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The Complete Guide to Using Interactive Voice Response for Your Business

May 23, 2022 No Comments

Featured article by Russell Emmental, Independent Technology Author

Compy Lady 300x200 The Complete Guide to Using Interactive Voice Response for Your Business

If you’re looking to optimize how your business runs and improve your team’s productivity, you may have heard about interactive voice response systems. For companies getting a lot of call traffic from customers, this technology should certainly be a top investment to consider.

But what are these systems, and how can you best use them for your business? Check out this complete guide and discover everything you need to know about interactive voice response systems.

What Is Interactive Voice Response Technology?

Interactive voice response (IVR) systems are automated phone systems that interact with customers and can direct calls to departments or employees. When customers call a business with an IVR system, they are directed to the automated system rather than directly to a representative.

Intelligent IVR technology gathers information about the customer’s reason for calling and needs. Based on this information, they can help the support process go more smoothly and direct the customer to the right support representative the first time.

How Interactive Voice Response Works

What your IVR system looks like exactly will vary by the provider. However, there are some basics of any IVR technology that you’ll have across the board.

First, you’ll be able to personalize the customer call experience. You can record an intro that customers hear when they call and then provide menu options or allow them to share some basics of why they’re calling.

Basic IVR is a way of sending customers to the representative they need. However, more advanced IVR systems use AI to allow the customer to communicate more freely with the software.

You can also create an FAQ option. This will address the most common reasons customers call and allow them to get find a solution as quickly as possible.

If the FAQ doesn’t address their needs, they’ll be directed to a menu. This menu will have several options which will depend on your business. The choices could be to contact specific departments or take them through a system to take care of their own needs.

The Benefits

This may just sound like fancy software, but the benefits could make a real impact on your business’s daily operations. Here are just a few to consider:

- Provide an Immediate Response. The system answers immediately and assures customers they’re being heard — an essential benefit in today’s market.

- Increased Credibility. Every customer will receive the same friendly, on-brand greeting.

- Self-Service Options. Customers can find quick answers to their questions, even when an agent isn’t available. Some customers even prefer software over speaking with people.

5 Tips for Using Interactive Voice Response for Your Business

1. Keep Intros Concise. An intro should let the customer know that they’ve reached the correct business and welcome them. If it’s longer than 10 seconds, you’re wasting your customer’s time (and they’ll know it).

2. Make Recordings Sound Natural. This will make the experience more enjoyable for the customer.

3. Give Customers Some Control. Don’t keep the customer waiting through a long list of menu options to choose the first option or run them through an FAQ when they need to speak to a representative.

4. Make Menu Options Simple. Options can get more specific as customers move through the menu, but limit choices to 3 to 5 at a time.

5. Popular Choices Should Be First. If most customers call for one reason, you’ll keep most customers happier by making that choice the easiest to find.

Once you have followed these tips and worked to improve your customer’s experience, the most critical steps are testing and collecting feedback. Use the critiques to optimize your system further to create the best possible experience.

Make the Most of Your Business’s Technology

Think this technology could be just the thing to take your business to the next level? Take advantage of IVR systems and see how they help your team.

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