IVR, or Interactive Voice Response, is a common feature provided by hosted IVR solutions providers. In fact, IVR is a standard component of nearly all VoIP PBX systems available today. In modern business, nearly 95% of all corporate communications are answered (or at the very least attended to) by some form of IVR system. Major corporations, financial institutions, department stores and government agencies rely on the solutions provided by IVR consulting to tend to incoming voice traffic. This type of automated answering solution not only saves time and money, it also delivers a uniform and professional message to customers. IVR menus are perhaps one of the easiest ways of improving customer service and expediting the customer assistance process.
Industry Tips from IVR Solutions Providers
- Enlist professional assistance when recording IVR greetings and prompts. Electing to work with a pre-prepared script and a professional ensures that the recording is clear, high quality and conveys the highest possible impression, increasing the likelihood of customers viewing the business as professional.
- Avoid lengthy or exhausting IVR menus. Callers should not be presented with too many options. Doing so will increase the probability of confusion – resulting in an annoyed customer who would rather hang up than wait on the line for a live operator.
- Provide no more than 5 IVR options. Customer appreciate simplicity. They want to be routed to the correct person or listing as quickly as possible, do not keep them on the phone waiting for a lengthy list of choices – they will hang up and call someone else.
- Use IVR menus only where necessary. This means at call entry points only. IVRs should be used where they can save employees time on repetitive tasks and where they can properly assist callers. The majority of IVRs used are used the manage the top five daily queries of customers (example, business hours, location, department listing, etc)
- Create and store IVR scripts. IVR scripts should be kept and updated as business needs change. Scripts are often altered to include special business announcements, to inform customers of events, etc.
- Pick hold music carefully. If using hold music, select popular and positive music that will engage with callers as they wait. Businesses may also choose to play pre-recorded business announcements, upcoming product info, or other relevant information to educate callers and make them aware of upcoming events.
- Utilize unique phone numbers for various departments. Selecting unique phone numbers, in conjunction with customized IVRs, allows businesses to separate callers and respond in a more efficient and practical way.
Practical IVR Solutions
Many different types of business situations will benefit from the use of IVR, whether that be in cost savings, time savings or by increasing customer satisfaction.
- Hotels and the hospitality sector
- Banking and finance
- Technical support, helpline and other hotlines
- Telecommunications providers
- Travel and tourism
- Market research companies
- Call centers