Starting a new business brings with it a lot of responsibility. As a business owner, you are no more responsible for your tasks alone, you have employees who depend on you for their livelihood, and if that pressure alone was not enough there are customer expectations that need to be met and exceeded. But, here’s the good news – investing in a hosted IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system can significantly ease the pressure of keeping your customers happy. Hosted IVR system more popularly known as an auto-attendant is a boon for businesses in the current business landscape which is so customer-centric. Perplexed about what am I talking about? You will find out soon.
Demystifying Hosted IVR Systems
Simply put a hosted IVR system is a telephone menu and routing system that gives interactive responses to callers. Using the menu option a hosted IVR system helps a business segregate and sort through the calls it receives and directs them to the right person and department without long waiting times. The outcome is happy and delighted customers who are attended to without any delays, and their queries are often quickly resolved. This is something most businesses strive for.
Hosted IVR system features that help enhance customer experience
Easy integration with existing phone systems: Some of the best IVR systems in the market can be integrated with a company’s existing PBX phone system or business VoIP systems, which means irrespective of the phone technology your business may be using you could consider investing in a hosted IVR system.
Self-service options: A hosted IVR system can be integrated with Automatic Call Distribution (ACD), a system that enables to get callers the information they need without any need for human intervention.
Customization: The best IVR systems offer a variety of custom IVR options, enabling businesses to choose and customize the IVR system to suit their business needs.
Speech recognition: Many hosted IVR systems use speech recognition enabling a caller to interact more naturally with the computerized system. This significantly reduces inefficiencies within the system and helps customers with the information they need.
Overall a hosted IVR system helps resolve a plethora of bottlenecks such as transferring calls to the wrong department, long waiting times, and non-ability to provide quick resolutions which can end up tarnishing your business image.
How a hosted IVR system works
A caller calls the designated customer care/call center phone number of a business. Usually, after two rings they are greeted by a recorded welcome message followed by a menu that provides them with preselected choices like language preference and options on where they can find the information they need. The options are typically designed around the most common questions and concerns that the business receives.
Use case: A customer holding a credit card from your bank may call the customer care number for a query. They will be greeted by a welcome message followed by a menu to select their language preference. Once the customer selects a language preference he may be given the following options:
Press 1 to know your credit card outstanding
Press 2 to know the delivery status of your credit card
Press 3 to raise a complaint
Press 4 to report a loss/theft of card
Press 5 for any other query
Press 6 to speak to our customer care executive
A few of these options will give an automated response, eliminating the need to interact with any call center agent. In our case, the other menu options like 5 and 6 will transfer the caller to the concerned department and agent who can help the customer with a resolution.
A couple of new-age hosted IVR systems also use voice recognition to better understand the requests and questions that the caller uses, and gets the customers to interact with a computer in a more human-like manner. A simple old-school-hosted IVR system will instruct customers to answer the prompted questions by punching numbers on their phone keypad.
Does my business need a hosted IVR system?
A large business enterprise may choose to purchase all of the software and hardware needed to run the IVR in-house. However, a hosted IVR system makes more sense for small and mid-sized businesses. A hosted IVR system provides the:
- Necessary technical support
- Helps in the initial setup and trains your team on how to use the IVR system
- Takes care of troubleshooting and maintenance
Investing in a hosted IVR system has more benefits than you can imagine for your business:
- It helps you manage your incoming calls in an effective and efficient manner. Agents save time on doing repetitive tasks and can contribute to other more significant processes.
- Customers no longer have to wait for hours for a query resolution. The calls are no longer mistakenly transferred to the wrong department. All of this helps you as an organization to up your customer service game and enhance the overall image of your business.
- A hosted IVR system makes the infrastructure and capabilities only big enterprises can afford to small businesses at a cost-effective price point. It helps them create a more professional impression on their clients from the day GO.
The hosted IVR system market has reported consistent growth in the past and shows no signs of slowing down. The latest survey reports estimate the value of the global IVR market to be worth a whopping $6.6 billion by 2030. After all, a wide array of industries can benefit from the capabilities of a hosted IVR system be it BFSI, hospitality, healthcare, retail, e-commerce, government social services, and more. IVR offers solutions to manage your business communications way beyond one can imagine. This space definitely has a lot of untapped potentials.