|By Viola Allen||
|February 21, 2014 09:21 AM EST||
IVR or Interactive Voice response is a communication technology which helps the customers to establish an interactive session with the hosting system of an enterprise through the keypad of a phone or via speech identification. After having done this, they are free to put up their inquiries as mentioned in the IVR menu. IVR system can work with either a prerecorded audio file or with an instantaneously generated audio file. Users gain access to these files and proceed further. IVR is becoming popular in communication via VoIP and SIP Trunking.
An IVR system comprises of:
- A telephone equipment
- Sustaining infrastructures
- Applications and Software.
IVR plays a major role in the following:
- Call forwarding in a call center
- During polls and surveys
- In routing of calls within the office
- In banks while managing account balance and monetary transfers
- While looking for some centralized information
- While planning for movies, etc.
Interactive Voice Response is a very useful development and a very important boon to businesses that are planning to magnify their image among the rest of their competitors. IVR also helps them out by simplifying their delegation and transfer procedures making their management easier. It also helps in increasing the output and efficiency of the company along with an elevation in customer satisfaction. IVR also helps in saving money, thus generating more revenue.
IVR has the ability of routing the calls of customers to the exact destination and the exact agent who can help them out immediately. This feature of IVR helps is saving a lot of time of both the customer and the call center executive. Besides this, IVR is skilled in managing basic transactions like common sales and services, customer inquiries, information gathering, and support calls being made to the respective company.
The technology of IVR is highly advantageous for the customers, company executives, and the company itself. But this is only possible when it is setup properly. However, if setup improperly, it will only lead to the devastation of your business. Improper setting will lead to the generation of criticisms among the customers, by and large.
Here are following tips and practices which, if followed, will help in generating praises for the IVR among the customers:
1. Restrict the Options available to your Customers
It is a general human behavior that each one of us gets frustrated if we have to wait in a queue. Similar is the case with IVR. A customer is bound to get annoyed if he has to hear a long list of IVR queue which has plenty of options, followed by limitless levels. Your customers will definitely feel happy and jubilant if your IVR system is short and crisp. Besides this, he will be pleased with the limited options from which he has to choose. The calls will be completed earlier, thereby saving the money of the calling party. This will bring in more customer satisfaction.
2. Make sure that you have provided an option of direct contact with the Customer care executive
It is a general practice with most of us that we do not admire to speak to a computer. Most of us generally want to talk to a customer care executive. Not only this, in many cases there customer inquiries which do not fall in any of the categories. In such situations, there must be an option for the customer to step out of the IVR queue and have a live conversation with a customer care executive. This will help in building up a strong camaraderie between your business and customers.
3. Try to offer the most familiar options initially
Most of the time, the customers make a call to the company in order to enquire about their bills and service options. Making such queries as the initial options in the IVR queue will not only save the time of the customers but will also stimulate them to be associated with your company for a longer time.
4. Try to train all your executives or employ only those who are well-trained
Customers call a company only when they are facing any problem and want to solve their queries. In order to escape out of such situation, they wish to speak to executives who have sound knowledge of their respective fields. They will get disappointed if they come across an executive who is not well-versed with his subject. This will lead to the generation of negative image of your company.
If you want to find out how effective your IVR system is, try to witness it yourself. If you yourselves find it boring and tiresome, then it is very much possible that your customers will also have the same feeling. You can also set up an IVR survey at the end of the call in order to find out how you can improve the effectiveness of your IVR service.