Enhance your existing IVR system with Twilio

March 06, 2024
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Enhance your existing IVR system with Twilio

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems are the backbone of good voice engagement. When your customer calls your business, it's because they need something sooner than later. The sooner you take that call and resolve that customer’s issue, the better chance  you have of earning their trust and brand loyalty. In addition to building customer satisfaction, IVRs help brands cut costs by reducing the amount of time agents spend on each call. 

How Twilio works with your existing IVR solution

Sometimes businesses want to improve their IVR with a full Twilio replacement but are locked in  with their existing vendor. If you’re in that situation, the good news is that you can still use Twilio as a part of your existing system. Think about a line in your business that needs to reduce wait times, improve customer satisfaction, or cut agent call times. For some businesses, this could be the service department handling a recall or warranty claims, or the billing teams getting an influx of calls to pay bills at the beginning of the month. It could even be your support team handling simple account requests like “what’s my balance?”

With the right IVR technology in place, you can help these parts of the business work more efficiently without having to hire more resources. Twilio services are built to scale up or down as needed, and you can start utilizing Twilio services today, no contracting necessary. All you need to get started today is to purchase a Twilio phone number, create your desired voice workflow, and add it as a forwarding line in your existing IVR solution.

3 Examples of how to use IVR

Let’s take a look at 3 ways Twilio Voice services help our fictitious company, Jim’s Furniture Depot.

Jim Jr. just took over his dad, Jim Sr.’s business. Jim Sr. decided it would be helpful to renew all his existing contracts so his son can focus on other business decisions for the company. In doing so, Jim Sr. signed a multi-year contract with their existing telco and contact center solution, which unfortunately both are limited in flexibility when it comes to changes and scale. When customers call into the main line, they are greeted with the existing IVR and can choose a menu option to transfer to their desired department.

Now that Jim Jr. is running the company, his first order of business is to improve communication efficiency with the goal of improving customer satisfaction. He knows that when customers have a great experience with his business, they are more likely to purchase again. In doing an analysis of the business, Jim Jr. finds that when customers select the Service Department in the existing IVR, all their calls are being routed by one service desk employee, service reps are taking payments over the phone in a non-compliant manner, and to his surprise there is an extremely long daily queue for Spanish-speaking customers since only one service rep speaks Spanish.

Jim Jr. works with Twilio to implement a new IVR system for the service department that routes in from the main company line via a legacy IVR. His goal with this new service department IVR is to allow customers to be more self-sufficient while still having the option to talk to a live service desk agent. Let’s look at how Jim Jr. and his technology team are able to quickly deploy a Twilio IVR that solves the woes of the service department. 

Twilio Studio

Twilio Studio is a production-ready drag-and-drop solution that businesses like Jim’s Furniture Depot can use to create an IVR flow that is easy to create and manage. With Twilio studio, Jim Jr. and his team can quickly build a workflow that creates a proper routing with several options so that the two service desk members don’t have to handle all the call routing, and can focus on customer care activities.

To build this flow, Jim and his team used the tutorial How to Build a Studio IVR Flow with No Coding Experience.

Here they created options to: 

  • Check Service Request Status
  • Pay a Service Bill
  • Submit a Service Request
  • Submit a Warranty Claim
  • Speak in Espanol 
  • Speak to a Service Desk Member

Twilio Studio is an extremely quick way to add a new IVR for a certain part of your business to create more efficient workflows. Just see how Twilio customer Chime Bank was able to improve customer satisfaction by 12% in just 2 weeks!

Twilio Pay

Going back to our example, it’s really important to Jim that  all payments taken over the phone are easy to process and PCI compliant. The goal with this payment system is for customers to be able to pay a service bill without having to take time away from the team of service reps. He also wants there to be a live check during this capture so he can prevent reps from having to work through payments that could potentially bounce and lead to a poor customer experience.

Twilio <PAY> along with a sophisticated Virtual Agent system, allow for Jim’s Furniture Shop to look up a customer record based on the incoming phone number, confirm information about the customer, read a current balance, verify the customer via OTP, take a PCI-compliant payment over the phone, and send an email receipt – all without having to involve a single service department employee.

This automated workflow for handling payments allows service reps to focus on improving the customer experience, and spend less time on taking repetitive payments with manual steps. By using some of the systems described in the workflow above, Twilio Customer Inbox Health was able to route 61% of paying callers through a Twilio <PAY> system. They also saw a reduction of 800 calls to their support line!

Twilio Virtual Agent in Spanish

Spanish speaking customers are a large demographic for Jim’s furniture outlet, so when Jim Jr. learned that Spanish speaking customers had to wait for service 2x longer than English speaking customers, he knew that this Twilio IVR solution needed to be able to handle Spanish. Using Twilio’s One-Click solution in partnership with Google, Jim’s Furniture Outlet was able to utilize another virtual agent that was Spanish speaking and able to pull account information, work through billing, handle service and warranty requests, as well as escalate to a live Spanish-speaking agent.

Having multilingual virtual agents allows businesses to serve a bigger demographic of customers quickly. Just see how Twilio customer Chope in Singapore was able to use Twilio IVR systems to enhance restaurant reservation systems. With Twilio IVR services, Chope is now serving nine cities in four countries, including Thailand, Indonesia, China, and Singapore, with more expansion ahead.

Using Twilio, Jim Jr. was able to keep his standard IVR with his existing Telco and Contact Center, but extend his IVR so his service department could have its own routing and improved technologies. Twilio gave Jim the flexibility to modify his IVR at any point without a big lift, and also add more routes and features if necessary. 

Ready to try Twilio’s IVR solution?

If any of the solutions presented today resonate with your business, reach out to our sales team or your account team to learn more and build a path to improve your IVR.