Call centers have acted as the primary medium for customer support, with phone support being the preferred channel of choice for more than half the customers worldwide.
One of the foundational tools leveraged by call centers is an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system that can help identify, segment and route callers to the most appropriate agent or team for fast resolutions.
IVR offers several options in a menu that a customer can pick to pinpoint their issue. The IVR then directs them to the agent or department that is equipped to handle these kinds of issues. The end result is faster resolutions and higher customer satisfaction, which more often than not fosters customer loyalty and retention for your business.
These are just few of the benefits of IVR to call centers. To discover all, read on.
Benefits of IVR technology for effective CX
IVR helps enhance customer experience, reduce operational costs and increase the efficiency of call centers. And when you opt for conversational IVR (which incorporates artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language understanding) your customer experience and support efficiency expand even more.
1. Reduces your customers’ wait times
By intelligent routing, IVR matches customers to agents in a speedy fashion, reducing their wait times in a big way. In addition, since the customer is interacting with an agent best suited to solve their problem, there is a higher likelihood of resolving the issue on the first call.
Check out: 5 ways to reduce customer wait time with AI
2. Generates deep customer insights
By analyzing your customers’ inputs, you gather insights on your top contact drivers and reasons why customers contact you in the first place. You can use these insights to tailor your products, services, support and content recommendations to your customers’ unique needs and interests.
3. Boosts operational efficiency and productivity
A robust IVR system can verify new accounts, make payments, provide trouble-shooting support, check account information, request renewals and many more routine tasks without human intervention.
Organizations using intelligent, intuitive IVR to handle routine inquiries independently can lighten the load on your human agents. Consequently, they can utilize their time effectively and do more in less time.
4. Lowers support costs
Every second that a customer spends on a call costs the company money. Call centers can reduce their costs by routing customers to the right agent at the right time. Plus, it gathers context and basic information from customers before pushing them to agents, which helps them resolve cases better.
In addition, substantial savings can be achieved by deflecting calls to customer self-service channels like knowledge base and chatbots that are fast as well as cost-effective. This way, you can handle peak hour traffic and offer after-hours support with limited teams.
5. Personalized self-service
IVR combines self-service with personalization by capturing the customers' exact phrases and allowing them to steer the conversation by interacting naturally in their language. Doing so helps refine and improve the self-service experience.
💡Bonus tip: If you run a global business, invest in IVR software that offers multilingual support. You can greet regional customers in their local language and communicate with them more meaningfully.
6. Helps improve first-contact resolution
As explained, IVR helps improve first-contact resolution significantly by matching customers to agents intelligently. With fewer call transfers, your cases reach resolutions faster. Since the IVR collects relevant information from the customer before transferring, the agent can immediately start working on solving the problem which again reduces your average handle time.
7. Prioritizes high-stakes calls
IVR systems can be programmed to direct big-ticket customer calls to your most qualified agents by leveraging something called skill-based routing. If no agent is available during the call, the caller will be placed first in the queue to ensure you do not lose the customer’s business due to long wait times.
8. Supports lead conversion
Interactive voice response plays a critical role in sales and lead generation as it scores and pre-qualifies callers basis their intent and customer history. It routes qualified prospects to your sales and pre-sales teams for speedy conversion.
9. Improves your call center metrics
By adopting a modern IVR system, contact centers can boost their metrics and meet their targets efficiently. For example, suppose a customer wants to make a purchase and contacts your customer support for some product information. IVR can help the customer complete the transaction without live support, reducing your call abandonment rate.
Also read: 10 Important call center KPIs to track
10. Enhances your customer experience
IVR can help augment customer experience through custom greetings, simple prompts and implementing several languages in the menu option. Customers will better appreciate your brand if they can easily navigate the system and resolve their issues quickly and efficiently.
11. Helps offer round-the-clock customer support
The ability to offer 24/7 customer support is one of the significant benefits of IVR. IVR systems are available round-the-clock and are not limited by office hours, holidays or maternity breaks. Customers can contact you and receive customer service whenever needed, even outside your business hours.
12. Helps you scale support
IVR helps scale your operations by adapting to your company’s and customers changing needs and expectations by integrating top-of-the-line contact center features such as automatic call distribution and call management. As a result, as your business grows, you can scale up your support without adding headcount to your call center.
13. Eliminates human errors
Routing calls to the right person can be error-prone when customer service representatives do it manually. This may lead to long wait times and inaccurate routing, negatively affecting your customer experience and brand health. With IVR putting call routing on autopilot, the risk of mistakes is minimized.
14. Boosts agent productivity and morale
Routing simple and common queries to the company’s knowledge base or virtual agents reduces your agents’ caseload, leaving them free to focus on cognitive cases. They feel more productive and meet their SLAs effectively, which also addresses the problem of agent churn in call centers.
Recommended reading: Improving agent productivity with better user experience
15. Reinforces your brand voice
By injecting your unique brand voice in your IVR’s look and feel, you can put your brand front and center while interacting with customers and prospects. In an age of fierce competition, repeat touches can help with brand recall.
Despite the many benefits of IVR, some customers still prefer to speak to a live agent. That's where conversational IVR software can come in handy. It collects information and customer feedback with a human touch. Moreover, it can be localized to cater to your diverse customer base and integrated with your CRM tools with a few clicks.
Take Sprinklr on a free spin for 90 days, with a no-holds-barred free trial. Transform your voice support experience right now.