The customers these days call a business for a variety of purposes – collect information about a product/service, compare prices, check product availability, inquire about offers/discounts and solve specific problems. Some of these customers prefer talking to a live agent, while others opt for self-serve customer support. The businesses leverage interactive voice response (IVR) solutions to enable customers to collect specific information. And solve simple problems by choosing from two distinct options – interact with a live agent and use self-service options.
A business can further accelerate customer service delivery by choosing from on-premise and cloud-hosted IVR systems. Unlike on-premise IVR systems, cloud-hosted IVR solutions run on an offsite data center provided and managed by the cloud service providers. Hence, it becomes easier for businesses to leverage Interactive Voice Response systems without building, managing, and scaling on-premise IT infrastructure. At the same time, the cloud-hosted IVR solutions are easier to configure, scale, customize, and extend than on-premise IVR systems.
According to Reuters.com, “The advent of cloud computing has significantly impacted the IVR markers. Interactive voice response can be deployed over the cloud which is highly advantageous as it reduces the need for physical infrastructure.”
The number of businesses and call centers switching from on-premise Interactive Voice Response systems to cloud-hosted Interactive Voice Response solutions has been increasing consistently. The new age cloud-hosted IVR systems help businesses to accelerate and automate customer service delivery, by providing robust features like call routing, call recording, call analytics, welcome messages, music on hold and CRM integration.
Also, they make it easier for administrators to manage, report and monitor Interactive Voice Response campaigns by providing unified and interactive dashboards. The businesses can leverage cloud-based IVR systems to facilitate omnichannel customer service delivery through commonly used communication channels like emails, text messages, fax and call back. The administrators can further customize the Hosted Interactive Voice Response solutions according to precise business requirements. Hence, the IVR systems work according to a business’s communication needs and customer service delivery strategy.
Greets Callers by Playing a Pre-Recorded Welcome Message
After receiving an incoming call, the IVR system greets the caller by playing a pre-recorded welcome message. The sophisticated IVR systems allow administrators to use standard welcome messages or customize welcome messages. The smarter administrators opt for customized welcome message to enhance the reputation of the business or brand.
Allows Callers to Choose from Menu Prompts
After playing the welcome message, the IVR system presents a set of menu prompts to the caller. The menu prompts allow callers to choose from a set of self-service options. They can choose the appropriate self-service option to talk to a live agent or access specific resources. Unlike single-level IVR, multi-level IVR allows callers to choose prompts in multiple levels – select preferred language and specify the topic of inquiry.
Collects Caller Input
The Interactive Voice Response systems collect caller input through both Dual Tone-Multi Frequency (DTMF) tones and speech recognition. The touchtone devices generate DTMF tones based on the key pressed by the user. The IVR system identifies the self-service option selected by the incoming caller based on the DTMF tone generated by his or her phone.
On the other hand, speech recognition technology makes the IVR allow the caller to talk in their natural and native language. The Interactive Voice Response system analyzes the speech to understand the caller’s needs. The cloud-hosted IVR systems support both DTMF tones and speech recognition. The new age Interactive Voice Response solutions leverage artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to enable the caller to talk without referring to the menu prompts.
Responds to Caller Input
After collecting call inputs, the Interactive Voice Response system responds to the information proactively and instantly. If the caller wants to talk to a live agent, the IVR routes transfer the call to the right agent or department. If the customer wants specific information, the IVR collects and delivers the needed information. The cloud-based IVR systems can be integrated with the business’s existing CRM system seamlessly. The integration enables the IVR to deliver personalized customer service.
Routes Incoming Calls to the Right Destination
The cloud-hosted systems allow administrators to choose from a slew of call routing options. The administrator can set the call routing options while configuring the IVR solution. The call routing options enable the administrators to transfer the incoming calls to the right agent, department, or queue based on specific criteria – user input, user location and time of the call.
Keeps Callers Engaged
The callers often need to wait for some time before talking to a live agent. The longer wait time often makes callers abandon calls. The IVR solutions reduce call abandonment rate by keeping callers engaged by playing soothing music. Many businesses replace music-on-hold with promotional messages to advertise products and spread brand awareness. The Interactive Voice Response systems play the music or promotional message each time the callers are put on hold.
Facilitated Call Recording and Monitoring
The sophisticated Interactive Voice Response systems come with features to simplify call recording, monitoring, and analysis. They record both incoming and outgoing calls and save the recording in the cloud. The managers can access and use the recorded calls in further for a variety of purposes. For example – quality checking, agent training, and compliance. Also, the businesses can analyze the Interactive Voice Response metrics to improve customer experience and call center performance.
Streamlines Campaign Management
Many businesses these days use Interactive Voice Response systems as a tool to run marketing campaigns and drive sales. These solutions help businesses to boost sales by enabling customers to access relevant information while they are conducting pre-purchase research. The cloud-hosted solutions further simplify campaign management by featuring interactive dashboards. The managers can use the dashboards to manage, monitor, and report campaigns using a single and unified interface.
The Interactive Voice Response systems help businesses to accelerate customer service delivery by allowing callers to talk to a live agent as well as use self-service options. The businesses even have the option to configure and customize the cloud-hosted IVR systems according to their precise communication needs. Hence, these systems help businesses to accelerate customer service delivery, handle the surge in incoming call volume, improve omnichannel customer experience, and boost customer satisfaction.