If you’re thinking about interactive voice response (IVR) for your contact center, you’ll find it can be leveraged to effectively meet your customer demands. Today’s customers are used to the “Amazon Experience” where orders can arrive the same day and customers can communicate on their preferred channels (voice, text, email).

To help small and mid-sized business match the quality of this customer experience, your business needs to have effective communication strategies coupled with technology that automates part of that customer experience.

Use IVR as an Efficient, Self-Service Tool

About 96 percent of customers want a business that’s more responsive to them. IVR uses what is referred to as “call deflection” and short message service (SMS) channels. These make it convenient for customers to get answers to routine questions and solve problems without the need for a live operator. IVR uses voice and button prompts to help customers make their selections.

IVR can improve customer experiences because the customer is no longer waiting on hold. They are selecting prompts that can help them get answers to questions or check on the status of their order. IVR provides powerful ways to improve engagement with customers. It provides the professional phone support you need to grow and scale your business.

IVRs can help callers to feel more confident when they call.

With an IVR phone service:

  • You can route calls to different departments instead of using a switchboard operator.

  • IVR can help customers if they want to pay bills online or check their balance (depending on the type of company you have).

  • IVRs respond to customers’ needs without the need for extra phone support.

Use IVR to Give Your Business a National Presence at a Fraction of the Cost

If you have a growing business, you might not be ready to hire additional phone support. Modern IVR’s are very affordable and you can select from the cloud or on-premise IVR. You’ll find that pricing for IVR systems is cost-efficient. There are a host of affordable pricing plans for businesses of all sizes. When considering IVR service, it’s an investment in your customers that can help to improve every experience they have with your organization.

When shopping for IVR plans, look for plans that are per month and not per minute. Larger businesses and enterprise businesses may want to get a custom quote. While smaller businesses may want to buy plans based on what they need and not bulk plans with features they don’t use.

Use IVR to Provide Customers with a Convenient Menu of Options

With IVR, customers can use speech and button prompts to reach the right department or get help with an order. It’s easy to set up a menu of options customers can choose from. That ends the dreaded sub-menus that left customers frustrated which increased churning and negative sentiment.

Speech recognition with IVR lets customers speak the account data they need to complete their transactions. Because the quality of service is similar to if the customer were on an actual call with a live agent, this improves the customer journey. They don’t feel abandoned on calls or frustrated with automated messages.

24/7/365 Support and Sales Help for Customers

An added benefit with IVR is that it’s a professional service that is always available. This makes it convenient for customers to want to call after-hours or in other parts of the world. They can always receive assistance and get the help they need. The voices used for IVR systems are clear and offer the best sound quality. When a customer doesn’t select a prompt, the IVR system can repeat the selections to help give customers more time if necessary. Or, they can repeat responses if the customer didn’t understand them.

Another advantage with IVR is that it doesn’t lead to hold times because every caller can be promptly assisted. There’s no wait time or elevator music to worry about. Customers feel more valued because they receive fast assistance and there’s no negative sentiment.

Final Thoughts

Having an IVR system in place can help businesses of all sizes help to address the needs of their customers. IVR technology can be programmed with a host of menu options to make it easier for customers to complete transactions or get the information they need. When customers don’t have to wait on hold, this improves call times and they have faster resolutions. This in turn, reduces negative sentiment and churning and thereby improves CXs.