IVR and its Benefits for Business
Researches have cited that a moderate rise in the customer experience can result in an average revenue increase of $823 million over three years for a company with $1 billion in annual revenues.
The figures are clearly indicative that delivering a quality customer experience can no more be underestimated. This has pushed companies to brainstorm newer strategies to up their customer engagement numbers.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR), being one such customer service solution, has grabbed the attention of various enterprises lately. As a result, a large number of enterprises are now shifting their business communication to automated IVRs.
Due to this shift, IVR interactions now contribute to 73% of total contact centre traffic of a business. Before understanding the reasons for this rise, let’s understand what the IVR does exactly.
Interactive Voice Response- Functioning
It is a technology that has automated the telephony system. Facilitating a computerised interaction between the customers and the business, it has eliminated the mundane task of a receptionist.
IVR automatically answers all the incoming calls and presents a detailed menu with all the possible options. These menu options guide the callers to proceed with their concerns and get it resolved by reaching out to the right department.
Additionally, the self-help options also ease up the whole process. These options let the callers find the answers without waiting for a live agent to connect.
Benefits Catalyzing the Rise in Demand
1. Effortlessly Handles Large Volume of Calls
67% of customers have hung up the phone out of frustration when they could not talk to a real person.
Customers are easily disappointed if contacting the business becomes a task. There are high chances that they may turn to other vendors if they cannot reach you in the first two attempts. Undoubtedly, no business can afford such a loss.
Here, adopting the IVR system for everyday communication ensures that customers can easily reach out to you without any inconvenience. Firstly, with an auto-receptionist feature of IVR, you ensure that no customer approaching you remains unanswered as IVR automatically answers every incoming call.
Secondly, the IVR menu which includes a large number of self-help options and a well-defined traversing structure provides a structured path to resolve queries. This largely reduces the call load agents encounter every day and helps business to manage it seamlessly.
2. Largely Reduces Human Error
There are high chances of routing the call to the wrong department, providing incomplete or incorrect answers, and more if you are using a human receptionist to manage incoming calls. And in the case of high call volumes, this situation can worsen.
In such cases, IVR is highly effective. Being an automated system working according to programmed rules, the probability of such errors gets minimised. Moreover, the performance and efficiency of IVR remain the same irrespective of the volume of calls received.
Unlike human receptionist, interference of any external factors doesn’t affect the overall functioning of the IVR ensuring a consistent experience throughout.
3. Ensures First Call Resolution
If you truly want to establish your brand among customers, ensure customers are getting the desired results in the first go. For call centres, First Call Resolution (FCR) is one such parameter. It indicates the efficiency of your service and quality of resolution your company’s call centre delivers.
IVR handles FCR for business by its intelligent call routing strategies. It identifies, segments and routes the callers to the right departments in the first contact itself. This directly increases the efficiency of the whole calling process and makes sure customers are not repetitively contacting for the same query.
4. Reduces Call Waiting
“All our agents are currently busy. Our representatives will answer your call shortly. Kindly remain on the line.”
Above waiting message is not just a statement, instead is an experience which makes customers furious. The underlying reason behind this furiousness is the uncertainty of the waiting duration it entails.
Usage of IVR reduces this waiting time substantially. Menu options along with the routing strategies used are the primary defining factor while handling large call volumes.
Designing your IVR in such a way that distributes your calls evenly and accurately to the different departments/agents reduces the call waiting to a great extent. Moreover, the self-service options also resolve many queries which eliminate the need for customers to wait in call queues.
5. Provides Professional Touch
Irrespective of the size of your business, one cannot compromise on the professionalism of the delivered customer service. If the caller is not greeted the well, it will directly affect the overall customer experience with the brand. Moreover, a warm and welcoming greeting message sets the tone of the conversation in a positive direction.
Using IVR, organisations can deliver highly professional customer experience. Greeting every caller with a welcoming tone and message along with their name in the first sentence increases the engagement of the whole conversation.
Even in the non-business hours or holiday season customers can get their basic queries resolved with self-service options. In case a customer wants to connect with the live agent, you can inform them of your unavailability with a pre-recorded message.
Wrapping It Up
Now that you know IVR has greatly helped in streamlining the mundane activities, it is clear that grabbing hold of this automation is a necessity if you aim to stay ahead in the customer service arena.
And down the line, by 2020, criticality of customer experience is going to experience a hike as 75% of customers will want to shop with business offering a personalised experience. Thus, it is time that you start adopting customer service solutions such as IVR in your business at the earliest.