Telnum is a provider of interactive voice response (IVR) services. Business IVR system greets your callers with the professional welcome greeting.
|Conditional call forwarding on two directions + IVR (one recording)||FREE of charge|
|Voicemail service||FREE of charge|
|Repeated IVR recording||5|
|Complicated IVR-tree recording (recording + configuration)||15|
|Conditional call forwarding (from 3 to 5 directions)||10|
|Conditional call forwarding (6+ directions)||30|
|IVR with extension dialing (up to 5 numbers)||15/month|
|IVR with extension dialing (6+ numbers)||20/month|
|Black" and "white" lists||20/month|
|To set Schedule for automatically forwarding calls||10/month|
|Extension dialing (up to 5 numbers)||10/month|
|Extension dialing (6+ numbers)||20/month|
What is IVR and how does it work?
This question might be occupying your mind and somehow, may sound overwhelming. However, don’t be confused.
IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response, meaning it is a telecommunication system that allows humans to interact with computers during a phone call. Depending on the input (customized keypress) made by the caller, the call will be redirected to the right person or right department.
Since the emergence of this technology during the 80s, it has already been adopted by many big businesses. However, it was only in the earlier part of the millennium when IVR technology became affordable to small and medium enterprises and people started to ask, “What is an IVR?” And in our present days, IVR becomes a part of many businesses across the globe.
Why Did Businesses Start Using IVR?
Businesses started using the IVR system when they realized that it efficiently helps them by allowing customers to serve them quickly without human intervention through an automated process.
During the 80s, it is common to observe communication between customers and businesses through traditional phone calls. It means that inquiry, purchase, or complaints are settled through a phone conversation. However, this traditional kind of communication is done with a team of individuals who act as receptionists, which would greet their callers and answer their inquiries.
As communication technology continues to evolve, businesses found out that this method of dealing with customers is inefficient as well as cost-expensive at their end.
The reason for the high cost is because small businesses need to hire additional employees to be assigned as receptionists, or individuals whose main duties are to answer calls and inquiries.
With the existence of IVR service, this kind of traditional communication is being eliminated now. Aside from the fact that it significantly saves company time and money, it also provides a quicker and more efficient way of service for everyone.
What is a Typical IVR Experience?
With an IVR system, businesses have the freedom to set up a welcome message to the caller followed by a menu of available options. This set of options is extremely beneficial for businesses since it provides prompt to callers and all they have to do is to press the assigned key for the person or department they want to reach.
A typical example of this is booking a flight schedule. The first time the customer calls their travel agent or airline ticketing office, they will be greeted by an IVR followed by a series of prompts that are customized. And when they press the certain number they desired, they will be immediately rerouted to the right person.
To make things more precise, here is a more vivid explanation of a typical IVR experience. The first time someone calls your business, an IVR will greet your caller and there is no need for any human intervention. After the greetings (e.g. “Welcome to the ABC Company…), a customized prompt will be heard by the caller (e.g. “Press 1 for balance inquiry. Press 2 for the billing department. Press 3 for other concerns…).
Once the caller pressed his desired button, they will be immediately redirected to the right department or appropriate person.
Benefits from Using an IVR System for Business
Unknown to many business owners and entrepreneurs, many benefits come along with an IVR vs. voice forms within an organization. To name a few of them, we compiled below the benefits and advantages of an Interactive Voice Response.
→ Reduction of Operational Costs
We cannot deny that a business needs to be cost-efficient for it to gain stable financial momentum, especially during this situation. With an IVR system, you don’t need a human receptionist to wait and answer incoming calls from your clients or customers.
IVR eliminates the need for this by acting as your virtual receptionist. Aside from the fact that it increases the company’s efficiency, it automatically redirects all calls to the right department at a swift pace.
→ Increased Company Efficiency
Don’t you know that IVR can certainly increase your business’ efficiency? Since it acts as your virtual receptionist and manages call transfers in a highly systematic way, your employees, over some time, can improve their performance.
Thanks to IVR’s call monitoring and call recording features. With these added-value features, you and your staff can sort things out such as updating any weak spots in your business or improving the quality of a particular aspect.
→ Higher Customer Satisfaction
Your customers’ experience will pave way for their complete satisfaction since an IVR call-in process can solve their issues or problems much faster and more precisely than human intervention.
IVR effectively increases first contact resolution. By saying this, it only means that almost all the time, callers are redirected to the appropriate person who is skillful enough to address their concerns. Thus, IVR eliminates the possibility of transferring the call to another department or person.
→ Improved Consumer-Brand Relationship
With an IVR, there would be no more unanswered or missed calls. With the proper customization of your phone system, your customer would surely be completely satisfied, leaving a trace of positive feedback in favor of your business’ brand/s.
→ A Holistic Approach to Customer Experience
A holistic approach means looking at a person as a whole. In the business industry, it means that addressing your customer by considering their physical, emotional, and mental needs.
This kind of approach can be visible if you conduct surveys where you can easily analyze your customers’ interests, likes, and dislikes, locations, etc.
Uses of IVR
Businesses nowadays simply upgrade their phone system by shifting to an IVR communication service upon realizing that IVR has various uses for their businesses.
- Intelligent Call Routing
As mentioned above, the IVR system intelligently and precisely transfers a particular call to the right department or person in your organization. As a result, it eliminates any human interaction that sometimes takes time to determine who or where to transfer the call. IVR simply increases first contact resolution.
- Extended Customer Service Hours
Your IVR system lets you have a virtual attendant 24/7! So, even if you’re already out and someone calls to inquire, the system can efficiently manage the call with its detailed and step by step instructions.
- Payment Processing
With an IVR system, automating payment transactions is normal to use. Aside from outbound collection calls, it is also possible for customers to call into businesses and obtain their billing information or balances in their accounts.
Although IVR systems that provide this kind of feature is more expensive than those that don’t have, many businesses still prefer this feature since it is still considered lower than hiring human customer service agents just to process payments.
- Appointment Maker and Reminder
It is possible to configure your IVR system when it comes to scheduling and changing appointments. Besides, you can also remind your clients or customers of recent appointments or just inform them about any changes.
- Phone Surveys
Phone surveys are very important for a business especially if you are running a marketing campaign. This will let you know how satisfied your customers are with your service or analyze which marketing campaigns are needed to be scaled up or down.
- Password Reset
This is very important if you want users to be authenticated before access. This will also give them the freedom to change passwords in their accounts for security purposes.
Alternatives to IVR
There are certain features that you can choose as alternatives to IVR. All of these add values to your business while building a positive image to your customers.
- Automated Attendants
Much like an IVR system, an automated attendant automatically greets callers and redirects the incoming calls to customized extensions, voicemail inboxes, or phones.
Consider auto attendant as a less advanced IVR since it cannot connect data in outside business software.
- Call Screening
This kind of feature is found in almost all phone systems. What they do is automatically greet your customers and ask for their identification such as name before forwarding them to your mainline.
Although it doesn’t have the advanced features that you can find in more advanced phone systems such as the routing capabilities, call screening could still be helpful especially if you have a small business and want to establish more phone presence.
- Automated Call Distribution
ACD system, as it is known, answers incoming calls then redirects them accordingly. However, there are certain criteria before an ACD module routes the incoming calls. Among them are the caller’s location, nature of their call, and their languages.
How Does Visual IVR Streamline Business?
Since IVR has more detailed routing process, you can easily streamline your call method for your customers and employees through the following features:
- Personalized Customer Interactions
An IVR system can provide a faster resolution process for your customers. The effort to free up live agents is being automated in an IVR. As a result, your agents or employees can resolve issues with customers who have more urgent concerns.
- Self-Service Options
This kind of feature is very helpful to your customers since most of the time, they can resolve their concerns or issues on their own without even talking to a customer.
Customers can read the options provided by the IVR and most of the times, they find what they want to, resulting in better service and satisfaction for your customers.
- Convert to Omnichannel
IVR allows modern users to reach their favorite brands through their smartphones, mobile apps, and desktops. This only means that these users can complete the IVR procedure at their time without giving a negative impact on an agent making outgoing calls.
- Improve Security
Giving out your personal information is a critical thing to do. But of course, you have to when a particular business needs your sensitive information. With a visual IVR, you don’t need to speak out that information of yours that might put you at a security risk.
Since most customers want to feel secure, IVR is a good thing to have since it utilizes encryption to protect your customer’s privacy.
- Eliminate Wait Times
It is indeed an undeniable fact that the IVR system significantly reduces wait times while your customer is on a queue. Thus, letting the call go quickly with an efficient and faster resolution that will result in customer satisfaction.
- Visual IVR Grants Businesses more Credibility
This is a result of the self-service option that a visual IVR system for small business can provide to your customers. And even if you have a small business or startup, it would eventually have a higher level in terms of credibility compared to others who didn’t adapt to the visual IVR system.
Every business aims to succeed and expand its horizon across the globe. However, few still find it hard to accomplish.
The fact that modern phone technology offers advanced phone solutions in today’s communication problems is a wonderful opportunity to grab.
Here at Telnum, we provide a cloud-based phone system that includes IVR to enhance your business presence and reliability. If you still have questions or concerns regarding Interactive Voice Recognition or IVR system, feel free to reach out to us and our technical specialists will be happy to assist you.