An IVR (interactive voice response) system can be a key asset to your call center if it is used correctly to support your campaigns and retain customers.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) can be a key asset to any business solution if it is easy to use from a customer standpoint, and used for the right business purposes in your enterprise.
Your IVR can enable customers to navigate easily through phone lines to get to the representative they are looking for, and can also be utilized to make bill payments, order status requests, password changes, and the like. It can also be used to make automated call back to customers.
However, your IVR should almost never be used to answer campaign calls from motivated customers coming in through a campaign-dedicated toll free number.
IVR in Marketing Campaigns
IVR’s have a positive role in marketing campaigns, but not answering direct inbound calls arriving on campaign toll free 800 numbers. Instead, toll free phone numbers that support campaigns can be used to
- Connect to Customer Service to check on order status and delivery dates
- Provide technical support on installation or product maintenance
- Perform subscription renewal, change of address, or method of payment change
- Recommend local parts and service options
These are common concerns that new customers have. If these calls came in through the campaign phone numbers, your campaign sales agents would have very little time to acquire new customers.
Providing a separate phone number to the customer, (on receipts, thank you pages, and confirmation emails), lets you steer that customer to a friendly self-navigated IVR that lets the customer find needed help. All this without interfering with your inbound sales campaign.
IVR in Customer Service
The IVR is the Swiss Army Knife of customer service. With easy to understand menus that are structured to match customer intention, it’s possible to manage a torrent of customer service calls, of all varieties, quickly and efficiently. The IVR is assembled from a server, software, and telephone ports. With its massive bandwidth and programmable features, the IVR can connect thousands of customers to the right service agent in just minutes.
The IVR can take routine phone calls that don’t necessarily need a live representative to complete their task out of the queue, leaving more agents available for those customers that do need immediate agent attention. Your IVR can also reduce the hassle of directing phone calls to the correct department – the IVR does that for you.
How Not to Use Your IVR
Handling Campaign Leads
Experienced marketers know that placing obstacles in front of a motivated buyer reduces response rate and end to end conversions.
A buyer who finds your campaign’s toll free 800 number on your landing page expects a live human to pick up on the call and close the deal.
Asking the ready-to-buy customer to thoughtfully navigate through an IVR menu drastically increases the chance that the buyer will turn away before reaching a helpful customer agent who can take the order.
Blocking Customer Access to a Live Customer Service Agent
Never use an IVR to avoid talking to customers or to avoid interaction between customers and customer service agents. This will negatively impact the business. Customers could potentially stop calling, and move their money somewhere they can find a live agent. Customer retention will be harmed, and customer referrals will be reduced. Every time you have a live customer on the phone, it should be a selling situation for your team, an opportunity to earn a renewal or a referral.