Customer service is an important differentiator and competitive advantage to a business. Even in 2018, many customers prefer to contact support teams via phones than other means. No matter the industry, every organization needs specific systems to handle incoming and outgoing calls. VoIP phone systems have made significant inroads by fulfilling this needs. However, deploying IVR systems can take your customer service to the next level!
IVR systems allow you to automate call routing and other parts of routine customer calls. IVR is not just for large corporations though, even small businesses can benefit from using one. In spite of rising customer expectations regarding the service experience, many managers and business owners continue to overlook the potential of IVR systems.
How Can an IVR Help You?
A major trend in customer service is enabling customers to serve themselves. Established industries like banking and airlines have successfully adopted self-service models in various areas. For instance, you can check your account balance or check in to your flight without any human intervention. These tasks wouldn’t be possible without IVR systems.
Automate Routine/Mundane Tasks
The reality of customer service departments is that a significant portion of customer service calls don’t actually need a human agent to answer them. Why do you need a person to look up data like outstanding bills or office hours for various locations? Such tasks don’t require the adaptability and problem solving skills of human agents.
An IVR can serve customers calling your company to find out trivial information like holiday hours, sales, reward programs or account statements faster than agents. This, in turn, frees up your valuable human agents to deal with more complex service issues.
Optimize Identity Verification
Privacy and data security are huge concerns for businesses and consumers today. It’s the reason you’ve to jump through hoops and identify yourself before the service rep will answer your question. IVRs can automate this process so that your agent has all the information they need even before answering the call. Callers don’t have to wait either, they can input their account number or other verification data while on hold or waiting in the ACD queue for the next free agent.
Prioritize Incoming Calls
It’s not unusual for service departments to have agents with different levels of experience and knowledge. Some companies even have specific teams to handle high-value customers or to serve a particularly large business client. You can use an IVR to determine if a caller needs a trained agent with their issues and route them accordingly. You don’t have to bounce callers around from person to person because the first agent doesn’t have the tools to help them. Never lose a valuable client due to long wait times or poor service levels again!
Obtain Customer Feedback
Most organizations use an IVR for incoming calls only. However, these systems can streamline outbound calling as well. One such use is for collecting customer feedback through polls or surveys. You can reach out to current, past, and potential clients for feedback and criticism. You can implement an IVR script to poll customers about your products, services, or marketing campaigns. In fact, many customers may be more honest with their responses when they don’t have to worry about hurting someone’s feelings on the other end!
Reduce Cost per Minute
Companies spend a lot of time and money to train and staff service agents. Every minute an agent spends on collecting information or performing tasks that could be automated is a waste of resources. You can reduce the cost per minute of a service call by using an IVR system in several ways.
For instance, the IVR can handle routine tasks decreasing the number of calls agents have to handle in the first place. Next, the IVR can collect information from the customer like the type of issue they’re having or the product that’s giving them problems and route them to the correct agent. Finally, the system can help verify the identity of the customer by asking for an account number, PIN, or other data.
The best part? All this happens while your agents are solving bigger service problems for other clients! An employee enters the call only at the point where a human is needed. It means you need fewer workers to improve customer service levels.
Create a Good Impression
While some customers may complain that IVR systems are impersonal, most people appreciate the convenience. Quite a few consumers would be happy to complete their transactions without having to talk to a person! Besides, just having an IVR systems projects a professional image. This can be a valuable tool for small businesses, entrepreneurs or boutique stores to survive in a competitive landscape.