Business sales are dependent on a variety of factors, among which customer satisfaction is one of the important parameters. No matter how innovative a product or service might be, if at the end of the day, a customer does receive satisfactory service or support, they will quickly shift to an alternative. Thus, markets today are not only driven by the uniqueness of a product but also by the quality of the customer service. Be it a simple request, a complaint or a complicated query, businesses need to offer quick redressal to enhance customer satisfaction.
Customer satisfaction can be improved through a variety of ways like round the clock availability, efficient call routing, timely query resolution and more. Interactive voice response (IVR) solution provides all the said benefits and ensures your customers receive the best service and are satisfied.
Using IVR, one can add automation and ease to the customer contact point model. Thus, potentially transforming businesses and driving sales. Before diving into the details of the innumerous possible applications of this technology, let us get a basic idea about it.
What is IVR?
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) also known as virtual receptionist or auto-attendant is a cloud telephony solution. It is used to automatically answer all incoming calls and greets callers with an automatic voice message. It gives callers various options and based on responses so received, directs the call to the appropriate team or live-agent.
Traditional IVR systems recorded responses only through the press of a button, however thanks to speech recognition technology; new systems can also recognize voice inputs. IVR can also act as a self-service tool and be used to conduct surveys and polls.
Prominent businesses understand the importance of IVR systems and use this tool extensively to automate their calling and make their customer contact points smarter. Various features of IVR like 24*7 accessibility, self-help tools, sticky agents and more facilitate businesses to offer top-notch service. Let us look at some of these features in detail and learn how IVR systems can boost customer service quality:
- Manage Multiple Calls
Consider a customer calling your company to enquire about your product, but finds a busy line or a tardy human response. This can hamper your brand image and drastically affect customer’s enthusiasm, in turn affecting the sales. IVR offers a ready-to-go solution enabling businesses handle increased call traffic irrespective of limited work force or expenditure capacity and ensures that customers would not have to face jammed lines. In addition, all callers are enthusiastically greeted with a pre-recorded message and are seamlessly connected to a live agent.
- Round the clock access
A successful business is one which provides its customers, service as per their convenience and availability. Hence, an IVR solution is necessary for businesses that want to stay connected with their clientele round the clock. Business hours or otherwise, the IVR system is always active and can provide assistance even when no agents are available. Such services help customers get support at any time and increase their satisfaction with the brand.
- Swift resolution with self-help tool
Customers today look for quick redressal and often choose to solve their issues without any assistance from live agents. Smart IVR design helps customers achieve just the same. It reduces wait-time for customers and decreases the load on individual agents, who may now optimally assist the other customers. This feature also enhances the trust factor of a caller towards the company, thus in turn increasing customer satisfaction.
- Intelligent Call Routing
Directing calls efficiently to the best agent as per the callers’ need is one of the most important requirements to sustain an engaging customer interaction. IVR systems intelligently route calls to the concerned agents based on a number of parameters, like customer response, past queries, agent’s skills and more. Such efficient routing measures ensure that customers do not have to wait for long periods of time and are satisfied with the conversation.
- Sticky agent and call barging/whispering
As a customer, we all must have encountered situations wherein we have had to repeatedly explain our queries to different agents or have received incorrect or incomplete information. Such experiences can be irritating and leave a negative image of the businesses. IVR solves this problem with sticky agents and call barging features. Sticky agents allow callers to get in touch with the same agent they had interacted with on their last call. This not only helps save time but also enables the agent to assist the customer better.
Call barging and call whispering are the tools used by managers or supervisors to listen in on an ongoing call. In case they feel some information is being missed out or want to add something extra they either can directly barge in on the call to assist the caller or can whisper to the agent the required pointers. These features ensure that the customers get the best possible solution in the least amount of time.
6. Call monitoring and personalization
Regular training and updating agents is necessary for all businesses. Call monitoring and analytics enable managers to get ready insights through actual customer-agent conversations. Using cues of previous conversations, managers can give productive feedback to agents and help them give improved service to the customers. Since all calls are recorded, it adds a level of credibility both on part of the customer and the agent. IVR also allows ready personalization based on demographic or region and offers assistance in customers’ native language. Efficient call monitoring and personalization significantly improve the quality of service and have a positive impact on the overall customer experience.
Summing it up!
Driving sales is one of the primary concerns of any business and competitive markets demand that each business must carve its own special identity. Developing customer relations and investing in quality service is one of the most effective ways for the same. Customers today look for engaging mediums to interact with businesses and wish to get instant assistance as per their convenience. Interactive voice response empowers businesses while offering ready-to-go solutions for the same. It is packed with a plethora of features which, when used effectively, can radically improve customer satisfaction and skyrocket business sales.
Guest article written by: Rohan Malkotia is a digital marketing expert. Currently he is working at Servetel communications, a leading cloud telephony service provider based in India. In his leisure time he enjoys reading novels and playing soccer. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.