A whopping 76 percent of consumers say that they view customer service as the number one indicator of how much a particular business values them.
Are you looking for a way to improve your customer service in 2020? Have you ever considered using IVR (short for interactive voice response) technologies?
Voice response systems have a lot to offer businesses of all kinds. A lot of people are on the fence about using these systems, though, especially if they’ve had bad experiences with them in the past.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about the benefits this kind of system has to offer for your business.
What Is IVR?
Interactive voice response is a type of software that makes it easier for customers to get help when contacting your business. Businesses most often use IVR as part of their customer service strategy. They may also use them for payment processing and marketing, though.
This software allows customers to use the dial pad of their phone to provide identification or get directed to the proper department. It also helps agents gather important information on the customer before speaking to them so they can provide assistance in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.
What Are the Benefits?
There are plenty of reasons why you might want to consider this type of system for your company. Here are some of the greatest benefits businesses report when they start using them:
Increased Rates of First Contact Resolution
IVR increases the likelihood that a customer will get directed to the right agent when they call your business. This, in turn, increases the likelihood that their problem will get resolved the first time they reach out for help since they’ll be working with the agent who’s most qualified to assist them.
When customers get connected to the right agent on the first try, fewer transfers are needed. As a result, problems get solved sooner.
Every business is looking for ways to be more efficient, especially on the customer service front. IVR makes this easier than ever.
Reduced Operational Costs
Not only does a great voice response system help your business to run in a more efficient way, but it also helps you to be more cost-effective.
When a customer has to get transferred several times before a problem gets solved, you’re able to help fewer people. This, in turn, leads to lost money for the business.
Let’s not even talk about how expensive it is to lose a customer altogether because they’re unsatisfied with the service they’ve received. Let’s just say that voice response can help you retain customers and avoid running into this problem.
Increased Rates of Customer Satisfaction
Speaking of customer retention and satisfaction, many businesses report seeing higher rates of both of these things when they start using a voice response system. Their customers are more inclined to continue working with their companies when their problems get solved quickly the first time they make contact.
IVR can help you to create a more professional image for your business. It helps you ensure that every customer gets greeted in a professional and courteous manner. It can help to add credibility and legitimize your business, too.
Easier Business Scalability
Finally, it’s easier to scale your business when you’re using these systems. With the right software, you can ensure that you always have the resources necessary to meet the needs of your customers and solve their problems in the quickest way possible.
How to Choose the Right System
If you want to enjoy the benefits of IVR and ensure your customers have a positive experience, you need to choose the right system. Follow these guidelines to find a good system for your company:
Consider Your Customer Interactions
Start by thinking about the types of interactions your agents have with your customers on a regular basis. What kinds of questions do they call with most often?
Answering this question will help you narrow down the types of features your software needs. It’ll make it easier for you to ensure it meets your customers’ specific needs, too.
Think About Ease of Use
Next, consider the ease of use. Often, when people complain about these systems, it’s because they’re not easy for customers to use and create confusion. To avoid this, read reviews and see what people have to say about their experience with a particular system before you decide to invest in it.
Ask About a Free Trial
In addition to reading reviews, it also helps if you can give a system a trial run before committing to it.
Test it out with a few agents to see how it works and how easy it is to get in touch with the right person when using it. Remember to think about your average customer and how easy it’ll be for them to use the system, too (if you serve a lot of elderly people, will they be able to figure it out with ease?).
Consider the Cost
Of course, money matters. Assess your budget and figure out what you can afford to spend on this software before purchasing it. Do this first so you don’t fall in love with a system that’s way outside of your price range.
Think About the Future
Finally, consider how you need your IVR system to grow and change along with your company.
Look for a system that’s easy to scale and adjust as your business grows. That way, your agents and customers won’t have to get used to a new system every year or so when your company outgrows the previous one.
Is IVR Right for You?
Now that you know more about the benefits of IVR, as well as how to choose a system that works best for your business’s specific needs, it’s time to begin your search.
Keep the information outlined above in mind, and you’ll have no problem choosing a system that satisfies your customers and meets your needs.
Need more help with finding ways to improve your customer service? Check out some of the other customer service articles on our site today.