What is IVR? Interactive voice response (IVR) is a technology that lets Callers interact with call center systems via voice input or keypad without the help of a live agent. This enables callers to navigate through your company menu and quickly reach call resolutions. IVR technology is useful for both self-service and for the quick transfer of callers to the appropriate department/agent for their inquiries. It’s a cost-effective way to significantly boost efficiency within a company. The following are just some of the biggest benefits an IVR system provides to a call center.
5 Benefits of IVR Call Center
1. Improved first call resolution
First call resolution is an important metric in call centers and a crucial element of customer relationship management (CRM). As the name suggests, the term refers to a call center’s ability to resolve a customer’s problems and/or questions on the first call with no required follow up.
This metric is used to gauge customer satisfaction and loyalty. It is also a good indicator of agent efficiency and the overall performance of a call center. An effective IVR system will raise this metric by ensuring that customers are always directed to a qualified agent who will be unlikely to transfer their call.
2. Increased agent productivity
Agents who work at a company using an IVR are able to spend more time training for specific issues rather than having to constantly address basic inquiries that could be handled by an automated system. They will be less likely to have to consult with colleagues or a manager or to transfer the call to another agent.
3. Reduced operational costs
An IVR system can replace a front desk clerk or agent who would otherwise have to direct all of a company’s calls, which frees up resources. They can also allow companies to rely on fewer agents in their call centers because the automated system can handle all basic inquiries. IVR systems themselves are also generally quite affordable.
4. 24/7 access
IVR systems are able to handle customer inquiries at any time, so they’ll no longer be limited to business hours. They also have immediate service instead of having to wait for a person to pick up. These factors can make all the difference between a returning customer and a frustrated one.
5. Increased professionalism
An IVR system will always greet callers in a polite and professional manner. They can also make a small business seem like it has more departments and people, which can raise a company’s credibility in the customer’s eyes.
Types of IVR System
Depending on your company’s goals or business strategy, you may find that you have a greater need for a traditional IVR over a conversational one or vice-versa. This will essentially determine how a caller interacts with your system.
A traditional IVR system will provide callers with a menu of options they can choose from to reach the next step in their journey. A conversational IVR will instead allow callers to speak naturally to describe their issues. More advanced systems will use artificial intelligence and speech technology to more closely resemble the experience of talking to a human.
Regardless of which option you believe would be best for your company, a good IVR system will give you options for adapting it to your business strategy. You’ll be able to control how callers are prompted to input information and how the system provides its responses. You’ll even be able to customize scenarios such as high priority customers being automatically routed to the best resources for their needs. An IVR system is a relatively low-risk, but high reward investment that can immediately improve any call center.
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