What is an IVR and when should I care?

So, what is an IVR? Sounds like a complicated health care procedure, but in reality IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response (IVR), and depending on your particular needs, might be very important for your customer support.

An IVR makes life easier for your inbound callers. It allows them to select an option from a voice menu of pre-recorded options by using their keypad or speaking. So instead of waiting on hold for an eternity and being passed between departments, the caller can more efficiently reach their destination.

So the question is, should you care about IVR? Well that really depends on your business and goals, so let’s dive in and enlighten you with three reasons why you might.

Having Multiple Teams or Departments

Does your company have multiple teams or departments? Let’s say one for billing issues and then one for product issues? Cast your mind to when you’ve needed customer support. Was it infuriating when you’d be passed on by agent to agent as there was no way to get to the right place efficiently?

Look, customers want their problems solved, but their time is also precious. If you have multiple teams trained to provide support in one specific area, an IVR can give your inbound callers quick access to that specific person. Using a voice menu of pre-recorded messages, you can prompt the customer to press or speak “1” for billing issues or “2” for returns. Almost like magic, the customer gets to their destination in no time - We hope!

Providing Information to Customers in Advance

Think back to the last time you called up customer support and was on hold for 45 minutes + when you could have been spending precious free time elsewhere. Well, an IVR can solve this.

Are your customers currently facing long wait times? Not ideal, but lets make it better for them by playing a pre-recorded message and informing them of long wait times. Let’s go one step better and use the IVR to allow callers to arrange a call back by pressing or speaking an option. This is just one of many examples of how you can use an IVR to provide advance information to customers and save them precious time.

Collecting data

No, we don’t mean go full Zuck here and learn every facet of your customers and their deepest darkest secrets, but learn their behaviours within the context of your customer support offering.
Using an IVR can let you collect information about the callers chosen option. Whilst this might not be relevant when you are just starting out, it’s extremely useful moving forward or if you already have a large volume of calls. It can allow you to:
  • Learn what the biggest issues might be for your customers - For example they might be selecting an option related to product returns 50% more than any other area.
  • React to seasonal variations - Have you just released a new product that is suddenly causing more support queries? Using an IVR and collecting this data can let you react quickly to this by allocating more resources to that specific team/issue or providing extra training if needed
  • Providing information to agents - An IVR can be used to ask a caller to enter their account number or phone number as an example. Pass this information onto the agent to prevent the caller having to repeat themselves as well as making the process quick for both agent and caller
  • Use data to iteratively build your support team - It’s much better to make decisions based on data rather than gut instinct. Having this information available can allow you to efficiently build your support team without misallocating resources.

The craziest thing about this all, rather coincidentally, Cordless does all of this, seamlessly! Use the link below to see if we can help you out with your IVR needs - Trust me we can.