What Is IVR and How Can It Help Your Business?

Do you want to save both your customers and your employees' time each business day? Then you'll need to spend less time on the phone.

According to a 2015 Consumer Reports study, 57% of people disconnected the call without waiting for a resolution after having to deal with long wait times. Even worse, 75% of people stated in the survey that they were "highly annoyed" with their experience with long wait times on the phone, which is where IVR might come in handy.

This means that if you need to put your customers on hold during the business day, you can be damaging your relationship with them and even your ability to communicate with potential leads. Read on to learn all about IVR and how it can help improve your business for the longterm!

1. What is IVR?

2. Benefits of IVR

3. Improving Your Business With IVR

What is IVR?

IVR stands for interactive voice response. In business, you'll find this refers to a whole host of software-based communication solutions. IVR can be as simple as the ability to automatically route customer calls through recorded voicemail messages.

IVR can also be as in-depth as CRM integration that keeps track of calls and can also enable customers to process bills without speaking to a human.

Benefits of IVR

Now that you know what IVR is, you can probably already see the benefits it can provide for both customers and your business.

1. Richer Experiences

A great benefit of IVR is that it provides your customers with better experiences while they're on the phone. For instance, visual IVR gives customers visual menus in order to navigate to the person they wish to speak to. This can be invaluable for hard of hearing people. Some IVR systems even allow text-to-speech capabilities in multiple languages.

IVR is also a great experience for customers on-the-go using mobile phones.

2. Saving Time

One of the main benefits of IVR is that it saves everyone time–both your employees and, most importantly, your customers. Your customers won't grow impatient because they won't need to listen to long menus that don't apply to them. They can simply skip the options they don't need.

Customers can easily be routed to the agents they wish to talk to, while your employees don't need to spend valuable time re-routing phone calls to other departments. Even better, customers that don't have time to wait can request a callback instead.

Employees won't need to deal with irate customers, while customers will feel that their time is valued by your company.

3. Improved Employee Experience

Agents will feel far more confident when the calls being routed to them match their roles correctly. They won't need to spend their valuable time trying to decide whether they're qualified to take a call or not. Through IVR, specific prompts will help route customers to the proper agent.

You'll find that the productivity of your agents increases as they're able to answer and quickly resolve calls that they're trained for.

4. Reduced Costs

You'll find that investing in IVR will reduce your overall costs. This is because the customer won't need to call as frequently as answers to their most common questions can be programmed into the system. Even better, agents will spend less time on the phone as IVR streamlines their workflow and makes taking calls more efficient.

5. Improved Lead Conversion

If you have multiple calls coming in and multiple people on hold, you can imagine the number of leads you're losing simply from the lack of manpower. Furthermore, you may not have the budget in place for a dedicated sales team that reaches out to new customers.

By pre-qualifying people with a few quick questions, IVR can automatically route people to a live sales agent. Even better, with fewer people on hold, your agents will be better able to serve and discuss the company's products or services with interested leads.

IVR can also be used for marketing purposes, such as to alert potential customers to a new sale. Car repair shops, dental offices and other service-based businesses can also utilize IVR by sending out automated appointment-reminder calls or texts.

If your business is in the medical field, you can also confirm if automated texting is HIPAA compliant.

6. Improving Your Brand

You'll find that investing in IVR will improve your brand and your relationship with clients. IVR enables you to customize phone greetings and prompts so that you naturally create an engagement strategy that matches where a customer is on their customer journey.

By customizing your prompts and greetings, you can ensure that customers who call your company are encountered with the same brand voice that they're used to instead of a default one that may come across as cold.

7. Business Scaling

IVR solutions are great because businesses of all sizes are able to use them. You can pick and choose the services that you need right now. As your business grows and develops, you have the option of increasing your service options. Even better, integrating cloud-based APIs into existing systems is usually a simple and straight-forward process.

Improving Your Business With IVR

IVR, or interactive voice response, can help your business in more ways than you initially realized. With its efficient routing, you'll be able to save both your employees and customers valuable time and energy that's often wasted from being held up on the phone.

Even better, the improved experience that your customers will enjoy will build your relationship with them and improve your brand as a whole. If your business is just getting started, IVR is a flexible system that scales with your business.

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