“Please press 1 for this… Press 2 for that…. Please dial 3.”
Chances are that you, as a customer, have already heard these words on the phone when contacting customer service. This particular system that you have heard is called IVR.
Interactive Voice Response (or simply IVR) is a telephone technology system that can route customers to their recipient with a set of menu options that they can navigate. It is a fairly common and widely used contact channel as it allows its customers to navigate a number of options in their menu so that they can reach their desired contact without much qualms.
A plethora of businesses such as healthcare, education, travel and tourism, finance, and insurance industries make use of an IVR system, either basic or advanced, to cater to the inquiries or concerns of their customers.
The usual process of IVR systems
Here is a sample scenario common for most IVR systems.
When customers’ calls connect to the interactive voice response or IVR system, they are first greeted by a prerecorded or automated voice. After listening, they can choose options from the menu depending on which recipient or department they want to be connected with.
Many businesses benefit from having an IVR system to help them. Self-service IVR systems are a godsend to contact centers. A quick scope can tell us that it helps contact centers automate customer service processes, therefore reducing hold times and boosting the contact center agents’ efficiency. After all, a significant chunk of load is taken off their backs.
In addition, it is a surefire way of gathering caller information and routing calls to the right recipients or departments. Not only does it enable excellent customer service, but it also reduces the costs needed for operating.
How does a self-service IVR system in a contact center work?
You might be wondering how in the world an IVR system works.
Firstly, it gathers information coming from callers. After doing so, the system then proceeds to route those calls to another number. These systems work with DTMF tones or touch tones from a telephone.
Recently, contact centers have adapted to the future and have IVR systems that can gather inputs from callers speaking. In other words, IVR systems are now equipped with AI and voice recognition features.
Benefits of having an effective, self-service IVR system in contact centers
There are a number of known benefits in having an IVR systems – regardless if the system itself is basic or advanced. Examples of benefits include the following:
Businesses saving up more money. In the past, contact centers needed to hire a handful of agents that forwards their callers to other extensions. As a result, businesses tend to spend more in hiring agents to operate without a hitch. Data from Forrester suggests that an agent costs 6-12 dollars while an IVR system having automated responses and interactions only cost 25 cents; that does not even hold a candle to the former!
Efficient customer service. You can do a lot of things to make your customers stay, but it is safe to say that efficient customer service is one of the top priorities in making sure they do. Remember, customers want what they called for given to them in an instant! Dilly dallying is not an option when dealing with customers. They want their questions answered and issues solved in a jiffy. IVR can make all of these possible. It can attend to customers’ concerns and quickly direct them to extensions that can help solve their issues or address their questions with utmost efficiency. And, most importantly, it can increase FCR or first contact resolution. FCR accounts past calls that were “dealt with accordingly” on the first call or interaction. Automating to the right recipients means efficient call routing, which leads to better customer service. Modernizing customer experience with technology is the way to go!
Save lots of time. Aside from providing a more efficient customer service, the self-service IVR system in contact centers also aim to lessen and save time. As mentioned above, the IVR system allows customers to find the right recipient or department they want to speak to quickly. Additionally, frequently asked questions or FAQs can be answered without the need for agent intervention. So, even if the business is already past business hours, customers or callers can still inquire. And finally, the IVR system can be programmed to provide necessary information such as FAQs, directions and extensions, and contacts.
The self-service IVR system in contact centers is improving day by day. Businesses should keep in mind to enhance and maintain their systems for efficient customer service, lessened costs, and time cutting. With AI and voice recognition features on the rise, customers will only become more satisified with businesses’ services.
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