Can Your Business Benefit From Voice Broadcasting?

Can Your Business Benefit From Voice Broadcasting?

What is Voice Broadcasting?

Voice broadcasting is a mass communication technique that started in the 1990’s. It’s purpose is to broadcast telephone messages to hundreds or thousands of call recipients at once. This technology has both commercial and community applications. Voice broadcasting users can contact targets (whether they’re members, subscribers, constituents, employees, or customers) almost immediately.

How does it work?

Voice broadcasting phone software manages a database of phone lists as well as digitized phone messages. Using analog, digital or VoIP telephony components, these computers can simultaneously broadcast thousands of phone messages. Personalized information can be included in the phone messages through the integration of text to voice software.Voice broadcasting allows you to instantly send interactive phone calls with ease while managing the entire process right from the Web. Instantly send alerts, notifications, reminders, political calls, get out the vote – GOTV – messages, interactive polls or surveys with ease right from the Web. Your nResponse account guides you through the process of recording and storing your messages, managing your call lists, scheduling delivery as well as viewing and downloading real-time call and caller key press results.

How can IVR Tech Group’s Voice Broadcasting software help you?

Voice Broadcasting from IVR Technology Group enables your company to automatically send interactive phone calls, emails and SMS messages. You can opt to do it yourself using our robust web-based portal or have our staff take care of the details for you. Any industry can use our outbound calling technology for a variety of solutions.

For instance:

  •  Emergency alerts
  •  Notification calls
  •  Reminder calls for appointments or overdue payment
  •  Political calls such as Get Out The Vote
  •  Interactive polls and surveys
  •  Health assessment calls
  •  Generate leads
  •  Promote events
  •  Provide order status updates
  •  And more

The person on the other end of the call will want to know what’s in it for them. That’s why we make uploading easy. Your message can be customized to give it that personal touch and get your audience’s attention quickly and effectively.

To learn more about how nResponse can benefit your business contact us or download our free white paper here.

10 Simple Ways IVR Systems Are Used In The Insurance Industry

10 Simple Ways IVR Systems Are Used In The Insurance Industry

According to a recent report from CCC Information Services, communications technology is the driving force of change for the insurance industry. If you’re customer is wondering how they can get a new policy, or how a repair can be completed faster, an IVR Systems capability is wide-ranging. In order for insurance companies to be competitive, they need to be able to deliver quality customer service while maintaining costs. IVR systems allows for insurance companies to reduce expenses without sacrificing quality. If you’re looking to cut operating costs, and improve customer satisfaction, you should really consider implementing an IVR into your insurance company. Here are the top ten way insurance companies are utilizing IVR systems to their advantage:

1. File a Claim

Claims are entered faster with an IVR. That is to say, when the customer identifies themselves the system allows the customer to register the type of claim. The call is transferred to a live agent later on to process the claim.

2. Claim Status

An IVR allows customers to hear an update on the status of a claim. For example, customers can call in to hear:

  • Type of loss
  • Effective date
  • Who reported the claim
  • Adjuster’s contact details
  • Payout amounts and dates

3. Payment Reminder

Once you verify the caller is a customer, you can easily notify them of an upcoming payment and have the option to be routed to an IVR payment system.

4. Find Locations

Policyholders can listen to a list of locations, that can help them, based off of their type of claim. For example, a customer with an auto claim can find a body shop. A customer that has a non-medical emergency can find a doctor.

5. Account or Policy Information

Customers call the system to retrieve information on account, balance, payment due amount/date, coverage provisions, etc.

  • Policy status
  • Effective date
  • Expiration date
  • Activity date
  • Coverage
  • Deductible

6. Policy Updates

In short, customers can call to learn about their existing policy or request changes to their policy.

7. Find an Agent

An IVR allows customers to find the agent closest to them. By connecting to an agent, they learn more in depth about their desired coverage in their area. (Home, Life, Auto, etc)

8. Investment/Annuity Fund Transactions

An IVR system allows customers to hear their existing investment balance, transfer funds, learn current rates, etc by simply entering the customer’s account identifier and password. The system can be enhanced with speech recognition software that identifies the caller, creating a more secure environment.

9. Rate Information Line

Callers can request rates for bundle packages or compare rates with other insurance companies. In addition, a sales agent can provide further information.

Furthermore, IVR systems can integrate with a credit card authorization gateway. A gateway facilitates online payments by taking the submitted form data and presenting it to the processing bank.

10. Proof of Insurance

A customer’s policy is sent on demand. All things considered, this is quite handy if a customer is trying to buy a car. Of course, the IVR can allow them to enter a fax number and have it sent.

Also, if you are a customer or insurance agent and have an inquiry about a policy, would like to submit a claim, need to make a payment to your account, or want to initiate a refund, simply dial into your insurance agency’s toll-free number. Soon, an intelligent, accurate, and efficient IVR system, guides you through voice prompts, enabling you to enact account changes instantly and retrieve policy information without delay.

IVR Systems Enhance Caller Experience While Saving Insurance Companies Money

In conclusion, the number of inbound calls from customers seeking some sort of information on their policy, or how to file a claim is overwhelming. If you don’t have an IVR system, it’s likely that a live customer service agent is answering your inbound calls. By deploying a customer self-service strategy via IVR, insurance companies can dramatically cut costs, not only in their call center, but also in overall operations. By offloading simple, repetitive transactions to IVR systems, insurance companies have the ability to take agents and call center staff out of the loop and, as a result, significantly reduce the size of their call center.

 

How To Handle Inbound Calls In A Financial Institution

How To Handle Inbound Calls In A Financial Institution

IVR Software enables callers to get information about their account at any time, contact customer service, or even make a payment. Because customers will come calling, this is usually a staple for the phone line of most businesses.  Yet, is it worth the investment for a business such as a financial institution?

IVR Software = D.I.Y. Service

Financial institution members can easily manage their accounts without ever interacting with a rep. An interactive ivr system enhances customer experience, and allows staff to dedicate more time to urgent tasks.

Over 50% of customers think it’s important to solve product issues themselves rather than rely on customer service. 

Route callers effectively

IVR Software that is setup effectively routes callers to the most appropriate representative and/or resources. In turn, this makes it easy for a customer to get the information they need without any disruptions.

A 1% improvement in first Call Response = $276,000 in annual operational savings for the average call center.

Lower Operational Costs

Many times a member does not need to speak with a representative to resolve their question or issue. An IVR system can direct them to the resources necessary online. This significantly lowers operating costs by boosting the staff productivity.

“A chat with a live agent can cost $6-12 per interaction, while an automated interaction on the IVR (or ITR) can cost as little as 25 cents.”

Personalize an IVR

An IVR has the capability to record caller’s responses and add them to the caller’s contact history. The next time a caller calls in, they’ll receive a more personalized response than if they were to be transferred to a live agent. For example, instead of a live agent answering with “How can I help you today?” they would say, “Mary, thanks for calling…” In today’s world personalized customer service goes a long way. IVR Technology Group can also do more intelligent lookups based off of the ANI (or caller ID), bypassing the need for account number entry and (as an example) retrieve balance info.

According to a recent report from Accenture, “75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, or knows their purchase history.”

Increase Payment Rates on Loans

When it comes to payments, an IVR payment system eliminates the need for a live agent to be present. By integrating omnichannel payment solutions like PayIT to an existing IVR, your financial institution’s self-service payment options are available 24/7. An IVR payment solution eliminates the need for members to send in a check to pay their loan, and saves the financial institution the hassle of cashing checks. As an added benefit for members, the financial institution can set up recurring payments. Recurring payments eliminates the need for members to initiate payments every month, and in turn, minimizes late fees that can negatively affect their credit.

According to banknews.com, “For the last four years BillingTree has been benchmarking payment technology trends across the ARM industry and more recently across other vertical markets, including healthcare. Virtual negotiation and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology is viewed as a key new payment technology in the Accounts Receivable Management Industry…” and continues with “…planned adoption of both almost doubling from the year before.”

Gain Member Insights

Analytic reports of the IVR software allows businesses to learn how to make the most of their IVR. The reports show which options caller will select, most commonly used functions, and how long the average call lasts. These reports allow the financial institution to learn which services members use the most.

According to a post written by Shep Hyken on Forbes.com, “Technology has made it easier than ever to track customer preferences and history…” and continues with, “There is no reason to not create a more personalized experience that caters to a customer’s individual needs.” Well said Shep, we couldn’t agree more.

IVR Software enhances member experience, while reducing operational costs.

Thinking about upgrading your IVR? Or perhaps you don’t even have one! IVR Technology Group offers one of the best ivr solutions out there. Consider the possibilities of implementing IVR Software to enhance your member’s experience while saving costs. Contact us today! 

5 Simple Ways To Make Customers Fall In Love With Your IVR System

5 Simple Ways To Make Customers Fall In Love With Your IVR System

Statistically speaking, your customers hate IVR—83% of them think it provides either no value at all or a cost benefit for the company. With more and more people turning to mobile apps and other channels, one might think IVR must be going downhill. It turns out the global IVR equipments market is projected to grow at a staggering 27.4 percent through 2019.

So, where the heck is this growth coming from?

According to DestinationCRM, the rising inbound call volumes and advances in natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning technologies are fueling the spike in IVR growth. The integration of IVR with self service is opening up new possibilities. According to Forrester, nearly 40% of all customer service interactions take place over the phone. Yet, most companies are still reluctant to spend money on upgrading or improving their IVR systems.

What Your Customers Expect from Your IVR

Today’s customers are savvy. They interact with technology every single day. When they have no other option but to call an IVR, their expectations are sky high. More than 66% of them are likely to leave a company after a high-effort interaction. Some 82% of customers are likely to stop spending money with a business that makes them undergo a bad experience. The bottom line: if you’re using IVR because of its overwhelming cost benefit, offer the best possible experience to your callers. Here are five ways to make your IVR system less painful, if not downright lovable, for your customers.

#1. Use a warm and friendly voice

A great voice can deliver a five to seven percent increase in customer satisfaction. According to the famous 7-38-55 Rule developed at UCLA, seven percent of comprehension of spoken communication comes from the actual words that are spoken, 38% is based on the way words are spoken, and 55% stems from facial cues or body language. An IVR doesn’t have the luxury of facial expressions or body movements, so the way the words are spoken is even more critical. Get a ravishing voice artist.

#2. Use humor and creativity

Your customers aren’t exactly excited to be talking to a machine or waiting to talk to an agent. The best you can do is let them have a smile or two. It might be a good idea to tell them jokes instead of having them listen to minutes of mindless music or corporate messaging. With the latest NLP capabilities available, there’s a lot of room for creativity in IVR messaging. The question is, are you ready to upgrade?

#3. Personalize IVR messaging

Once again, the imploding machine learning and NLP technologies have triggered a new era of IVR evolution. Successful companies are already eyeing the use of AI based IVRs to achieve more intelligent call paths and enhance customer experience. For example, your IVR can be programmed to recall the customer history, greet them by names, and create an overall personable experience. Instead of spelling out the menu options, your IVR asks the caller, “How may I help you?”

#4. Plan for call spikes

Research shows that your most of your customers like your service as long as you do the basics right. Nothing is more frustrating than to call an IVR and hear the greeting “we are experiencing unusually high calling loads” message. Cloud based SaaS IVR may provide a solution by quickly scaling resources during peak hours.

#5. Keep it simple

All said and done, your customers want the experience to be easy. A 20% increase in simplicity results in a 96% increase in customer loyalty, according to a CEB survey. “Easy” can result in consumers being 86% more likely to purchase brands and 115% more likely to recommend those brands to others. But, how do you define “easy”? In today’s fast-paced world, easy often means fast. Your aim should be to let the customers accomplish their goal within the least amount of time. Ditch the unnecessary menus. Skip the redundant integration with CRM. Get rid of the bells and whistles that stand between your caller and their goal.

Bottom Line

Spending time and money on your IVR system may not be your most urgent priority. But having an IVR that delights your callers can become your strategic competitive advantage. It can deliver profits that far outweigh its cost in the long term. In fact, with the merging technology at your disposal, a powerful IVR system can become the foundation of your multi-channel success.

Sources:

http://www.destinationcrm.com/Articles/Editorial/Magazine-Features/The-2016-CRM-Service-Leaders-Interactive-Voice-Response-109245.aspx

http://www.nuance.com/ucmprod/groups/enterprise/@web-enus/documents/resourcelibrary/nc_032923.pdf

http://www.vpi-corp.com/cloud-ivr/

http://www.smartcustomerservice.com/Columns/Vendor-Views/AI-The-Next-Level-of-IVR-106024.aspx

 

 

How To Improve Your IVR by Listening to Your Customers

How To Improve Your IVR by Listening to Your Customers

The average consumer believes that having more choices would allow them to customize their life. Companies comply with this demand and promise to offer us more choices. More flavors of Mountain Dew, more channels with your cable subscription package, or more options for insurance coverage! Unfortunately, more choices can lead to more confusion. This phenomenon is known as decision fatigue. While one would think that having more choices would be beneficial to customers, it actually turns out that’s it’s not best for business. This is especially true when customers call. If the menu tree for your IVR has too many options, your customers may hang up and call the competition.

Seek to Understand Your Customers

Stephen Covey made this one of his “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” – Seek to understand then to be understood. Let’s then figure out why a customer would be likely to call your company’s customer service line.

  • Something has gone wrong with an item that a customer purchased.
  • They have to pay for goods, or services, purchased from your company.
  • The customer needs you to find an item your business carries
  • Someone is on their way and needs to find your location.

These likely scenarios have a common theme; the customer has a need that your company can solve. However, they also have a sense of negativity in common. In each case, something has gone wrong. The customer depends on your company for help; to make their world a little more positive than after they got off the phone with you.

Basic Navigation

Now that we’ve established that customers are calling with a purpose, let them be able to navigate your system to find what they’re looking for. This can be accomplished when you put the name of the department first. This works because a customer will listen for the name of the destination, then press the corresponding number. Were too many people pushing the one key or zero key? Ease the trigger happy caller by letting them know the order if need be.

5 Questions To Ask Your IVR Provider

Simplify Your Menus

It’s good to have an IVR that will route customers to the right department. However, presenting too many options will just wind up exhausting your customer. An IVR system can have a simple set up to handle the basic needs of their customer base. For example, customers could navigate your IVR and press 1 for billing, 2 to find a location, or 3 to reach a specific department. If you offer too many options, like listing each department in alphabetical order, you’re going to lose your customer’s attention. Your business needs to keep this in mind when designing your IVR. Get the customer what they need as soon as possible. An optimal IVR should adhere to the K.I.S.S. Principle (Keep It Simple and Straightforward). The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated. A long, drawn out IVR is no exception to this. By cutting down options, your customers won’t be mashing the ‘0″ key to speak with an operator. Speaking of that…

Don’t waste your customer’s time.

Ultimately, when a customer calls, they want a solution to their problem solved quickly. If a customer is navigating a cumbersome IVR, they will tap the “0” key until they get to speak to a representative. This can cause wait times to increase.

If this isn’t the case, and agents are currently handling the calls of other customers, let your customer know. If your hold message tells the customer that their call is important to you, show them. Giving your customer the option to provide a callback number, or leave a voicemail, means that they don’t feel like you are wasting their time.

Also, if your business is closed let your customer know that right away.  If some options, like automated payments, can be handled without the need of an agent then let your customer know that the option is available. Just because your business shut down for the day, doesn’t mean your phone lines have to be.  Otherwise, your customers may want to find out if your competitors are capable of handling after hours calls, or how long they will be tethered to a phone waiting for an agent.  At the very least, have a prompt that provides business hours and encourage customers either call back or leave a callback number. Then call them back ASAP.

Your customer will know that your business listened to them, and they’ll feel valued for it.

How To Make Your Customers Fall In Love With Your IVR.

Download our free infographic today.

Brand Your IVR.

Does your company have a mission statement or core values?  Maybe your company won an award recently. Sharing this information is much better than hold music. If a customer is willing to call, and wait on hold, this is a great opportunity to let your customer learn more about your company. Your customers can learn about other services your company provides. Did you go the extra mile and was your customer happy? Why not let them have the opportunity to record a testimonial? Maybe the customer listening will be able to connect, and be more confident they choose wisely when they contacted you to handle their problem in the first place.

Give your Agents a Heads Up.

The last thing customers want to do is repeat themselves. They just navigated through your IVR, why make them jump through those hoops again? A whisper message can help your agent know who is calling. This is a brief message, which only your representative will hear. Before a call is connected to, an automated system relays information about the caller so that they know who they are and why they are calling. Yes, your likely have to make sure it’s the customer and have them identify themselves. If you’re having the customer enter in their account info, using the telephone keypad, ask for another bit of information that your automated system didn’t ask before. This can be the customer’s address or the last four of their social security number. This saves time and demonstrates to the customer that you’re paying attention.

Make Options That Service Your Customer’s Needs.

IVR Tech Group can help provide IVR services that place your customer’s needs first. Are more customers calling in to change their password or pay their bill? Call detail reports can help to narrow down options and help service your customers faster. By finding trends and placing the most popular options first you’ll be able to satisfy the needs of your customers and can reduce the amount of time they spend on the phone. We’ll work with your company to make sure the best possible solutions can be provided and help monitor how long customer calls were, when they called, and where they came from.

Are You Making These Mistakes In Your IVR-System?

Are You Making These Mistakes In Your IVR-System?

According to JD Power & Associates, only 7% of companies offer an IVR solution that delivers a better experience than live agents. When used properly, an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system can provide a substantial ROI, but mistakes are bound to happen. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to designing their IVR-System.

Too many menu options.

It’s good to have an IVR-system that will route customers to the right department. However, offering one too many options can hurt the customer’s experience. Customers shouldn’t need to take notes when navigating a system.

Not Prioritizing Options.

Why are your customers calling? Putting the most popular options at the beginning of your IVR menu will allow customers to navigate through it quickly and easily.

Playing on-hold music that annoys callers.

I go into it more at length with this blog post, but customers that are willing to sit on hold do not need to hear a terrible song interrupted by reminders that your company cares about their call. Instead, use multiple musical tracks that identify with your companies brand. It’s just as important as your logo. Have a recorded message from the CEO talking about how great your company is. Maybe someone could read an Aesop’s Fable and describe how it applies to your company. Anything to keep it fresh.

Keeping customers on hold.

An hour, I was on hold for an hour. Just thinking about that rendition of “Rhapsody in Blue” gives me chills. Then after they told me how important my call was they told me to call back. It’s enough to make someone want to talk badly about their company on the internet. Here’s a tip, give your customers the option to get a callback. It will save your company money and your customers their time, not to mention their phone’s battery life.

Not providing automated options.

The flip side of this is that some customers want to call, make a payment, and leave. They should be able to do this without the need to speak to a live agent.

Relying too much on your website.

I once called an ISP to tell them my internet service was down. They suggested that I use the chat feature online to get service faster. I asked how this was possible. It’s okay to remind your customers that you have a website. However, telling your customers that whatever they want can’t be handled over the phone and to go to your website is a great way to make them feel insignificant.

Not following through.

Did a customer service agent handle a situation properly? Is the customer satisfied? If you don’t follow through you’ll never know the answer to either of those questions. You could send a follow-up text message to a customer that allows them to take a survey. Make sure it gets to the customer as soon as a situation has been resolved, keep it brief, and pay attention to feedback.

Not contacting IVR Technology to set up your IVR.

At IVR Technology, we provide services that have your customers in mind. If your customer would like to pay their bill, provide feedback, or get a text notification, we can help. We’ll work with your company to make sure the best possible solutions can be provided and help monitor how long customer calls were when they called, and where they came from.

10 Tips for a Stellar IVR: From A Callers Prospective

10 Tips for a Stellar IVR: From A Callers Prospective

So, you have an IVR solution, but you don’t know if it’s a good one. I can help you with that, as can anyone who picks up the phone and calls your business. The other day I called into a customer service line for a pretty well-known company in my area. The purpose of the call was to speak to a representative about my recent payment. The call started with a menu option, as do most IVR’s these days, where I waited to choose the best option. It was after I pressed “1” that I was put on hold to talk to the billing department.

I could only be patient for so long.

If you know me, you know that eh, I’m not that patient. After 15 minutes of being on hold (I was pleasantly surprised at how long I stayed calm) that the answering service hung up on me.

I was mad!

So, why? Why after all that time did it hang up? I called at 4:45, waited those 15 minutes, and they closed at 5:00.

Awesome.

Hope, pray, visual IVR goes truly viral one of these days.

Here are 10 tips for an IVR, from an impatient person’s prospective a.k.a. the majority of your callers, that just want the freakin’ IVR to get straight to the point!

 

Tip #1: Brand Your IVR

There’s nothing more intriguing than a clear and concise voice talking to you. The best thing about being able to customize your IVR is that, if you’re someone like me, it usually takes you a few tries to formulate the question you really want to ask. Do you have core values like my company? If so, make sure you create a clear definition of that through your IVR. There’s nothing like being turned off to an IVR system — chances are that person will a) not call in again, and figure out a different, possibly more aggressive way to contact you, or b) become so frustrated that they don’t even want to do business with you.

Think about it.

If they don’t even understand what your automated voice is trying to say, chances are they don’t even want to know what your people sound like. Think: What do I want the customer to think after they hang up? I’m guessing the majority of you would want them to say, “wow, that was easy,” not “wow, that was the most painful phone experience ever.” Having a powerful message/phone greeting reinforces your brand. Keep it short and…

Tip #2: Keep it simple people!

When we read, “keep it simple”, we think about “keep it simple stupid” or “K-I-S-S.” I never fail to forget thanks to Michael Scott, reference here. No one person wants to call into an IVR only to have to remember 10 different menu options. You may as well say, “grab your pen and paper this is going to be a while.”

Tip #3: Offer a way out!

If you don’t offer an option to talk to a human, then chances are someone like me, will write into your company very, very mad telling you that your “IVR system sucks” and “all I wanted to do was talk to an actual person.” Please… please… always have the option to talk to a live agent when available.

Tip #4: Be Clear and Persistent

Telling someone that you have an order number for them, or an account number is important to the caller! Give them a second to locate a pen and paper. Don’t give them a half an hour or anything, but enough time. I would say always include an option to repeat the information. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to go through the IVR system, just to get one little detail that could have easily been repeated. Jargon or Slang = no no. Make sure you are clear on what you want from your caller. Your 67 year old Grandpa doesn’t want to be talked to like he’s 25. Don’t use slang, like H.A.M. For those who don’t know, here’s my generations definition. For Grandpa, this is the stuff at the butcher store that he gets a pound of every week. Just don’t do it.

Tip #5: Easy Navigation

It’s also important to make the system easy to navigate so customers can quickly get their questions answered or needs attended to. Who the heck wants to listen to Vidia, the IVR voice, go through 1) a large menu and then 2) submenus within the large menu and then 3) menus within the submenus. Talk about confusing!

Tip #6: Don’t hang up!

Avoid hanging up on callers. Even if you have a high call volume, don’t hang up on your caller. Chances are you are going to get a nasty call after that. Yes, even if you tell your caller that there are a high number of calls, and then asked them politely to call back later or visit the website, and then hung up on them instead of offering a callback option. No… no… no. Instead, try to leave the decision to hang up up to the caller, believe it or not, it makes for a better customer experience.

Tip #7: One Voice

Avoid switching voices in the IVR. Hearing different voices will make the person feel like they belong in the looney bin. Okay, not literally, but it doesn’t make a business look very professional. Best practice is to use one consistent and professional voice throughout the recording. Do not use a computerized voice. Would you want to listen to a robot? The answer is no.

Tip #8: Extension Numbers 101

Put the department before the extension. A good prompt will say, “For Sales, Press 1” not “Press 1 for Sales.” Why? Callers want to know where they are going first, before they get there. You wouldn’t ever type an address into the GPS without knowing the actual name of your destination. If you put the extension first, the caller is not likely to associate the number with the department, or they will have to go through the menu again, and then once they finally reach a live agent, well… you know, they won’t be happy. P.S. don’t forget to tell callers they can enter a known extension at any time. Personally I would say this from the get go. When I’m returning calls, I want to know that I can enter the extension the person gave me right away, rather than having to listen to their IVR menu.

Tip #9: No Long Greetings!

Having a long greeting before prompts begin will cause the caller to want to pull their hair out. That, or grab their blanket and curl up on a couch somewhere until the IVR is over. Get straight to the point, that’s more than likely the reason the caller is contacting you in the first place.

Tip #10: Office is Closed

Not having an “after hours” variation of your prompts is a no no. When your office is closed, you should have a prompt that lets people know, otherwise it looks like you’re ignoring your customer; they won’t feel valued. Encourage your customers to leave a message or call back during normal business hours (give hours). You could even guide them to your FAQ’s or contact page on your website.

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What is Interactive Voice Response (IVR)?

What is Interactive Voice Response?

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a software application that accepts a mixture of voice telephone input and touch-tone keypad selection and provides appropriate responses in the form of voice, fax, callback, e-mail and perhaps other media. IVR is usually part of a larger application that includes database access.

(IVR) system picks up phone calls for you, asks questions for you, and answers those questions for you. It’s your virtual receptionist, secretary, operator, and customer service representative. If you need to automate a business approach over the phone, an IVR system is the answer.

[bulletlist]

  • An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) saves time, reserving your best call reps for the toughest questions.
  • An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) never marks time, acknowledging calls 24 hours a day every day of the year.
  • An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) saves money, automating your repetitive business approaches.
[/bulletlist]

Large and small businesses have adopted IVR technology because it saves money that would otherwise be spent on living, breathing (expensive) employees. An IVR system’s effectiveness is rated by the percentage of callers who ask to speak to a live operator. The lower the percentage, the more successful the system. Of course there are some IVR systems that never give you the option of speaking to a live operator. But even among IVR fans, that’s considered bad practice.

How does it work?

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) requires a computer and special hardware called a telephony board or telephony card in order to accept calls. Callers are guided through the menu options and asked to choose from among them. Simple IVR software accepts only keypad input and works by decoding the keypad tones and directing calls accordingly. More advanced IVR systems use voice recognition technology to allow users to speak their responses. Many IVR systems use text-to-speech technology to generate custom responses to callers for data such as flight times or account balances.

A complete system may work as follows: –
[bulletlist]

  • Whenever a miner goes to work, he would punch attendance, which IVR will record and start calling him periodically.
  • When a miner comes out, he will log his departure and IVR will no longer make the outbound calls to him.
  • When a miner is unable to respond in the first call, IVR will call him within 2 minutes and would repeat for 2/3 times. After that, IVR will raise an alarm.
  • When IVR raises an alarm, it can check with other miners to get information about the miner who is not responding.
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IS THE IVR SYSTEM SECURE?

The IVR system is secure and confidential. Each time you call the IVR system you will need to enter your 9-digit ID number and your 4-digit PIN. Remember to keep both of these numbers private. A temporary PIN will be mailed to you. The first time you use IVR the system will ask you to change your temporary PIN to a new number. Do not share your new PIN with anyone.

How does IVR Tech’s IVR can help you?

IVR Technology Group’s interactive voice response and speech recognition platform can be integrated with your data sources and the web to deliver feature-rich but simple to use IVR solutions – driving efficiency, improving business productivity, and enhancing caller satisfaction. And just as important, your custom-developed IVR is hosted in the cloud so there is no technology to manage.

Deliver a personalized call experience with advanced IVR technologies such as text-to-speech, voice print verification, name and address capture, reverse phone lookup and more. Have a full IVR staff a call away that quickly implements your needs or simply consults with you on caller experience design. Our in-house voice talent and transcription staff also provides IVR support that’s hard to replicate with doing it yourself.

Need some help in developing your IVR? Our team is adept at consulting with every industry on solutions ranging from automated surveys, lead generation, to medical after hours response. Feel Free to Call Us to receive Free IVR setup, up to $500 of Custom Development.

10 Benefits of an IVR Solution and What You Should Know

10 Benefits of an IVR Solution and What You Should Know

Without explanation, most people don’t know what an IVR Solution does. A common, baseline definition of IVR sounds something like, “Interactive voice response is the technology that enables humans to interact with an automated system via the keypad on their phones. “

The next line in the conversation typically goes something like this: “Those automated systems are so annoying. They never get me to the right person and they’re a huge waste of my time. Why can’t I just speak to a human?!”

To be fair, many IVR systems are set up poorly. They route callers through an endless loop, menu options don’t match callers’ needs, and callers are asked to enter a ton of account info, only to repeat when they finally do reach a person.

But, when expertly set up, IVR can actually be extremely helpful and beneficial to both businesses and their customers.

How IVR works:

Features of IVR Systems:
  • Manage high call volumes
  • Provide after-hours customer service
  • Prioritize urgent calls
  • Gather info about callers
  • Intelligent call routing
10 Benefits of an IVR Solution:
  1. Streamline calls  reduce customer wait times
  2. 24/7 Service – Eliminates the need for live agents to staff call centers 24/7. Automated customer support helps customers even after your business is closed
  3. Improved Contact – Answer extremely important or emergency calls in a timely manner to increase customer satisfaction
  4. Caller ID – An IVR can identify callers and their reason for caller prior to making a connection with a live agent
  5. Intelligent call routing – Customer resolution is increased when calls go to the agent best suited to assist the call
  6. Reduce Hold Time – Due to transferring to the correct department, it would resolve problems faster
  7. Efficient customer service  When agents meet the needs of the customers, this increases the efficiency of customer service.
  8. Know who handled the call – Know which department got the most calls with Call Detail Reports.With this in mind, this can help with scalability.
  9. Reduce operational costs – When calls go directly to agents working from home. In addition, this will reduce operational costs.
  10. Increase professionalism – an IVR system will let your agent know who the customer is, and how to help..
What to Look for in an IVR Technology Provider:
  • Comprehensive reporting, available in real time
  • Flexibility & scalability
  • Compliant technology
  • Integration options
  • Call recording capabilities
  • 24/7 customer support

Contact Us to Learn More

Best IVR Practices To Follow

Best IVR Practices To Follow

Let’s face it, if a company that you have to call into frequently has a horrific IVR, chances are you are not going to be satisfied as a customer. As a business owner, have you taken into consideration that your IVR may be contributing to poor customer service rankings? Some mildly frustrating instances that are near universal may be:

  • Trying to open a shrink wrapped DVD
  • Waiting in line to pay when the person in front is counting out pennies
  • Calling a doctor’s office only to find out everyone’s out to lunch (really? everyone at the same time?)
  • Calling your cable company because the internet is out
  • Calling a customer service call center to cancel service

So it was with a sense of dread that I called JC Penney to cancel my store charge card. I settled down anticipating a 30-minute call with spaghetti IVRs, hold times with terrible music, being shuttled around, and when I finally get to the right person, enduring multiple pitches to not cancel.

Instead, what I got was call resolution in less than 120 seconds! Here is generally how the call went:

IVR: “Thank you for calling JC Penney. Please tell me what you are calling about…”
Me: “Cancel card”
IVR: “Looks like you want to cancel your card. Is that right?”
Me: “Yes”
IVR: “Ok. Sorry to hear that. Based on your phone number, I have located your account. Are you sure you want to close this account?”
Me: “Yes”
IVR: “Your card has been cancelled and your account closed. You will receive a confirmation letter in the mail in the next 5 business days. Would you like to receive a confirmation via email to the email address on file?”
Me: “Yes”
IVR: “Great. An email has been sent to you. Thank you and good bye.”

I was floored! As a matter of fact, I was so impressed that I went back into a JC Penney store later that week and opened another card. Because any company that took the time to design such a beautiful customer experience deserves my business.

This experience speaks volumes about customer service automation. When I hear from someone that they hate IVRs, I tell them that any tool wielded improperly creates a mess.