Making sure your company has an up-to-date, user-friendly call system improves the experience for both your clients and your employees. IVR call-in centers allow your business to run smoothly by prioritizing important calls and filtering others to the correct departments.
IVR systems can benefit marketing businesses, big or small. Taking care of inbound and outbound calls is just one of the ways it can improve your company. Here is how an IVR system can have a positive impact on your brand.
What is IVR?
IVR stands for interactive voice response. IVR systems are programs designed to interact with live callers through voice recognition tools or telephone keypads. Instead of using a live person to direct calls, the IVR system provides a faster way to send callers to the right department. IVR systems are a must to handle heavy call volume at call centers.
How does IVR work?
IVR develops a menu system within your call network that collects caller responses either through voice or keypad controls. The IVR system uses those responses to route callers to the correct department within an organization. According to Genesys, a provider of IVR software, the system allows for 24/7 and 365 days a year caller self-service.
Each IVR system is different, but most follow a traditional sequence. First, the caller dials in and is greeted by a pre-recorded message. The IVR may start off by asking about language preferences before presenting multiple menu options. An example could be, “Press 1 for sales. Press 2 for technical assistance. Press 3 for billing. Press 4 for all other inquiries.” Based on the caller’s response, the call is redirected to an appropriate call center agent.
How IVR systems can benefit your marketing company
Interactive voice response (IVR) systems aren’t just for major enterprises. Even boutique marketing companies can benefit from IVR technology. These systems work for both inbound and outbound calls, and while efficient routing is a major benefit of an IVR, that’s not the only feature they offer.
Here are five ways IVR systems can benefit your marketing company.
1. Improve inbound call routing.
It might sound like a minor feature, but improving the inbound call routing at your marketing or advertising firm can make a big difference to your customers. Clients want to work with marketing partners who are modern, reliable and quick to respond to queries. Touch-tone and speech recognition IVR systems streamline the inbound call routing process so you require less support staff and your clients get the service they need faster.
2. Streamline the customer feedback process.
Outbound surveys and polls are an underrated feature of IVR systems. If you’re a marketing or advertising professional, you know that no matter how well you deliver a message, your business’s longevity depends on client satisfaction.
You can use scripted IVR calls to reach out to clients you’ve worked with and have them take a quick touch-tone or voice poll. Finding out what your clients like (and what they don’t like) and asking for their suggestions is invaluable. And when you use a recording to conduct the poll, clients are more likely to be honest in their replies.
3. Expand your mobile marketing.
When you read about IVR systems and marketing, one of the most commonly referenced topics is mobile marketing with IVRs. Cold-calling is a tough game, but with IVR you can automate the process of reaching out to prospective clients.
In-house IVR systems are typically less expensive than outsourcing campaigns to telemarketing companies or insourcing them with your own staff. Data is also attached to IVR systems, so following the end of a marketing campaign, you can analyze which demographics responded the best to your calls and adjust accordingly.
4. Send notifications to clients.
Developing an interactive voice response system is an efficient way to decrease the follow-up and confirmation calls you make. With an IVR, you can easily let a client know that their direct mail campaign is being delivered, confirm client meetings, send reminders about services and push out notifications when you add a new service or feature to your firm.
It’s important to remember that today’s business consumers don’t care as much about developing a long business relationship and spending hours at lunch discussing campaigns; they want the services they need as quickly as possible, with minimal interaction. [Read more about VoIP technology.]
5. Conduct market research.
When you need to conduct market research, IVR systems are a marketer’s dream. Phone polls and surveys, especially those associated with a raffle prize or discount, are a great way to collect information about different demographics. Market research via IVR systems can be targeted based on purchased lead lists or regions, and since the process is automated, you can run this research as frequently as you want without falling behind on other tasks or hiring temporary staff.
In addition to making it easier to carry out marketing campaigns and surveys, many IVR systems can integrate with CRM software so you can import the information you glean from the automated calls for data analysis.
If your company has 50 employees, monthly costs range from $500 to $2,500 for cloud-hosted systems.
How to implement IVR
Shop around and compare reviews and features of different IVR systems. Once you choose an IVR, it will be the first interaction that new customers have with your business. You want the system to be easy to navigate and offer the ability to connect to a live agent as soon as possible. Test out the IVR system for at least a week before doing a full roll-out. Train agents on the system’s features and make adjustments if you find any issues during the implementation process.
The best business phone systems with IVR
Finding a phone system that meets your specific needs can be challenging and time-draining, so we chose the best business phone systems with IVR to make the process easier.
With features like whiteboard tools with sticky notes as well as real-time meeting transcriptions and artificial intelligence in video meetings, RingCentral is the go-to system for a fully remote team. Collaboration is one of the many benefits of RingCentral. It offers continuous chat as well as audio and video spaces, which allow team interaction throughout the day. Learn more in our review of RingCentral.
GoTo Connect is famous for its top-of-the-line, comprehensive conference tools and features for an affordable price. The service offers more than 100 calling, texting and messaging features, and provides easy user navigation. GoTo Connect also allows call filtering so customers can bypass the auto attendant for instant assistance. Learn more in our review of GoTo Connect.
Voice intelligence is Dialpad’s main perk. Expect real-time speech recognition and natural language processing with any purchased subscription. Artificial intelligence can transcribe every call and meeting, capture highlights, and pick up key phrases through natural language processing. Learn more in our Dialpad review.
Nextiva is a business phone system with top-rated analytics and reporting. Every subscription offers built-in voice and visual tools and dozens of other features, such as toll-free minutes and unlimited internet fax. Supervisors can view performance statistics, including total talk time and calls. Nextiva can also motivate employees through its leaderboard design. Learn more in our review of Nextiva.
Expanding your company can be difficult if you don’t have adequate technology. You don’t have to worry about outgrowing your business tech with 8×8. No matter where your team is located, 8×8 offers an affordable call plan where agents can answer calls and texts or hop on a video call with one simple click. Learn more in our complete 8×8 review.