Before we begin with answering the question on the importance of IVR for any business, we must first understand what is an IVR system?
Simply put, an IVR system which is Interactive Voice Response system is a type of software essential for call centre operations. It has features that facilitate self-service, call segmentation and routing. This is when the callers can themselves make choices on which department or agent they want to talk to, either through voice commands or typed commands entered through their phone keypads.
IVRs are an well-known tool also known amongst different consumers who sometimes may think of them as the standard initial language selection prompt, like "Press 1 for English, Press 2 for Hind…" and so on, while still being unaware of what the acronym stands for.
However, while IVRs are a familiar concept to people, but it is usually from a consumers' point of view who may not understand the business nuances and benefits from this software.
How do IVRs work?
The IVR systems' first job is to greet the callers and then assist them in reaching the point of contact within the company, i.e. the agent or resource dedicated for their specific needs. The software does this smartly by responding to the inputs given by the callers, which are either through the phone keypad or through voice commands. While the callers do not do much but select options from menu items, the software uses skill-based routing to winnow down to who or what the best end goal will be for the caller in particular.
The main aim of a smart IVR system is to ensure that the callers are routed correctly for prompt resolution of their needs and queries within the company.
What is a multi-level IVR?
With a multi-level IVR a caller can input numerous stages of instructions in various menus to be routed to a specific end goal. For instance, English > Billing > App development > Android and so on and so forth. While a simplistic IVR system usually allow only one initial option or two a complex multi-level IVR would offer various levels to the callers to have their calls routed accurately in a large organization with many departments and verticals.
While a simple IVR is usually easier for the callers to go through, they do not often do the job of sorting customers, rightly. However, if a less specialized agent in that particular field of work handles a call, the chances of resolution will be minimized and the chances of escalating the call to higher authorities will increase.
What features should the IVR System offer?
IVR systems form an elemental component of call centre software solutions, hence there are a few features that one must seek from the software:
1. Skills-based routing
This feature allows managers to segment callers in different categories, and based on their inputs they are matched with the right kind of agent group who possess the right skills for handling queries.
2. Ring groups
Ring groups are simply the buckets or categories of agents suited to specific needs. An good example of a ring group is 'Billing'. Skill-based routing routes calls to ring groups.
3. Call queues
Call queues are just lines in a way that callers are placed in after they have been routed by the IVR. A call queue lines up the callers with similar queries to a specific ring group, for instance this could be the 'billing' department.
4. Queue callback
Queue callback is a smart IVR option that enables callers to hang up the phone, while still retaining their spot in the call queue. This is particularly useful when the call queue is long and does not anger the customers.
5. Intelligent reconnect
Intelligent reconnect is a pioneering feature that automatically directs customers who were accidentally disconnected, directly to the representative who fielded their initial call, thereby allowing the callers to skip the IVR and have a more seamless experience.
6. Automatic call distributor (ACD)
This feature works in IVRs in association with CTIs to allow for a seamless routing of calls.
Why you must have an IVR system for your business?
With their abundance and frequent use and numerous advantages, IVRs have become a hallmark for enterprise businesses. Companies or calling departments that lack the feature are often judged to be less professional or lack in organization than those who have an IVR system incorporated in their operations. Needless to be mentioned, an IVR system is optimal for the seamless operation as it offers a plethora of advantages and offers unmatched simplicity to call centre KPIs.
This can be hard if you're hearing the term for the first time. Our blog has more information on all the above solutions, and if you're not a vivid reader, worry not, you can request a free demo with us.