Why Small Businesses Should Use IVR Services?

Before mentioning why IVR services are important to small organizations today, it is important to describe what IVR services actually are.

What are IVR (Interactive Voice Response) services?

So many times you hear ‘Welcome to XYZ company’, ‘Press 1 for this’, ‘Press 2 for this’ and so on…

Do you know what is it?

It is actually an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) service.

The Interactive voice response system is a combination of database and some sort of infrastructure. It enables users to communicate with companies’ database playing pre-recorded voice prompt. This recorded message provides callers with multiple menu options in form of digits where they can reach by pressing or touching numbers on their phones’ keypad or touchpad. As soon as caller touches any number the system directs him/her to a particular department of company or portion of database. In this system, users communicate with a computer and get all the required responses.

This is an automated process for executives’ interaction with customers in order to fulfill their requirements. It is a less expensive telephony system. Some small organizations can’t afford the financial pressure of executives dealing customer services, to them IVR service is like a boon.

Benefits of using IVR services

There are so many reasons behind why small business must have a call management system. It is not only a cost effective solution but have major importance in converting a business into brand. Below are some top reasons that tell the significance of IVR service.

  • Increases reliability of business

Whenever you enter into any shop, hotel, restaurant or office, which point affects you most at first sight about these places? Infrastructure, right? The beautiful and fascinating infrastructure gives you a positive vibe and set your mind accordingly. Whereas a home based company might shake your trust somewhere.

Well, the IVR services do the same thing in business. Distributing personal numbers for professional purpose doesn’t leave a good impression and sometimes can make people confused too. But using an IVR service is a smart way to project an authentic business and increases its reliability.

  • Customers can get services anytime

Human being need some time for rest to re-energize themselves as they are not machine and can’t work continuously. But, your prospects or customers can’t see you taking time to relax and their problems might arise at any fine moment. Here none other but automation solution works best. Holidays, small lunch breaks or any other likewise reason when callers don’t find executives to resolve their issues. But, IVR services are 24/7 service that communicate to callers any time. For the first instance, this might seem you off-putting but it has spread its wider importance among many big organizations and this is the reason small companies are tending towards it. Another big reason is its cost-effective property that saves company’s’ huge investment on manforce dealing with customer problems.

  • A good support to mobile customers

In the trend of increasing digitalization, people are absolutely stick on to smartphones, laptops and many other electronic devices to accomplish any small task. Shopping through mobile has become trend now and people take very less time to choose and make transactions for their desired items. In such cases IVR service has great significance to resolve customer queries related to products or services. Since these services are available round the clock so whenever users find free time, they can clear their doubts.

  • Personalized system

Nobody knows about your business better than you. As it is already mentioned IVR system uses a pre-recorded message prompt, so, you can make your own recording with the number of options that your business is offering. The recording message reflects an image of the organization means what your organization is intended to do and how it can help and fulfill customers’ needs and wants. As a business you’re providing solution for problems, so you can project a better script for what callers would love to listen.

  • No error issue

When receptionists have to attend more than thousands calls in a day, there might be a possibility that couple of calls can be directed to wrong department or person. But, in case of IVR services, for any incorrect activity only the caller will be responsible. Whatever digits the guest presses, the system directs the callers to the concerned department only. Thus, IVR system is an error free service. Read More..

 

6 Reasons Why IVR Phone System Lead To Growth In Business?

Many businesses don’t have enough resources to hire employees who can interact with the customer on phone 24/7 and serving customer satisfactorily pre and after sales is an important business decision. And if suppose you plan to answer the call on your own, it becomes difficult for you to answer every call and solve their query.

Now, this problem is not huge which cannot be solved. With an IVR phone system you can attend your customers call in no time and provide every assistance they need.

What is an IVR Phone System?

Interactive Voice Response is an automated telephony system that connects with the callers, collect the required information and routes the call to the appropriate recipient.

This is a great way through which you can connect to a number of customers in no time and make them feel great. With this system, you can reply your customer through recorded spoken words or generated audio which plays automatically when a caller calls you.

How does an IVR Phone System Works?

Your IVR system is like the front door of your business. It is the first thing people see about your company and know you through this system. Your IVR should be well scripted and well-versed so that caller doesn’t indulge with problem while interacting.

An IVR phone system works by connecting a computer through company’s telephone line. Customer calls you, the call is answered not by a receptionist but by an electronic receptionist. For which, it require a voice behind the phone which is recorded and played when a caller calls the number.

Let’s see what an IVR says when a caller calls a company:How An IVR Works

IVR : Welcome to ________ Company. Press ‘1’ for English, Press ’2’ for Hindi, Press ‘3’ for Tamil and so on.

Caller : Presses ‘1’

Then,

IVR : Press ‘1’ for Sales, Press ‘2’ for Technical Support, Press ‘3’ for Billing, For more information about our company Press ‘4’.

Caller : Presses a number what he is looking for.

.

.

IVR : Thank you for calling in _______ company. Your call is very important to us.

And this ends a call, providing your caller all the relevant information he needed.

With a great IVR Phone System, you can able to generate more Leads.

Lead generation is demanded by most of the companies and an IVR system helps your business to grow by providing a unique fancy voice which your caller listens when they call you. A good IVR phone system can definitely bring you more business and increases your goodwill.

Check out the top 6 reasons that why an IVR phone system leads to growth in business.

  1. Never Misses a Call – Business is on the Go

The business is becoming competitive day by day. The day you start to plan a business, you will see thousands of same companies are already established with the same business. Then, how to survive in the competition? What new things to try to face it? What happens if your phone is switched off and an important phone call arrives? Well, all this can be solved if you have a great interaction towards your audience you can survive even the toughest competition.

An IVR phone system helps you in interacting with your customer through a recorded telephone system. And which helps in communicating with the audience even if you are unavailable at the office, or in evening time when the office gets closed.

  1. Provide Better Customer Service

An IVR phone system helps in providing you better customer service. How?? Well, if a fancy recorded voice welcomes your client from the other end of the phone, he will feel that he is being better attended to. In no time the recorded voice gives the reply of the question the customer asks for and making him to build the trust.

The reply from the recorded voice is clear and concise which help caller to just follow the instruction and making it easy for both you and your client.

  1. Enhances Your Company’s Image

Your company’s image needs an upliftment especially if you are a smaller company. An IVR phone system allows your company’s clients listen to a fancy recorded voice which creates a brand image of your company. And also it is not possible for a receptionist to attend all the calls of the caller and making it simpler to attend all the calls.

For bigger companies, it fosters a professional image by maintaining the brand that the businessman has established on the long-run.

  1. Phone Numbers are For Life

The IVR phone number you are using now is your lifetime phone number. You can move your office to any other location but your phone number remains the same irrespective of where you are located. It is just a one-time investment on your number and there you go, all the year, all the life.

Your IVR number will move along your business, no hardware, no software, as easy as your email.

  1. No Error in the Call

A recorded voice does not allow any type of error when your client calls you and makes your client’s call go smooth. Using an IVR makes your call error free when compared to a receptionist.

When a number of calls come and your receptionist picks the call, it is natural that your receptionist might forget some information to tell or may not pick all the calls and make callers wait on the phone line but with an IVR phone system, a virtual receptionist picks the call on which the IVR message is recorded and thus making the call error free and go smooth.

  1. Wider Reach Of Customers

An IVR phone system makes your customers call easy by making it available to a wider range of audience and reaching out to every single person. If you have your customer worldwide and you talk to them on a daily basis, then an IVR is a great option for you. Use of an IVR can enhance your customer experience by reaching to each one of them.

An IVR phone system is definitely a boon to your business leading to growth. It is helpful in enhancing your customer experience when they make a call and also build trust in your company.

Make the right move, when choosing IVR phone system !!

Also read : 6 Things you should keep in mind to reap the maximum benefit of IVR.

6 Things You Should Keep in Mind To Reap The Maximum Benefit of IVR

Despite the fact that it has been proved to be a cost-effective solution, time-saver and a great tool to improve efficiency, IVR has been used so poorly by the businesses that reaping even half of its benefits would not be possible for them. Given here are the six best practices that give you the optimum benefit of it.

Keep it Simple, Easy and Clear to Use:

Put yourself into the shoes of your customers and just come to think of this! Would you like to press a lot of buttons and spend a long time on your phone? Obviously no. so, make your IVR as simple as possible and useful to the customers. The more simpler you make it, the better it would be.

Keeping the Decision Tree Shallow Helps:

The thumb rule of keeping IVR system works but you should make very sure that the options you keep on the branch should be less than 3 or less. More options as well as the customers both have to wait and they can get overwhelmed which in turn may lead to their forgetting the earlier options. Making trees deeper than the 3 branches can make the callers feel trapped and the whole system will prove to be futile.

Keep it Refreshed:

Like any other thing you use, your IVR also needs periodic attention so that it can stay optimal and you reap its optimum benefits. If you do not refresh the IVR system periodically, it would not be updated as per the needs of your callers. So, make a plan to review periodically and keep on updating IVR every 3-6 months.

Keep the Option of Reaching the Live Agent Open:

Being trapped in an IVR system as a caller is very disgusting. So, there are many companies that have to give callers the option of reaching live agents when they require. If the IVR system you have installed addresses the concerns of the callers properly then an agent would not be needed. However, if any caller needs a live agent he should have the option to do so.

Use the Words Rationally:

Directing callers to the company’s website to get their problems resolved is stupid because in all the probability, they have visited your site before reaching to you. So, suggesting them to go back to the site is stupid.

Avoid Giving Marketing Information During a Call:

Do not give up to the temptation of marketing during phone calls. Callers dial the number to make queries and selling at that time is going to nag them. So, better avoid it. Most of your customers view it as a complete waste of time.

IVR can prove to be one of the most powerful branding tools only if it is used wisely. If you want to create a positive impression of your company in the minds of your customers, start following the above given six practices and get the optimum benefit of it.

Why your business need an IVR

business-ivrIVR is an interactive voice response that is automated by the computer system and allows people to connect with the computer’s database, that can be via emails, fax etc., usually it is the telephone.

We all are aware of the concept of the call centers… Do we..??
‘Press 1 for sales’,’Press 2 for marketing’… Yeah..?? Remember..?

The IVR service firstly deployed in the 1970s for the use of call centers, but it was too expensive and with the complicated technology.
Now it’s being a decade later that the technology became more affordable, cost effective and able to used with voice recognition.
Voice recognition helps your customer to collect information without wasting their time with prerecorded messages in detail.

For Example: If you call any operator’s (such as airtel, vodafone, BSNL, idea etc.) customer care and want to know about your balance and validity then IVR helps you to reach the particular destination of information and with the help of the computer’s database, and the voice recognition feature, announce your balance details with validity (if applicable).

IVR is of two types, usability depends on the demand:

  • Inbound IVR: use to automate the calling answering process.

For example: ‘Press 1 for DTH’,‘Press 2 for the Internet’,‘Press 3 for other assistance’ etc.

  • Outbound IVR: use to take the feedback from the customer.

For example: After solving the customer’s query, you can make an automated IVR call to the customer and ask ‘Press 1 if you are satisfied or Press 2 if you are not satisfied.’

Why only IVR?

Grab every call

Your every call is an important one as your customer. You may miss a big order call but now you will never miss any call whether your phone is switched off or not with you for some reason. IVR services give you a list of all the customers who called you and whose call was missed.

Intense fight

There are many companies are in hurry to grab the attention of the customers but unfortunately, they fail because of the low budget.

Although the multinational companies don’t give attention to the individual customers but they use large marketing budget and images to grab their attention to them.

But what about the small businesses, what should they do…??
They do not have the high budget and have any image in the market too.
The IVR services are not less than a boon for them. Now they can provide all type of customer service in their low budget.

Enhances company’s image

You undoubtedly want to impress your caller and convey a big company image but you do not want to expense too much like a real receptionist. Through the IVR services, you can handle the calls for multiple departments and project a professional business image by providing the extension for each function.

Location doesn’t matter

No matter where you are, you can manage the call routing to your home, mobile or any other number. Enjoy your convenience and never miss your crucial phone call too.

MIS (Management Information System)

Don’t worry..! If you are out of papers. IVR services come up with call logs, call recordings and notifications features for each call. Now you do not have to remember what details you gave to each of the prospects.

Number ends with your business

Suppose your business grows and you want to move your business. But if you are dealing with your customers by your regular phone numbers, what would you do now..? You may call each and every customer and inform about the relocation…. Don’t you think it’s going to be very hectic and impossible..??
The IVR services give you a solution for this, now your number will never change doesn’t matter what is your office location.

IVR services are all about No Hardware ! No Software ! As Easy as your Email 🙂

Things to be kept in mind while choosing IVR

Things to be kept in mind while choosing IVR

It has become a common practice for the companies irrespective of sizes to rely on IVR systems to handle large volume phone calls and assist customers with their needs. When your business has decided to implement IVR Solutions, there are a number of factors to look for. The IVR will be numerous callers’ first connection with your company. However, a poorly designed system could do a lot toward making it their last!
Choose an IVR That Can Be Personalized

You expect your agents to provide personalized service to your customers, so you should expect the same from your IVR. Creating customized greetings, messages and prompts, your customer service will be kept at an intimate level.

Focus on the Menu Options

One of the important aspects of your IVR system is the menu options. You should avoid overwhelming callers with many options. Meanwhile, present options in the least complicated way.

Keep It Simple

Use short phrases for menu items and prompts to avoid losing your caller’s attention. If your IVR message will be Simple and Short it will grab your Customer’s attention and make your IVR sound good.

Clarity in Voice

While selecting IVR for your Company you should keep in mind that the IVR recorded should be clear and audible . The voice notes should not be too high or too low. Voice should be recorded at same levels.

Know Your Audience

When choosing IVR software, make sure you have a handle on the target market that will be using your system.Taking your customers into consideration when selecting your IVR software – and optimizing its configuration – will help to ensure that they find it helpful and effective.

Test your IVR

Once you have your IVR configured to perfection, it is time to take it for a test drive. Start by testing your entire IVR structure yourself and taking note on any areas of friction, gaps in options, redundant information, or menus that don’t allow the caller to speak with an agent. Once you have any issues set the selected IVR.

How to make a perfect IVR Script

How to make a perfect IVR Script

If you are running a business and your company has an IVR system that means first impression is of your Company on most of the Customers or Clients will be from your IVR script and the way that script is presented. Aside from having a professional voice over artist a perfect IVR script is very important so that your caller have a good experience. Your IVR System is like the front door of your business  it’s the first thing people see and the first impression callers get. It’s also a crucial part of your customer communication. When coupled with well written voice prompts the IVR system helps callers navigate your phone system and reach an agent efficiently.

Here are some steps you can follow while writing IVR scripts…

Greet Your Clients

The first thing to be kept in mind while writing a perfect IVR script is that the start should be from greeting your Customer and your IVR script’s opening line should be as pleasant and professional as if you were shaking hands with a new client or business partner for the first time yourself.

Keep It Short and Sweet

The most important thing to be kept in mind while writing a IVR script is Keep It Simple and Short .The time your caller spends navigating your menu is not just their time, but the time you could be more directly engaging them in a more meaningful way. We can all get frustrated with IVR prompts that seem long so in order to keep your callers focused on the menu options you are offering, try and keep your prompts economical.

Simple and Catchy Words

While writing IVR scripts we should keep this thing in mind that the words should be Simple and catchy so it grabs customer’s attraction at once. Such as Company’s name, Department’s name and Operator Extension.

I am sharing a sample Of IVR Script so that it is easy for you design a perfect IVR

Script for your Company

“Hello and thank you for calling *Your Company Name*. If you know the extension of the person or party you wish to reach, please enter it now.  For sales, press 1. For technical support, press 2. For billing and payment inquiries, press 3. For more information on our company, press 4.To speak with a live representative, press 0 at any time. To repeat this message, please press 9.”

According to your need you can change the Script accordingly. They don’t just offer a service by routing callers to the right department or person efficiently. As these IVR scripts give your business a professional image. That’s why it’s really important that you know how to write an effective IVR script.

 

Things not to be done with your IVR messages

Things not to be done with your IVR messages

Interactive Voice Response(IVR) is a technology that allows a computer to interact with humans through the use of voice and touch-tone telephone keypad inputs.

IVR technology do not require human interaction over the telephone there is a pre recorded message which do act as Virtual receptionist and when somebody calls the call is attended by the customer. The prerecorded message is known as IVR.

IVRs allow your customers to solve their own problems and obtain the information they are searching for without speaking with an agent. Automated customer service made simple.

IVR systems allow companies to easily handle high call volumes. Callers will automatically be directed to the agent or department that is most capable of meeting their needs or will wait in a queue when all agents are busy. Some IVR systems allow the caller the option of having an agent return their call rather than wait in a queue.But there are some points which has to be taken care of before selecting IVR messages.

It Should Not Be Lengthy

IVR should be kept short and to the point so that Customers don’t waste their time and if the IVR is lengthy Customers don’t even want to listen for long. You shouldn’t overload the caller with lengthy pre-queue introductions and lists of things they should have to hand. The best thing is keeping the IVR short and simple.

Don’t Provide Unnecessary Menu Option

It is very important not to provide unnecessary menu option. If several options lead to the same place, dispense with them and your callers will be a little happier when they do talk to you.

Clarity in The Voice

The IVR recorded should be clear so that Customers should understand what exactly is being played . If there will be any problem with the recording in terms of clarity it will spoil your Brand Image and obviously.

Speaking Too Fast Or Too Slowly

Don’t speak too fast or too slowly. Make sure you keep your messages at a pace that everyone can understand.

If you speak too quickly in your messages, customers may not get all the information they need, and they will get frustrated if they have to listen to the message lots of times as they haven’t heard the information correctly.

This is particularly important if you are giving a phone number. At the same time, don’t speak slowly, as customers could lose interest.

Forgetting to provide an exit route

You shouldn’t forget to give customers an exit route. It can be easy to select the wrong option or go through and find you’ve just not selected the most relevant, at which point it’s too late and real frustration can set in.

There has been innovation in the IVR market, and there is good technology available from on-premise and cloud-based vendors. But companies that want to succeed with voice self-service today must continuously invest in their application to ensure that it’s meeting customers’ ever-changing needs. Always you should keep these point in mind if you are thinking about selecting IVR services for your Company.

 

Reasons why IVR is important for your business

Reasons why IVR is important for your business

Interactive voice Response (IVR) is a technology that allows humans to interact with the computers using recorded voice . IVR allows customers to find answers to their own inquiries by speaking (using the company’s speech recognition software) or giving inputs via a telephone keypad. Customer calls in your company. Call is answered, not by conventional receptionist but by an electronic receptionist, an automatic attendant. The answer your customer gets is, “Welcome to ABC Company. Dial the extension number of the department or person you want to reach” by a recorded voice. And thus it goes on giving you options.

For example, banks and credit card companies use IVR systems so that their customers can receive up-to-date account information instantly and easily without having to speak directly to a person.

Service is available 24*7

While it may be cost-prohibitive for many organizations to staff phone lines outside of regular business hours, an IVR can take messages or provide automated information so that the caller might be able to self-service. For example, if a caller simply wants to know about the package was shipped, the shipping information could easily be delivered through the IVR, even at 4:00 in the morning, and the caller would never need to speak to an agent nor call back during business hours.

Cost Reduction

Through IVR you can control your expenses and that money can be utilized in some other service or product. Company can save a large amount of money by not requiring to pay employee to take calls.

Call Recording

One of the greatest benefit of IVR is that it gives recorded call to the management with all the details. It helps the management to understand the customer reactions and their needs. It will help to understand why most of the customer call your organization. It will give an idea of most preferred product or service by the customers. Accordingly you can devise strategies to market your less preferred products.

Personal Branding

When a Customer calls you the call will automatically be answered with an introduction of your Company. For Example “Welcome to ABC Company we are happy to help you”. They will experience your brand voice and that will be followed by a customer friendly option to connect to their desired department. So through Toll Free Numbers you can give a good branding to your business.

The goal of most IVR systems is to allow customers to serve themselves by automating the calling process. The technology uses either touch-tone or speech-recognition technology to answer customer questions, handle their requests or point them in the right direction, all without having an employee speak with them directly. A successful businessman is the one who reaches out to the audience, leaves a lasting impression and continues to engage customers and as your business is different why not present it in a different way to the audience.

Use IVR and give your business a unique identity.

6 Things You Should Keep in Mind To Reap The Maximum Benefit of IVR

6-Best-Practices-of-IVR
Despite the fact that it has been proved to be a cost-effective solution, time-saver and a great tool to improve efficiency, IVR has been used so poorly by the businesses that reaping even half of its benefits would not be possible for them. Given here are the six best practices that give you the optimum benefit of it.

 

Keep it Simple, Easy and Clear to Use:

Put yourself into the shoes of your customers and just come to think of this! Would you like to press a lot of buttons and spend a long time on your phone? Obviously no. so, make your IVR as simple as possible and useful to the customers. The more simpler you make it, the better it would be.

Keeping the Decision Tree Shallow Helps:

The thumb rule of keeping IVR system works but you should make very sure that the options you keep on the branch should be less than 3 or less. More options as well as the customers both have to wait and they can get overwhelmed which in turn may lead to their forgetting the earlier options. Making trees deeper than the 3 branches can make the callers feel trapped and the whole system will prove to be futile.

Keep it Refreshed:

Like any other thing you use, your IVR also needs periodic attention so that it can stay optimal and you reap its optimum benefits. If you do not refresh the IVR system periodically, it would not be updated as per the needs of your callers. So, make a plan to review periodically and keep on updating IVR every 3-6 months.

Keep the Option of Reaching the Live Agent Open:

Being trapped in an IVR system as a caller is very disgusting. So, there are many companies that have to give callers the option of reaching live agents when they require. If the IVR system you have installed addresses the concerns of the callers properly then an agent would not be needed. However, if any caller needs a live agent he should have the option to do so.

Use the Words Rationally:

Directing callers to the company’s website to get their problems resolved is stupid because in all the probability, they have visited your site before reaching to you. So, suggesting them to go back to the site is stupid.

Avoid Giving Marketing Information During a Call:

Do not give up to the temptation of marketing during phone calls. Callers dial the number to make queries and selling at that time is going to nag them. So, better avoid it. Most of your customers view it as a complete waste of time.

IVR can prove to be one of the most powerful branding tools only if it is used wisely. If you want to create a positive impression of your company in the minds of your customers, start following the above given six practices and get the optimum benefit of it.

5 Common Business Problems Solved by IVR

Six-Best-Practices-for-Interactive-Voice-Response-Ziffy

Gone are the days when pre-recorded prompts are used, today smarter companies are cashing on technology and using IVR to improve customers’ relationships. Let us have a quick look at how this interactive voice response solves 5 commonly faced business problems.

Problem 1: Your Customers Are Going Unheard:

Since IVR is the interaction of humans with machines, so whenever customers call you,they can reach you irrespective of time and then the calls are forwarded on the cellphone numbers of your sought after departments. This means you are available 24X7 for your customers and they can reach you any time of the day.

Problem 2: You Lack Adequate Manpower:

You do not need any for handling calls! With IVR, you do not real receptionist. IVR can handle a huge number of calls efficiently. So, checking account balances, enquiring about the business locations  or checking about available products become easy. Moreover, real manpower is error prone and cannot work as efficiently when there is a huge call flow.

Problem 3: People do not Know You:

You are new to business or virtual and hence you face a difficult time because people do not know you. IVR creates a positive impact on the minds of callers and give them the impression of your being a big company having multiple departments.

Problem 4: You can not maintain good customer relations.

IVR solutions can be personalized to please your customers. It is good to be addressed by your name. This lets your customers feel valued and helps you build a bond with your customers. The companies with customer centric approach make sure to use IVR.

Problem 5: Your products or services lag behind in the market:

Know why this happens? This happens because you are grossly unable to collect feedback. The IVR surveys are conducted on a large scale to provide customers with just the kind of products/services they need.