According to an independent market research study commissioned by Google, existing and potential customers call a business directly for various reasons – inquire about product availability, compare product prices, check for deals/offers, check for business hours, make a reservation, and schedule an appointment. 39% of the customers call a business frequently when they are ready to make a purchase or transaction.
But over 59% of callers want to accomplish a specific task or answer a particular question quickly. The businesses help customers and leads to access relevant information and perform routine tasks quickly and conveniently by enabling customer self-service.
Customer self-service allows callers to avail information and assistance without interacting with a live agent. The interactive voice response (IVR) systems enable businesses to combine agent-based customer support and customer self-service, seamlessly.
The automated telephony systems allow customers to access information or avail assistance by choosing from a set of pre-defined interactive options. They further generate an automated response or transfer the call to a live agent based on the option selected by the caller. Many small businesses these days leverage IVR systems to accelerate customer service delivery without deploying additional agents.
The cloud-hosted IVR systems even help small businesses to boost customer service delivery without increasing upfront and ongoing infrastructural cost. The cloud-based IVR systems make it easier for small businesses to manage, monitor, and report inbound marketing campaigns by providing unified and intuitive dashboards. There are also a number of reasons why IVR systems are important for small businesses.
1. Enable Customer Self Service
Many customers these days call a business directly to collect relevant information or perform specific tasks quickly. But a number of studies suggest that a large percentage of customers prefer using self-service options for interacting with a live agent. They use self-service options to answer questions and solve problems quickly.
IVR systems help small businesses to boost customer experience enabling customer self-service. The small businesses can further leverage to boost an important attribute of customer experience – fast response time.
2. Reduce Incoming Call Volume
Like large businesses, small businesses also need to increase sales revenue by providing relevant information to customers when they are conducting pre-purchase research. But small businesses often lack the resources required to handle incoming calls proactively by deploying additional agents.
The IVR systems enable businesses to reduce incoming call volume by enabling customer self-service. Many small businesses leverage hosted IVR systems to boost customer service delivery without managing call centers.
3. Implement Skill-Based Incoming Call Routing
In addition to facilitating customer self-service implementation, the cloud-hosted IVR systems provide a slew of call routing options. They make it easier for small businesses to manage incoming calls by routing the calls to a variety of devices – office phones, softphones, and mobile devices.
The businesses even have the option to ensure first call resolution by implementing skill-based routing. The managers can configure the hosted IVR system to route incoming calls to the most appropriate agents or departments based on specific user inputs.
4. Deliver Customer Support 24/7
The small businesses can configure and customize the cloud-hosted IVR solutions without putting extra time and effort. Unlike live call center agents, IVR systems deliver customer support 24 hours a day. Hence, it becomes easier for small businesses to enable customers to access information and perform routine tasks using self-service options.
The users can further configure the IVR solution to deliver pre-recorded messages when no agent is available to handle the incoming calls. Many small businesses leverage IVR systems to deliver customer support on holidays and outside of business hours.
5. Deliver Personalized Customer Service
The small businesses can integrate cloud-hosted IVR systems with their existing customer relationship management (CRM) systems seamlessly. The integration enables the IVR system to access updated customer information while handling incoming calls.
The on-time access to customer information helps the IVR solution to boost customer experience and engagement by personalizing customer service. The sophisticated IVR solutions further access additional information about a customer or lead based on his/her caller ID.
6. Enhance Reputation and Presence
The IVR systems help businesses to deliver personalized customer service without deploying additional inbound agents. The businesses can further add professionalism to the customer service by selecting the appropriate welcome greeting and pre-recorded messages. They can further use multi-level IVR solutions to choose from various languages.
The high quality and personalized customer service enhance the small business’s reputation and image. At the same time, the IVR solutions often make callers believe that they are interacting with a large business.
7. Monitor and Analyze Incoming Calls
In the age of omnichannel customer experience, no small business can acquire new customers and retain existing customers without delivering high-quality customer service. The hosted IVR systems help small businesses to measure customer service quality by monitoring and analyzing incoming calls. They record each incoming call and store the recorded calls in the cloud automatically.
The managers can review the previous calls to assess customer service quality and identify customer service issues. Likewise, they can understand behavior and expectations of customers using important metrics like response time and first call resolution.
8. Curtail Operational Cost
A market research study conducted by Accenture found that companies could see $1-3 million annual savings by enabling customer self-service. IVR systems help small businesses to curtail operational costs significantly by reducing incoming call volume consistently. Also, small businesses can further use cloud IVR solutions to automate customer service delivery without incurring a high infrastructural cost. Hence, IVR solutions help small businesses to boost customer experience without increasing operational costs.
The IVR systems help businesses to provide relevant information or assistance to customers by combining agent-based customer support and customer self-service. The small businesses can use cloud-hosted IVR systems to boost customer service delivery without deploying extra agents and increasing infrastructural cost. However, no small business can deliver customer service proactively and run inbound marketing campaigns efficiently without selecting the right cloud IVR system.