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How IVR Can Be Your Contact Center’s Secret Weapon

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Abbie Tabbilos

Marketing Content Writer

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is used in communication between businesses and their customers. It’s a solution that uses voice prompts to interact with customers and offers various functionalities to level up your call center by increasing efficiency, reducing operational costs and driving your customer satisfaction through the roof. 

The benefits and risks of IVR

IVR is software that utilizes pre-recorded messages as well as text-to-speech technology to enable your customers to get the help they need without needing to speak with a live agent. Using its intelligence, you can automate menial tasks in your call center, offer self-service options to consumers outside of normal business hours and strategically route calls to appropriate agents as needed.

Wondering if you have ever interacted with IVR software? Think back to a time when you may have called your insurance company to submit a claim or make a payment. Chances are when your call was picked up, you did not find yourself speaking to an insurance employee – rather, you were prompted to press a number on the dialpad that corresponded with the purpose of your call. Then, you may or may not have been transferred to a live agent.

If you were calling to make a payment, perhaps IVR prompted you through the steps to process your payment and you were able to hang up without speaking to a human. Or, if you were calling to file a claim, perhaps the call was eventually escalated to an agent to be handled. Either way, chances are most people have had a run-in with IVR.

Of course, all good things come with potential risks. For starters, if you don’t take care to curate a simple and easily understood IVR menu, customers may get confused. Second, no technology is without its mishaps; there may be cases where the technology misunderstands your customer’s needs, causing frustration. 

However, IVR is beneficial to call centers because it can free up your agent’s time to handle more complicated cases and save you money by allowing your contact center to run with less manpower than would otherwise be required. Additionally, you can increase first-contact resolutions and generate more consistent professionalism.

The power of personalization

While IVR often takes the spotlight for automating common tasks in your call center such as pre-recorded voice messages and call routing, the follow-up features are often overlooked. IVR technology can be used not only for voice interaction, but can also boost your customer satisfaction through email and SMS.

Send automatic messages triggered by consumer behaviors, such as upcoming appointment reminders or abandoned online shopping carts. You can also collect payments securely via SMS or send your customer surveys on any channel to gain key insights on how to improve. Assist clients who have forgotten their passwords to regain access to their accounts with one-time password messages. All of this is possible and securely verified to reduce risk through IVR.

There are plentiful benefits to adding IVR to your contact center’s toolbelt. It unlocks the power of personalization in your communication efforts, allowing your customers to experience a more personalized and engaging customer experience. You can also save money, time and take the pressure off of scalability. 

However, it is important to remember that taking human interaction completely out of your call center interactions isn’t usually the best way to go. It is important to allow clients the opportunity to speak to a live agent if they wish or if it is necessary. It is also crucial to be aware of how many messages you are sending out to your consumers so you don’t cause message fatigue and therefore decreased engagement and response rates.

Striking the balance 

IVR can transform your call center communication for the better. If you can strike the right balance between human interaction and efficient intelligence, you can experience what it is like to know you are providing a seamless and engaging customer experience that drives satisfaction, loyalty and revenue.

Request a demo to learn more about how IVR technologies can make all the difference in your contact center’s customer experience.

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