Recent marketing trends indicate that customer experience reigns supreme in any decision-making, which makes consumers more demanding in service delivery. Fortunately, marketing automation solutions like interactive voice response systems (IVR) help businesses and dedicated call centres to keep up with client expectations, handle hefty call volumes, and deliver high-quality customer service. Around 73% of business owners state that there is a direct connection between the quality of customer service and their business performance. That’s only natural since customers tend to base their preferences and buying decisions on past experiences and brand interactions. With the continued preference for phone calls to address client support issues, companies look to implement suitable solutions like call tracking and IVR call centres to increase overall customer satisfaction, capture critical call data, and create more efficient workflows. Here’s what you need to know about IVR systems and their benefits for customer service teams and businesses. What Is an IVR and How Can It Benefit the Contact Centre? IVR is a call centre software with a guided voice menu that enables customers to interact with businesses via a touch-tone keypad or voice responses. IVR systems can come in different configurations and have various features, depending on the integrated or bundled tech stack. https://www.youtube.com/watch?vIrjxQtFEIXU&ab_channelPhonexa But what is an IVR call centre? The primary use case for IVRs is helping call centre agents to handle call traffic, capture client information, and streamline call routing. It’s not uncommon for brands to use a cloud contact centre or outsource inbound and outbound call centre services. There’s no denying that consumers have changed the way they access information. Every prospective caller is likely to make an online inquiry before or even instead of making a call. While this cuts the need to interact with an IVR menu or a live agent, there’s a chance that a customer will get stuck looking for an answer online. That has prompted the need to provide self-service resources to clients. Around 40% of consumers prefer self-service over traditional customer service channels, making the IVR support system one of the preferable options for clients across all industries. Source: HubSpot Customer experience is determined by numerous factors, including response times, omnichannel experience, and staff professionalism. For that reason, businesses often implement IVRs to deliver helpful information and improve interactions with callers. IVR Contact Centre Features Call centre IVR enables customer support teams and brands to take control of their call volume and operate on the level of an enterprise or a small business without extra costs or effort. Here are some of the standard features that call centre IVR offers to companies: \tData collection: There’s no denying that data fuels a connected customer experience. That’s one of the reasons why businesses use IVR systems. They help to equip company representatives and call centre agents with specific knowledge, successfully handle requests, call prioritisation and routing, and resolve customer issues. \tCall routing: That is the fundamental feature of an IVR support system. As part of the self-service resource offered by a company, it helps to reduce customer wait time, decrease call abandonment rates, and improve customer satisfaction. While the routing method you choose depends on your company’s needs, skills-based routing remains one of the most popular features among call centre agents. \tVoice recognition: This technology enables consumers to make voice queries and receive feedback and assistance in little to no time. It ensures that businesses of all stripes are well-equipped to deliver excellent call experiences and save resources with automation. Why Businesses Need Call Centre IVR Systems Brands often look for sophisticated call centre IVR systems that handle touch-tone keypads and voice responses to keep communication with clients smooth and uninterrupted. Naturally, IVR journeys can be inefficient, or an IVR contact centre can fail to understand some voice commands. But modern interactive voice response support has undergone many changes and advancements, making it even more helpful for businesses. Let’s examine in more detail how organisations can use IVR support systems. \tIVRs can deliver answers to FAQs without requiring a live agent to intervene in the process. \tThe technology provides interactive voice response support that helps brands handle customer queries. \tIVR call centre systems can conduct phone surveys, measure immediate feedback, and assess client satisfaction. \tWith IVR menus, businesses can ask lead qualification questions. \tIVR systems manage and route inbound calls to the appropriate departments, sales reps, or client support agents. Today, consumers can decide to abandon a business because its services lack personalisation. Since personalisation is a powerful addition to business communication, IVR has to work hand in hand with other solutions and technologies to deliver engaging and personalised experiences to clients. IVR and Personalised Customer Support Every call centre IVR can fail to deliver the expected results. After all, customers can get frustrated, or the system can have poor speech recognition capabilities. Detailed analysis of the caller's journey, optimisation, and personalisation can do the trick and boost your customer service offering. Let’s look at the interactive voice response example and analyse how IVR benefits clients and keeps the retention rate high. Let’s say your company wants to introduce more personalised messages into the caller's journeys and elevate their IVR experience. With Phonexa’s IVR call centre system, you can create personalised recorded messages for inbound calls, help customers feel more comfortable when they contact your business, and boost the overall experience for new and returning clients. However, business owners unfamiliar with IVR call centre technology often overestimate it and get confused by ACD vs. IVR guides. They assume that the system can work independently to enable automatic call routing, capture all the critical call data, and intelligently navigate callers. But that is not precisely the case. Here is the basic information on automatic call distribution (ACD), its synergy with interactive voice response call centre systems, and an overview of other related customer service technologies. What Is the Difference Between Call Centre ACD and IVR? Naturally, ACD and IVR are not the same, but when working together, they make every call more efficient by cutting down on call transfers, wait time, and the need for human interaction. ACD is responsible for routing callers to the appropriate agents and departments, while IVR collects call data and offers callers self-service menu options. Together these systems deliver an optimal call experience for prospective and loyal customers. Chatbots vs. Conversational AI: What’s the Difference? So, what is conversational AI? It is an AI-driven communication technology for virtual assistants (VA) and chatbots that aims to impact buying decisions. Conversational AI and chatbots are used alongside IVR call centre systems to optimise business communication processes and improve client experiences. Chatbots are conversational AI that uses keywords and various language patterns to trigger pre-written automatic responses. Here’s an example of the customer service chatbot created to assist and provide instructions to prospects and customers looking to enjoy home-cooked food. Source: Chatfuel More often than not, businesses decide to build chatbots to handle simple inquiries, reduce wait times, and ensure that the support team is not overworked. 4 Benefits of Using an IVR System in a Contact Centre There are many helpful aspects to using an IVR call centre system. Here are some of the most vital benefits for customer call centres and support agents: \tImproved sales, customer support, and call routing: IVR systems take a massive load of work off the sales and support agents’ shoulders, which results in shorter issue resolution times and improved customer experience. \tUninterrupted customer support: It can be costly to retain multiple employees to handle phone calls twenty-four hours a day. An IVR call centre system can fill the gap and guarantee that every issue or customer inquiry will be processed. \tEnhanced omnichannel experience: IVR systems can share call data with CRM, analytics software, and an automatic call distribution system, making it easier to consolidate and access detailed call campaign information. In turn, it helps to engage customers and ensure a connected experience. \tDecreased resolution time: Brands equipped with Phonexa’s Call Logic solution that includes IVR, ACD, call tracking software, and other call management features can access the information they need to boost issue-resolution speed, improve the customer journey, and fine-tune their sales funnel. \t Contrary to popular belief, generating and effectively managing phone calls helps businesses increase their conversion rate and generate up to 10-15x more revenue. Therefore, all types of companies need to capitalise on this channel and harness the power of IVR systems. Industries That Need an IVR System for Call Centre Every business environment requires comprehensive marketing automation solutions that include essential software like a lead management system, call tracking, automated accounting, and interactive voice response. The latter is essential for customer-facing businesses across all industries. Here are some of the industries that can leverage the IVR call centre. Small Businesses Implementing an IVR call centre software can be handy for small businesses that cannot spend extra costs and must extend their self-service offering. An IVR system is affordable and easy to set up. On top of that, it helps small businesses prioritise high-value customers and get complete control of their business communication. Financial Services Around 70% of financial service firms use machine learning to understand customers better and dictate the entire customer experience. As part of an all-in-one marketing suite of solutions encapsulated within Phonexa's machine-learning software, an IVR call centre helps financial institutions automate their efforts and identify growth opportunities. Ultimately, IVR systems help companies offering financial services automate their interactions with clients, deliver on-demand responses, optimise customer experience, and increase the level of customer satisfaction. Insurance Engagement and retention are essential for every business, but it's insurance brands' lifeblood. Investing in customer service is one of the most logical initiatives to help insurance brands improve their engagement and retention rates. Collecting and leveraging call data can help them connect with consumers and personalise their offerings. Business communication technology like IVR call centre software and chatbots can help insurance companies deliver a remarkable experience, promote loyalty, and advocate for their products. Learn More About IVR Call Centre Capabilities IVR call centre system is every company’s frontline when gathering call data and customer insights. Whether you are looking to implement IVR customer service for your customer support or sales team, it is an essential technology empowering companies across all industries to offer a fully customisable voice interaction system and acquire critical customer information. Learn more about how Phonexa’s IVR software can set your business apart by scheduling a consultation with one of our experts. Frequently Asked Questions What is IVR customer service? An IVR call centre system helps customers interact with brands and enables companies to capture call data and route or prioritise calls based on caller information and urgency. What is an IVR number? An IVR phone number is a contact number linked to or integrated with an IVR call centre menu. It can be used for a cloud contact centre system to perform traditional tasks like conducting surveys, collecting customer feedback, offering self-service options, and delivering customised messages or notifications. What does IVR mean in a call centre? The IVR system plays a critical role in the caller's journey. It helps call centres to streamline the process, facilitate self-service options, transfer calls, capture caller information, and connect customers with the most qualified agents. What are the benefits of IVR? IVR systems have multiple benefits. With an IVR call centre system, brands can automate routine tasks, enhance call forwarding, collect information about callers, eliminate connection errors, build better caller journeys, increase conversion rate, and elevate the customer experience. How do you set up your IVR? To set up your IVR system, you need to contact a service provider, select preferable business hours, and find out about the onboarding process and available integration options.