What is IVR? And 7 ways your business can use it.
What is IVR?
‘Welcome to XYZ business, the world’s best business. For customer support executives dial 1. For sales, dial 2.’
At some point, we have all heard this automated voice greet us. When we dial a number on our keypad, it seems to connect us to the right department. This is the IVR/IVRS or integrated voice response system. An IVR can be simple (as in the example above) or multi level. For example,
‘Welcome to XYZ bank, India’s finest banking service. If you have your customer identification number dial 1; If you want to find out about any XYZ product, dial 2. To report loss of a card dial 3. At any point during this call, dial 9 to speak to a phone banker.’
This kind of IVR is reduces agent work. It tries to gauge caller intention by giving pre-defined options and helps prioritize the call. It can be quite complex and detailed.
When you dial 1, for example, you could verify identification details and check your account balance—without engaging an agent at all. When you dial 2, you may get more menu options to choose from. Dialing 3 would be an emergency, and would be treated faster.
Why should your business have an IVR? 7 reasons and use cases –
As shown in the above examples, an IVR doesn’t just make a business seem more professional. We’ve been successfully deploying IVR for our clients for over ten years. And here is what all we’ve seen it do:
1. Allow more self-service options for your customer.
A customer often just wants to check delivery status or bank balance or other details without really interacting with a person. According to a Loudhouse survey, depending on their age, 44%-60% customers desire self-service options. Plus self-service reduces workload—making it efficient for your business too. Your IVR can give a number of self service options.
Quick Case Study: As a part of Project Rise, Monsanto’s customized IVR application reached out to over 3mn farmers across India. The IVR resolved farmer queries, provided weather updates & pricing information.
2. Organize your call routing & improve Customer Experience.
Intelligent call routing can help your customers connect to the right agent. Combined with other tools this can drastically improve customer experience.
Quick Case Study: Customers call your contact center to have problems solved. The faster you do this, the happier your customer. FTR or first time resolution calculates how often you achieve this. Big Basket was able to deploy Ozonetel’s IVR + contact center solution to achieve an Industry leading FTR of 85%.
3. Prioritize calls.
Is the incoming call urgent? Is it a valuable customer calling? Or a hot lead, ready to close a deal? Or does someone need emergency services? An IVR can combine with contact center tools, and even your CRM, to prioritize your calls.
Quick Case Study: CIDCO needed to establish a center for citizens to get assistance during emergencies. Their IVR with automated call flow, increased efficiency and significantly decreased turnaround times in response to emergency calls.
On the back end, your IVR can work with other contact center tools.
4. Distribute load evenly amongst your workforce.
IVR works with call routing to evenly distribute workflow, sending calls to agents with shorter queues. And your workforce can be located anywhere.
Quick Case Study: Rural Shores distributed calls evenly over 1,00 employees spread across 20 different centers.
5. Capture Dropped calls. Never miss a lead or a complaint.
So you can call back customers who hang up.
Quick Case Study: Aggarwal Packers was having a problem with dropped leads. Their IVR was able to capture all missed calls. And the company dedicatedly followed up on every missed call to ensure zero missed leads. This led to 45% business growth.
Other functions an IVR can give you include:
6. Go 24 x 7.
Your people don’t work 24/7 but your IVR can. Having an IVR ensures that someone answers calls even after work hours. Voice mail options allow you to capture their messages.
7. Collect feedback.
IVR can also be used to conduct customer satisfaction surveys at the end of the call.
Quick Case Study: Medi Assist’s primary aim was providing affordable, hassle-free customer service. Customer feedback on every call was important. So they deployed a Feedback IVR to capture immediate feedback on call resolution.
What should you look for in an IVR provider?
Getting an IVR with the right tools for your business isn’t difficult or expensive. At Ozonetel, we have seen clients like Big Basket scale up from 8 agents to nearly 700 agents today. Here is what we’ve learnt that your IVR provider needs to give you:
- A capable cloud platform to reduce CapEx to nearly zero.
- Easy to set up interface to customize messages.
- Multi language support.
- Easy scalability for both growth and downsizing.
- Multi Level IVR.
- Analytics to understand agent performance, and capture missed calls.
- Mobile phone support to connect with agents on their mobiles.
- Good technical support for you, from your provider and
- The latest technology such as Voice & AI driven tools.