What is Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Technology in a Call Centre?

Interactive voice response technology is capable of being beneficial for your team and your customer service. Here’s our guide to how it works and how you can use it to your advantage…

When your call centre is experiencing high volumes of calls and customer service requests, interactive voice response technology can provide much-needed relief for your team along with your valued customers.

In this post, we’ll explore the meaning of interactive voice response technology and how it can improve your customer experience…

What is IVR?

We all know that customers want as much help and advice as possible on a self-service basis. Things like voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) make this possible on an interactive basis, but it isn’t the only tech available to facilitate improved customer service.

Interactive voice response (IVR) is an automated phone system technology that allows incoming callers to easily access information without needing to speak to a human operator.

This reduces the demand for live agents to redirect calls to the appropriate departments. However, it doesn’t eliminate the usefulness of your call centre team since they will have more free time for complicated customer service issues.

IVR allows you to utilise the menu options available through touch-tone keypad selection or speech recognition, allowing businesses to focus the tech on answering common customer queries without the need for interaction from customer service reps.

How do IVR Systems Work?

IVR works by providing the caller with recorded voice prompts that will ask them to state their reason for calling. They will then be asked to either press a button or give a specific verbal response corresponding to their reason for calling.

The response can then be used by the system to route the customer to the correct information or an agent if they require one.

For example, if your customer needed support about a recent purchase, they would hear a series of choices such as “Press one for sales support, press two to speak to an agent”. They would then press one on the keypad which would direct them to the correct route for their customer query.

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Benefits of Interactive Voice Response for Your Customers

IVR technology makes it easier for your team to solve specific problems and, as a result, meet the unique needs of customers.

So, what other benefits are there for your loyal customers?

With reliable and easy-to-use IVR, customers are less likely to be routed to the wrong department or to somebody unable to solve their issues quickly and efficiently. This means they will be less likely to have a frustrating experience where they don’t get the answers they need straight away.

Customers are directed immediately to the agent or department that is most capable of meeting their needs. Not only will this reduce AHT, but it will also reduce the likelihood that customers will need to transfer to different departments.

Automation simply streamlines customer service. Customers can effectively solve their problems and gain the information they’re looking for without needing to speak to an agent. This means your agents have more time to handle complicated queries resulting in better productivity and results.

 

Benefits of IVR for Your Call Centre

 

Cut operational costs

Like conversational artificial intelligence, IVR can reduce the cost of your customer service strategy alongside increasing customer satisfaction.

It can replace receptionists and agents that would usually need to redirect customers to another department or agent, cutting the cost of your customer service as fewer resources are required to do the same job.

Increasing affordability, efficiency and ROI are just some of the benefits this technology can offer your call centre.

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Reduce the risk of mistakes

Rather than putting your team through their paces, and sometimes wrongly directing customers, you can automate the routing. Therefore, your customers are less likely to experience customer service mistakes as they should automatically be sent to the correct department based on their needs.

How to Use IVR to Your Advantage

Now you know how it can help your customers to get a better experience, you’ll need to know how to effectively implement it within your call centre. To help your business get the most out of IVR, here are some top tips to remember…

Configure personalised IVR messages and prompts

Customise your greetings, messages and prompts to give your customers a more personalised experience when they call your customer service team. If you do this well, you’re guaranteed to improve brand recognition and overall company image.

Use pre-recorded IVR messages

Your IVR provider will likely have a bank of pre-recorded messages for you to use. These are appropriate for highly professional settings but compromise on personalisation, so you need to decide on your priorities before choosing whether to use your voice or the pre-recorded ones.

Collect info and data about the callers

The tech can collate information about customer needs and use this to transfer calls to the most appropriate agent or department depending on the IVR input. This means you can easily figure out what your customers want and better predict their needs.

Prioritise calls based on the value

High-value calls need to be met with high-quality customer service. When all your agents are busy, but you have customers that require your attention, your IVR can fast-track them to the front of the queue. You’ll never lose a high-value customer again due to slow answering times or poor customer service.

Keep your IVR menu simple

Option menus should be kept to four or fewer if possible and shouldn’t have more than two levels of options. Start with the easiest, high-volume services and you can build from there.

Ensure you aren’t overloading your callers with too many options, as this will make their experience longer than it needs to be.

Looking for customer service that really speaks to your contacts? Gnatta makes interactions matter, delivering quality exchanges and quicker responses that meet your customers’ expectations. 

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