The Seven Benefits of an IVR System

IVR systems help improve operational efficiency and automate customer service while reducing costs. Increase lead conversion and agent throughput.

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The Seven Benefits of an IVR System

When today’s customers interact with businesses, they want their voices heard and problems resolved quickly and effortlessly. That’s why many companies have adopted technologies such as an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) to respond to a customer’s query around the clock, automatically.

What is IVR?

Interactive Voice Response enables businesses to interact with prospects and customers either through the use of a touch tone keypad leveraging DTMF (dual tone multi-frequency), or through spoken language using AI-drivenVoice Recognition software.

IVR has historically been used as a customer service tool. When implemented correctly, IVR systems have allowed callers to resolve straightforward customer service interactions by themselves, over the phone, without ever having to speak to a live agent. Fast forward to today and we see that Interactive Voice Response isn’t just used to respond to a caller’s inquiry, but are now being tasked in entirely new ways: for surveys, promotions, payments, polls, brand awareness, and more.

IVR Systems: Liberating Businesses and the Customers They Serve

You’ve probably noticed an intersection of two important business trends: customers want to be more self-sufficient, and businesses are looking to improve customer experience without increasing costs. Both of these needs are satisfied by integrating an IVR system into your software — not only for the customer service level, but enterprise-wide.

IVR Voice Recognition has found a place in inbound sales, outbound sales, marketing, loyalty programs, accounting, operations, and more. And it’s employed in almost every industry, including finance, retail, and healthcare to name just a few.

When an IVR system is designed with the customer in mind,organizations experience a multitude of benefits. Here are our top seven:

1. Delights Customers

By automatically routing a call to the right agent at the right time, your customer support process will naturally make customers happier and be more efficient. With a smartly designed speech-driven phone menu, an IVR system can route your callers to the most qualified agent. Today, voice response systems are being used for retail orders, bill notifications, appointment reminders, even reserving a table at your favorite restaurant — all done without involving a live agent.

2. Saves Time for Everyone

Customers have a need for speed. In fact, Gartner predicts that this customer preference for independence and self-service automation will likely rise to 85% by 2020. They want questions answered and product information delivered fast. An IVR system with custom-built menus can expedite incoming calls, accurately route callers, or even schedule a call back. By enabling callers to easily respond to options by voice or touchpad, they can quickly get to the information they’re looking for or have their issue escalated to an agent, if necessary. Also, with an IVR backed with unlimited incoming calls, calls never go unanswered.

3. Reduces Costs

A recent study found that when compared to live chat at $5 per contact, or telephone-based customer service that ranges from $6 to over $12 per contact, an IVR can cost less than $1 per contact and make customers happier. That’s real cost savings. Not only do businesses save on personnel, productivity is increased because staff can focus on resolving real issues or making sales to qualified buyers.

4. Improves Lead Conversion

While traditionally used as a customer service tool, today’s Interactive Voice Response systems are becoming the foundation for an entirely new sales channel that can support, or replace, telemarketing. Since an IVR can automate the process of reaching out to prospective clients, it’s providing a simplified way to pre-qualify interest and support lead conversion. After responding to a few simple questions, interested and qualified prospects can be quickly routed to a live sales agent to seal the deal.

5. Provides a holistic customer view

Beyond lead routing, marketers are quickly adopting Interactive Voice Response systems to learn more about their customers. Whether conducting phone polls, surveys, or marketing campaigns, IVR systems provide a sure-fire way to unveil customer likes, interests, and demographics. With such rich customer data integrated with IVR systems, marketers can conduct post-campaign analysis to determine which demographics responded most favorably and then adjust messaging accordingly.

6. Improves the Brand/Customer Relationship

Customization is the key to a successful IVR implementation, as an interactive voice response system is often one of the first contacts a client has with your company. With the use of customizable phone menus and prompts, your enterprise can create an engagement strategy. Mapping your business logic to the natural customer journey will allow you to deliver an experience that is always on-brand.Dynamically create greetings, iterate phone tree changes, and A/B test your messages in real-time so your customer’s IVR experience is no different than any other interaction with your brand.

7. IVR Systems Helps Businesses Scale

The optimal IVR solution must be flexible and robust enough to scale with your organization and adapt to your customers’ ever-changing expectations. Legacy systems can be rigid and provide not enough flexibility. That said, companies are benefiting by building with cloud-based APIs that offer intelligent routing, multilingual capabilities, and omnichannel support. By integrating these APIs into existing systems, these innovators ensure complete control of phone trees and optimal on-demand customer engagements.

Optimizing customer experiences with an IVR

Implementing an Interactive Voice Response system can have tremendous cost-saving benefits, from improving customer service to improving business processes .

Twilio’s cloud communication APIs put you in control of your IVR so you can create exceptional customer experiences. Best of all, we provide your developers with the ability to easily integrate DTMF, speech recognition, and even a visual IVR, along with other self-help digital technologies, so that you can respond to customers, however, and whenever, they want to connect with you.

Looking for more? Read the complete guide.

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