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In business, we need to not only think about how the company is being run from our side of the fence but also to turn the tables around and consider the customer experience when phoning the offices or navigating through the online webpage. Too often clients become frustrated with automated systems in place that make finding the right department a nightmare and a complete headache when there is a simple, effective solution.
The world has significantly advanced across industries and more so with technology being a front runner of innovations and digital advances. Now, more than ever, software programs and running operation systems are increasingly streamlined and efficient, yet we still find ourselves struggling. The big question is why? Why is this not being rectified, and why are we not streamlining businesses for the most effectively run operations possible?
Implementing the right systems
Running or managing a call center needn’t be an effort when IVR (Interactive Voice Response) technology is so readily available. Too many new business owners or entrepreneurs are daunted by what the investment or initial cost would set them back financially, but losing customers because of an ill-equipped phone line management system will be far pricier.
What is an IVR?
Firstly, understanding what an interactive voice response system is will set you off on the right foot, and could be the difference between a great business and a mediocre one. In simplistic terms, IVR is a form of technology that allows telephone users (customers calling in with a query or questions) to interact more seamlessly with a computer-operated telephone system using DTMF and voice tones input using a keypad.
If you are considering implementing IVR for your company but are not sure you are making the right choice, take a quick look at the host of benefits you can experience for your business and for your customers and why it is the better option.
Improved First Contact Resolutions
When you need specific product or service details the last thing you need is to be transferred from department to department or agent to agent. With tailored questions at the start, you will be put through to the right department the first time, which is more than likely the most qualified to handle your request, questions, or concerns.
By targeting specific problems or issues clients have, the matters are quickly and effectively resolved, and promptly. Therefore using an IVR system for your business ultimately results in more efficient customer service, and for the best IVR system provider, always opt for quality over quantity.
When you have automated systems in place, and we all know the future is digital with AI implementations across all industries and business sectors, you can significantly reduce overhead costs and staffing expenses.
Fewer receptionists and call agents are needed for all departments, and you rule out human emotions when making first contact with customers for a more professional initial encounter. If your employee is having a tough day this can come through in their phone demeanor and be off-putting to the client or potential customer, and ultimately cost you money.
When customers are given a solution to their problems or a vital question is answered, they feel good and happy and will appreciate being valued for their loyalty. This comes from the right questions being asked to the appropriate personnel rather than clients being given the run around from desk to desk, or worse, no solution presented by someone underqualified or by someone in the wrong department.
A final thought; first come, first served
At the end of the day, when you are running a customer service-based business, their needs need to be a priority, and this comes through in the way you conduct and manage your operations and overall customer care.
Customers have no issue finding the answers they’re looking for by using an automated telephone system, essentially, self-service operations, where possible, is highly sought-after. This way, your brand lends itself to all ages and demographics, and no one feels isolated or spot-lighted to make the right choice on the spot.
By integrating a quality IVR system, not only will you save on operational costs for the business as a whole, but call waiting times with customers on the line holding for available agents is significantly reduced. This in turn reduces the call volume to and through call centers, and overall relieves unnecessary pressure on all fronts.
As a CEO or business owner, it only makes sense to want to save time and money while operating effectively, and with a top-level IVR system in place, you can do just that, and you eliminate human absences or sick days. Win-win.
What is IVR, and how does it work?
IVRs are automated phone systems that provide incoming callers with prerecorded messages without requiring them to speak with a live agent.
What kind of Businesses use IVR?
In banking institutions, IVR systems are used to engage customers and extend business hours to 24/7. Customer can check their balances, make payments, and transfer funds using telephone banking which is done through IVR.
In a call center, what does IVR stand for?
A telephony software technology commonly found in call centers is interactive voice response (IVR). Through IVR, businesses are able to interact with their customers through a series of automated menus, often allowing them to self-serve.
How can IVR be used?
For example, you might hear on an IVR system, “press 1 for technical assistance, 2 for sales support, 0 for operator assistance”. When you choose an extension or call queue, your call will be routed to that extension, or a voice message will be delivered to you if you choose to do so.
What are the steps involved in IVR testing?
An IVR system’s Customer Experience is tested 24/7 through Experience testing. Essentially, it works like a secret shopper. To ensure everything is always working correctly, regular test calls are made. This is to ensure no bugs get into the system.