The IVR Call Center is home for the solutions that your company needs for customer acquisition and customer retention.
The IVR call center is the company workhorse. It’s responsible from converting leads from all sources to sales, and delivering first class service and support that retains existing customers and gains new customers through word of mouth testimonials and referrals.
A well-configured IVR call center acquires new customers by converts all company off-line leads created by print, direct mail, media, coupon and directory advertising.
The IVR call center also converts leads from call-ins and quote requests generated by digital campaigns of all types – web link, web banner, PPC, and organic search.
The IVR call center also has first chance at converting leads that arise naturally from returning or former customers, from renewals, and from existing or recent customers who’d like to upgrade.
If the IVR that serves your call center is quick to configure and update, and if it’s easy to use in general, you’re going to be able to keep your IVR selections updated and to test different ways to organize your menus. This means that you’ll be able to support new campaigns quickly, and that customers are going to get to the right group or department quickly.
Studies show that response time is critical for handling interested customers. The chance of making a sale drops off exponentially from the moment a customer expresses interest. So a well configured IVR can make your call center a sales champion by making it quick and easy for customers to buy.
Marketers often talk about customers wanting to engage in a community conversation. Most customers don’t share that view. Most customers just want to get a good solution to their problem. Any conversation with other customers will usually take place just to get help finding the solution, or sharing the joy of having found a solution.
Key areas that companies find success in breaking out are Customer Service, Product Support, Billing Questions, and Product Feedback. Each one of these has the potential for fixing a customer problem and helping retain individual customers. Happy customers are more likely to renew, and to become the source of new customer referrals.
Customer Service – Customer support can be the catch-all phone number for your company, staffed by jack-of-all-trades team members with a good knowledge of where to get help for customer questions. Standard workflows can be broken out, and your IVR can be programmed to steer customers directly to a specific queue by the nature of the workflow they need.
Workflows can include such issues as cancellation, product didn’t arrive, need to change service or delivery address, or ordered the wrong service. Although many calls to Customer Service will involve Billing, typical problems bridge two or three issues and require a human ombudsman to pull together a solution.
In many cases, your Customer Service group will receive calls that can best handled by other groups or departments. Fortunately, IVR Call Center capabilities include call transfer capability that will let your Customer Service group pass customers with billing questions on the your Billing Questions group, and get customers with true product installation or product use questions over to your Product Support group.
Product Support – Product support can be organized as a single entry point single ticket system, or broken down by product or service type. So, as you program your IVR and start handling customer calls, you’ll generally find that the questions and issues you handle will be somewhat different from those for which you organized. After 90 days of operation, you’ll want to reorganize your support operations, and then revise your IVR menus to match.
Billing Questions – Billing questions, the twin of ordering issues, are a day-to-day concern. Customers will upgrade or change their product or services quite often. Customers change their service or delivery address or method of payment just as often. Having at least one menu item in your IVR for Billing Questions is a great idea.
Product Feedback – It’s a great idea to have a product or service feedback hotline or a live assistant product manager to capture customer suggestions. Many customers like to leave their improvement ideas on company bulletin boards and forums. But many other customers would just like to “get a live person on the horn” and share ideas. Your call center IVR will help you here by providing voice mail and voice mail to email capability. Customer recording can be captured so that you can follow-up on each, even if you can’t staff a full-time person to capture product feedback.
IVR Call Center References
- IVR Call Center
- AVOXI Smart Queue Virtual Call Center Solution
- Wikipedia on Interactive Voice Response
- Cloud IVR Increases Productivity