With omnichannel and conversational capabilities, IVRs can be utilized throughout the customer lifecycle to ensure a fast, convenient, and personalized customer experience. Let’s dive deeper into how businesses are reaching more people, more quickly, and in more ways using the power of their IVR systems.
IVRs are most commonly associated with the contact center, allowing companies to automate and scale their customer support with self-service options that help manage high call volumes.
When requests for a live agent outpace availability, IVR systems can give callers the option of receiving a call back or switch to chat or SMS messaging from the next available agent, rather than wait in a queue. For retailers, an IVR system not only scales customer service but also connects online shoppers to brands’ local stores as needed to check if a particular item is in stock or to make an appointment, for example.
Post-purchase, an omnichannel IVR with SMS messaging capabilities is useful for notifying customers when their order ships and when they can expect their delivery to arrive. Customer service has a direct impact on sales–94% of consumers say they will buy again when they have a simple, easy support experience**.
IVR enables conversational commerce via various means of conversation, including voice assistants like Alexa, live chat on messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger and websites, and chatbots. Conversational commerce provides on-the-go convenience for consumers to purchase goods and services without toggling between multiple devices or channels.
When it comes time to process a customer’s payment, it’s important to note you will need to validate Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance. This includes systems you manage for your business, such as e-commerce servers, in-store payment terminals, and any mail order or telephone order acceptance channels. It also includes any partner systems such as payment service and telephony providers and service centers. Each of these carries its own intricate approach to scoping which data security requirements apply and are required to ensure PCI compliance. The easiest way for you to avoid the burden of PCI compliance is to partner with companies that are already PCI compliant to handle the payment card data on your behalf.
Proactive marketers know that when inbound calls occur, it’s a prime opportunity to promote a special offer, or deliver a custom marketing message while routing them to their requested destination.
IVR systems are also being employed in integrated marketing campaigns by adding local IVR phone numbers to SMS messages, emails, and print advertisements. Customers can easily call to enter a contest, or redeem a promotion.
Marketers can use IVR-enabled surveys, following a recent transaction or interaction with your customer service department, to capture valuable customer feedback. IVR-enabled surveys are usually limited to just a few choice questions, with the most important question positioned early in the call to accommodate for customer drop-off.
Since the IVR can capture the voice of the customer, another best practice is to ask open-ended questions as opposed to offering a menu of responses. However implemented, IVR-based surveys can be used to help your business adapt to your customers’ changing needs.