callers can choose to be transferred to an agent. By selecting various options, IVR transfers the calls to the chosen departments, saving a lot of time and improving the customer experience.
Interactive Voice Response or IVR systems can be generated digitally or pre-recorded by a person. It is designed to sort out inquiries, reduce the waiting time, and enhance the performance of employees as they know what problems or questions they are going to handle on the phone.
To interact with the IVR system, the caller can dial the numbers or simply respond by repeating one of the given options. A well-devised Interactive Voice Response system is a useful addition that can greatly affect the performance of the business and reduce costs.
How Beneficial Is an (IVR) Interactive Voice Response System?
Even though IVR systems are automated, and the basic software provides callers with limited options, they have many benefits. Some of the most essential advantages of having IVR software are:
Reduced Call Numbers
IVR software is a technology that allows customers to save time and resolve their problems faster than before. The less time they spend on the call, the more people your company can serve. Before a customer called a regular infoline and reached a general reception line, IVR now replaces it by introducing call routing. The customer call is instantly answered and directed to the requested department. Even if there is no suitable option for the customer to choose from the IVR menu, the caller can select to talk to agents.
Better Employee Performance
One of the most important pluses of IVR systems is that IVR technology allows employees to breathe freely and focus on more serious tasks, letting the technology deal with minor issues.
Better Customer Experience
Whether your company is a call center, insurance office, or department store , you need to improve customer satisfaction constantly. Your buyers expect you to answer all of their questions, even during non-business hours. So, to avoid negative feedback, you can add the most important guidelines for your callers to your IVR menu.
Improved Brand Image
IVR helps a call center and other businesses quickly and efficiently resolve issues of inbound calls, which in turn raises credibility and brand image in the eyes of consumers.
There is nothing more important in business than a positive brand image. This can be hard to maintain when you have many customers to assist. The Interactive Voice Response systems (IVR) assist enterprises that struggle with a large volume of incoming calls.IVR system is one of the most effective and profitable solutions that a company can invest in.
IVR More System-Rich Features
There are plenty of features that can be implemented into your IVR system that can improve the customer experience and enhance the company’s performance. The common use of IVR is to navigate the callers to the agents that can assist with the given issue using voice recognition or a dial pad. However, the IVR systems have more potential than that:
IVR systems can support callers in various languages. This feature is essential if you are located in a cosmopolitan city where English is not a lingua franca. Or, if you assist lots of customers from various countries in different languages – IVR technology can sort out the lines for each language, so the calls aren’t mixed up. Communicating in the mother tongue, the clients feel more relaxed, and there is no place for misunderstanding or misinterpreting anything.
Offering a Callback
During a high volume of incoming calls, IVR technology has a useful feature that offers callers a callback at a later time to avoid long waiting periods and to prevent worsening the customer service experience. The company agents will have less stress and will be able to fully assist the clients later. IVR software sends the callers’ phone number and possibly preferred date and hour for a callback to agents to dial at a less busy time.
Asking For a Feedback
Another great use of IVR systems is that they can analyze customer satisfaction by asking them their opinion or feedback after receiving the service. IVR software can also send them surveys and then transfer data back to the contact centers.
Due to the high volume of inbound calls, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) can collect data about inquires for in-depth research and development of the system. Additionally, IVRs can process the data that possesses valuable information for business strategies.
Before listing the menu, you can also upload messages to your IVR system to inform your clients about the latest promotions, updates, changes, or other important news.
Some IVR systems can be upgraded to conduct the identification process, and once the caller’s identity is confirmed, the automated system can instantly provide information previously logged into the system.
IVR systems can easily deal with simple transactions without an agents’ help. This feature lets agents focus on more serious tasks, allowing the system to quickly resolve non-complicated cases. Even if the IVR menu is pre-recorded, the technology has speech recognition features, and it uses natural language to interact with clients to provide the best solutions.
How to Implement IVR Systems Into Your Phone System Successfully?
Yeastar PBX’s IVR can be set up with different levels of hierarchy with rich menu options. You can customize your own welcome voice and redirect callers to their desired department, extension or voicemail, etc. And provide round-the-clock resolution to callers’ problems.
When you implementing IVR, you need to create a clear and simple call flow that works best for your organization. If the caller is on hold, it is advised to play calming pleasant music, and inform the caller approximately how much time is left to wait.
To route calls efficiently, there are three more factors you shouldn’t forget about:
Create a Straightforward IVR Menu
Whether you have a call center or other company where there is a large call volume daily, your Interactive Voice Response (IVR) menu should be simple and not too long. It shouldn’t be hard for the customer to find the right department. Your menu should be divided into levels, where one option leads to another, rather than presenting everything at once.
In order to make the IVR phone experience clear, it is recommended to start with general categories that will develop into more detailed ones as the caller navigates the menu. But also do not make it too long; otherwise, it can become confusing.
Include Human Interaction
You can create very straightforward and interactive IVRs; however, your callers might not be willing to cooperate with this technology. Do not forget to let your callers interact with a live agent, and do not leave this option at the end of the menu.
Include a Callback Option
Waiting in line or on hold can be very annoying, and it greatly reduces the customer experience. Instead, Interactive Voice Response can offer a callback to a waiting client. This way, the employees will have fewer inbound calls, and a live agent will be able to reach the previous callers at calmer times.
What Makes a Great IVR Experience?
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) lets callers and companies save time and money; it reduces the volume of customer calls because the menu options navigate them to different departments. It collects, stores, and processes valuable data for future research and improvement. It also has an abundance of functions that can be helpful for your business.
Can IVR Fully Replace Human Interaction?
IVR software has the feature of voice recognition, and it can also speak the natural language. It can be very helpful, dealing with straightforward queries from callers using an automated machine. However, this assistant is not yet fully accepted by everyone; that’s why companies should always employ representatives that can support human interaction with clients.
How Can IVR Improve Employees’ Performance?
If self-service is available to clients, employees can use IVR to ask for feedback and opinion of the service. IVR system can also broadcast important news among the employees at the company or send satisfaction surveys. IVR system can be programmed to notify employees of new vacancies or the beginning of projects.
Can IVR Technology Be Used in Other Businesses than Call Centers?
IVR systems can be used by:
- Call Centers
- Insurance companies
- Government offices
And many other businesses where staff is limited but there is an increase in call flows during and out of business hours. Since IVR is an automated technology, it can improve customer experience by dealing with simple tasks or by call routing to a human operator.
IVRs provide affordable solutions to companies with many inbound calls and limited customer support agents. IVRs can be changed and improved, and you can always add new categories or new messages to it, making the IVR phone experience easy, clear, and helpful.
If you want to create a successful phone system for your customers and employees. You should definitely consider Interactive Voice Response (IVR).