A hosted IVR (interactive voice response) is an interactive business phone system operated through a third-party or cloud-based platform. Callers are presented with a menu of options. Based on their input, the call is directed to the correct department.
Now, if you are a small business owner, you might wonder if you need cloud IVR software. Ask yourself this: How many calls does your company receive? How well does your business meet the needs of callers? How much time do employees spend answering basic questions? If the answers to these questions leave much to be desired, you should consider a hosted IVR solution.
Not yet convinced? Here’s why your business needs a hosted IVR solution.
Customers value their time and don’t enjoy long call wait times. Installing a hosted IVR solution can significantly reduce the volume and length of customer hold times. When customers have to wait, IVR systems can make the experience pleasant with on-hold music that matches your customers' preferences.
A well-designed IVR menu also allows customers to perform simple self-service tasks like scheduling appointments, tracking shipments, or checking account balances. What’s more, it can help provide 24/7 customer care. Pixels by Mouse, for instance, noted that with Yodel, they could have one centralized number that customers from anywhere in the world could call to get their concerns addressed.
You can also add a FAQ option to your IVR panel to answer basic questions like business hours or location. It frees up your employees to resolve more complex customer queries.
Different data is collected, processed, and stored during customer interactions with your computerized phone system. For example, some IVR systems ask you to do an email verification or ask for the last four digits of your social security number before rendering service
But more importantly, some IVR solutions like Yodel collect the information you can use to improve the performance of your IVR setup and business processes. This information includes full call transcripts, call duration, the time and date of a call, the user who made or picked up the call, phone numbers (contacts) involved in the call, and call recordings.
If, based on call transcripts, for example, the employee was unable to deliver what the customer was asking for, you can train employees and upgrade their skills.
Many hosted IVR solutions come with automatic call distribution (ACD). This ensures organization when a customer calls. To understand the benefits of ACD, let’s break down the process.
When customers call, the IVR identifies the reason through menu options. Advanced IVR systems with intelligent routing use factors like location and language to transfer callers to agents best equipped to handle their queries. Let’s say your US-based firm has outlets in Mexico. The ACD uses caller ID to route the call to Spanish-speaking agents.
The ACD also sorts callers into waiting lists. It determines the order of the cue based on status, waiting time, and query type. VIP customers, first callers, and complex queries are prioritized over regular customers, recent callers, and common questions.
It can also route phone calls according to routing rules. If you want to minimize call wait times, the simultaneous distribution alerts all agents, and the first available agent handles the call.
With these routing features, you can ensure a smooth-sailing call process that ultimately ensures your customer’s concerns are addressed.
Customers are essential drivers of growth and success. There’s no better way to learn what your customers want and expect from your business than by asking them. IVRs surveys help you do that.
IVR surveys are a series of pre-recorded questions that users answer by speaking or pressing a number on the phone keypad. IVR customer feedback is administered either through post-call surveys or to volunteers who call specifically to participate in the survey.
The graph above shows that IVR surveys generate high response rates. Of those who responded, more than half completed surveys.
To make your IVR survey successful, here are a few tips to follow:
The more precise your questions are, the more accurate the feedback.
The best part about inbound calls is the intent shown by the caller. In other words, potential customers calling your business want to buy from you. IVRs help you take advantage of incoming calls to convert leads to customers.
They do this by routing leads to the right destination. Accurately routing leads enables sales teams to respond while the purchase intent is high. For instance, businesses like EHM Washington use Yodel’s call screening feature to establish the caller’s intent and connect them with the correct agent. Leads turn cold ten minutes after the first expression of interest.
The second way IVRs optimize lead conversion is with content marketing promotions. The customer is already on the phone, so why not use this opportunity to introduce new products and services or offer discounts on existing ones?
IVRs also increase conversions with payment processing. For instance, you can include IVRs in your SaaS marketing strategy. Let’s say customers receive a text about the expiration of their streaming subscription, allowing them to call in and make credit card transactions increases the chances of conversion. You want to make it convenient for leads to make the final step by giving them options to convert while purchase intent is high.
IVR systems account for most customer calling experiences. They help businesses better serve customers both during and outside business hours. Hosted IVR solutions operate in the cloud environment, minimizing IT-related operational costs and enabling access from anywhere in the world. This article looked at five benefits of cloud IVR software.
IVRs improve the customer experience with shorter wait times and 24/7 access to simple services. IVR analytics identify the causes of problems. IVR solutions also reduce human error by automatically segmenting and routing calls to the right destination. They aid in collecting customer feedback and optimizing lead conversion.
Hopefully, we’ve convinced you how your business, big or small, can benefit from a hosted IVR solution. Get started today
Owen Baker is a content marketer for Voila Norbert, an online email verification tool. He has spent most of the last decade working online for a range of marketing companies.
When he’s not busy writing, you can find him in the kitchen mastering new dishes.