By STEFANIA VISCUSI
IVR systems offer an increased number of options for the way a business presents information to customers or handles caller requests and can provide functionality in number of different industry needs. From banking to airlines and telecommunications, IVR systems offer customers the information they need to get to, and a number of options for doing so.
IVR also makes it possible to have operations and services available 24 hours a day 7 days a week, because there is not a need for a live agent to answer the queries. Instead, callers make their way to their answers by navigating through a menu tree either by using their voice, or by pressing numbers on the telephone key pad.
With the IVR connected to a phone system, it is possible to deliver gathered information to answer caller requests, over the phone via a synthesized voice, or it can be faxed, presented over the web, or via email. Callers even have the option speak to live callers when necessary.
IVR helps customers get the information they need much more quickly and there is no need for dedicated representatives to assist with every query. This enhances customer experiences and provides customers with the ability to choose the way in which they wish to get information.
Some features of the IVR that customers can specifically be provided with an IVR system in place are: fax on demand, secure access to confidential account information, general information like phone numbers and work hours as well as a way to easily navigate through a complex phone system.
It's important to remember when choosing to implement an IVR system that is one that fits your company's specific needs. As IVRs that are underpowered can actually cause an increase in dropped calls and customer dissatisfaction with the system due to impatience. For a successful implementation, it is important to choose IVR solutions designed with the customer in mind.
Menus should be logically designed, and the options should be explained in a way that anyone can understand as well, keeping number options to a minimum and including the ability to repeat choices is a must. It is also important to use a recorded voice that is clear and professional and to monitor IVR logs and see how many calls are dropped to uncover caller frustrations with the system.
Overall, with the right IVR system in place, it is possible to improve service, enhance productivity and lower costs.
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