What is an IVR and what benefits can it bring to any business?

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Interactive Voice Response is essentially what produces the “Press 1 for customer service, press 2 for…” response when calling a company. However, the system is much more than a way to automatically direct customers to the right caller, it’s a system that can record calls, have a multi-language response, queue management, and many other benefits. Below are some examples of benefits that IVR can bring.

Cost savings

IVR encompasses automation. From the way it manages the queue to responding to the customer with pre-recorded messages, IVR ultimately means you need to spend less money on live operators in your customer service team. Labour costs are one of the major concerns of businesses and are often the reason why customer service falls short. But, an IVR system is a way to meet customer expectations without it being too labor-intensive.

Furthermore, it’s also cheaper to start up a customer service system this way through SaaS than it is to implement a system of your own. The initial investment is minimal.

Efficiency and scalability

The efficiency that this provides is profound and as a result, it gives greater scope for scalability. For example, it’s much easier to go from 10 calls a day to 1,000 because the system is equipped to handle this. It may require a slight upgrade in the SaaS subscription, but the infrastructure already exists, you just need to rent it.

The queue management system is a good example of being able to take more calls. Depending on what the customer says or presses, it can determine where in the queue they should be. This can benefit high-value customers, but it also means that the same number of customer service personnel can handle a greater number of calls.

Data collection 

IVR is designed to collect and store customer information in a more helpful way. This data can be stored and analysed later in order to improve operations. For example, it may be possible to see which geographical location the complaints are coming from, and thus easier to pinpoint issues in operations regarding proximity (i.e. late deliveries in certain towns). 

Customer service

Such a focus on data means that IVR can also use CRM data from incoming calls to help determine the response to their needs. For example, if the CRM claims their first language is French, it may send them to a French-speaking operator.

Ultimately, faster customer service that has better queue management, better responses, and multiple languages will always result in a better customer experience. It’s a misconception that cost-cutting implementations in a business will result in a drop-off in quality. In this case, IVR can improve customer service, sales, and goodwill, all whilst reducing labour costs.

Final word

IVR is a good example of the value of SaaS solutions. A simple monthly fee that scales with usage means that it’s exceedingly cheap to get started and implement, and benefits from great security and economies of scale, all whilst providing incredible services in an instant. Plus, support is often much easier when contacting IVR providers than traditional phone providers.

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