How many times do we hear “Press 1 for Sales”,” Dial 2 for Customer Service” …. when we call a company’s telephone line? Many managers and CEOs don’t understand the value that an IVR service will bring to their company. In this blog, we explain what IVR software is and how it can benefit your Call Centre experience.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a telephony menu system that enables the dial pad for identification, segmentation, and routing of callers to the most appropriate agent within your In-House or Outsourced team. It is a simple and effective and will significantly reduce costs and increase efficiency within any company
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Features of an IVR System are as follows:
Configuration of a personalised IVR message and prompts
IVRs allow you to record customised greetings, messages and prompts so that when your customers call your company, they will have a more personalised experience. e.g., “Press 1 for Sales”.
Collecting of information about your callers prior to the call being answered by an agent.
IVRs collect information about your customer’s needs and will transfer calls to the most appropriate agent or department depending on their IVR input. When calls are directed to your agents or agents in your Outsourced Call Centre using technology, they will significantly reduce the probability that the caller will be transferred to the wrong agent or department.
Use of pre-recorded IVR messages
If you prefer to not use your own voice on the IVR, you can use pre-recorded IVR messages. Professionalism made easy.
Automation of the customer service process
Where required, IVRs allow your customers to obtain the information they are searching for without speaking with an agent. They will help to automate the customer service process.
Prioritisation of calls based on value
IVRs allow you to prioritize calls based on the caller’s value. When a high-value customer calls, the IVR will route them to the agent who is most qualified to meet their needs. If all your agents are busy, they will be directed to the front of the waiting queue. Your team will never lose a high-value customer due to poor customer service or a slow answer time.
Handling of high call volumes
IVR systems allow companies to easily handle high call volumes. Callers will automatically be directed to the agent or department that is most capable of meeting their needs or will wait in a queue when all agents are busy. Some IVR systems allow the caller the option of having an agent return their call rather than wait in a queue.
Improving your company’s image
Start-ups and smaller companies can use IVRs to make it appear that their company is larger than it actually is. If you only have a few people in your company, you can configure IVR prompts that allow callers to talk to sales, support, marketing, or accounts /administration, etc. Regardless of what department the caller chooses, they will be routed to the person on your team best qualified to handle his query.
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Benefits from using an IVR system
Here is a list of a few benefits from using an IVR:
- Increase first contact resolution
IVR significantly increases first contact resolution because callers are always directed to the agent who is most capable of meeting their needs or the most appropriate department. The agent who receives the call will be more qualified to answer the caller’s question and will be less likely to transfer the call to another agent
- Increase customer service efficiency
Agents who work in a company that uses an IVR are more proficient at solving specific problems and meeting specific needs of the customers that they are assigned because they have developed an expertise in their area. The result is an increase in customer service efficiency
- Increase agent and company efficiency
Agents who work in a company with an IVR are more skilled at addressing specific issues, are less likely to consult with colleagues or a manager and are also less likely to transfer the call to another agent. This results in a significant increase in agent and company efficiency
- Reduce operational costs
IVR systems will replace a receptionist or a customer service agent who answers calls and directs calls to agents. They are also very affordable, will increase efficiency and will reduce operational costs, so the Return on Investment is huge.
- Increase professionalism
You can use an IVR system to greet your customers in a very professional manner and to make it appear that you have more departments and employees than you actually have.
- Increase customer satisfaction
When your IVR is easy to use and reliable, customers will never be routed to the wrong department, or to an agent who cannot solve their problems.
Overall, as demonstrated above, the features of IVR systems provide clear benefits and the associated costs are relatively low. It is therefore a sound investment with huge ROI.
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Kendlebell was set up In Ireland in 2006 and now have 4 offices providing a diverse range of services to the SME market. We provide a range of Outsource Solutions to the Business Community. Among our services are:
Business Telephone Answering / Message Taking.
We provide a personal telephone answering service for your business calls. All your calls are answered by your own PA, giving you peace of mind that you will never miss another new enquiry again. A call answering script is agreed in advance. All your business calls are answered in a professional and friendly manner as if we were part of your team. Our Business phone answering service is delivered at a fraction of the cost of employing staff, involves no administration and gives an excellent first impression. Messages are passed to you instantly by either text-to-mobile, email or you can phone in and speak to your Kendlebell PA at any time.
Virtual Reception services
The Kendlebell team will act exactly as you would expect any receptionist to operate. They will take all incoming calls and transfer them through to the direct dial or mobile of the member of staff sought. If these individuals are not available, they can give callers the option to leave a voicemail or simply take a message which the PA will send on immediately. They will do so immediately by text or email with an end of day report summarising all your calls being sent as well. All of this is done seamlessly and without the company’s customers being aware that you are suing a virtual receptionist from Kendlebell.
Diary Management Services
Our PA’s can answer your calls and make appointments, saving you up to 70% of the cost of employing a receptionist. While you are busy in meetings or with clients, your dedicated team of PA’s at Kendlebell can be taking calls and booking appointments for you as well as making entries into your online diary. We can access your online diary securely using a Username and Password. Their personal, friendly approach can really make an impact and promote a professional experience with your business contacts right from the start. You can see your scheduled appointments any time online. We can take calls to fill in gaps in your diary or change appointments while you are busy.
Customer Helpdesk / Order Taking
Services include capturing caller’s details and asking qualifying questions to get further information you may require. With each client, we agree call handling instructions to ensure our services benefit your company, freeing up your time to concentrate on running your business. We can link to your CRM /Sales Systems remotely and securely. We also provide cold call screening as part of our phone answering services. Messages will be forwarded on to you immediately by email or text, alternatively we can save and forward these messages at an agreed time. You will also receive a daily email summary of messages.
You do not want to miss an important call because the signal is bad on the beach or up in the hills. Our Kendlebell PAs will take your calls, answer them, and let you know as per your instructions. For the messaging service, a Kendlebell PA will answer your calls with your company name and take the caller’s name, number, and a brief message. These messages will be emailed to you daily at the close of business and you can decide whether to review while on holiday or at the end of the holiday. To provide a booking service we need to know what is already booked. If you already use an online diary, we will need access. We will ensure that your diary is kept completely up to date, dealing with new appointments, cancellations or change of time / date of other appointments daily while you enjoy your holiday.
Overflow Call Answering
An overflow call answering service helps your organisation during periods of high call volume. To prevent callers from being forced to wait for an available staff member, or to leave a voicemail or wait for a return call, excess calls can be routed through to your Kendlebell Call Centre PAs who are trained and available to assist. This will, in turn lead to faster service and result in higher levels of customer satisfaction. By not missing a call, you will not lose out on a potential new customer. Potential customers who do not get through to the office could possibly just ring another supplier / competitor as they want an answer fast! Outsourcing your overflow calls will reduce training costs and everything else that goes along with hiring new staff. It will also allow you to increase sales by being able to handle higher volume of calls. There is no requirement to hire part time staff for sickness cover and annual leave. A good overflow call answering service can act as an extension of your office. The Call Centre PA’S will be trained to deliver service to the same standard as the company employees.