We have often heard a lot about IVR numbers, toll-free numbers, customer care numbers and many more automated call routing facilities and solutions throughout our customer journey. But, what exactly is all this about?
IVR number for businesses is an automated call routing feature that allows enterprises and small businesses to respond to customer calls and filter them out based on their category of queries. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is an automated telephone call management system that responds to the customer with a set of prerecorded voice messages based on certain preset keyboard inputs.
An IVR system answers the calls automatically and identifies the requirement of the caller. It then routes it to the best-suited agent or solution for effective management. IVR system uses DTMF (Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency) tones or computer-generated human voice to answer calls.
What is an IVR number?
An IVR Number for businesses is a tool that automates self-service technology assistance to customers whenever they try to call your business. It helps customers navigate easily to your system and get quick responses to their queries.
An IVR Number lets businesses deliver automated answers or responses for the customer’s query using prerecorded voice messages and redirect them to the right agent or operator if needed. It now plays an essential part in improving the customer experience and efforts.
How does the IVR number work?
An IVR system works by answering phone calls automatically and giving multiple options for customers to input. It interacts with customers and triggers specific actions based on the keypad responses of the caller. An IVR uses pre-recorded voice messages to greet the customer and navigate them through different menus.
These actions might include call routing, providing certain information, activating or deactivating certain features and functions, or connecting to a human agent to intervene. It helps businesses save time, energy, and money by shortening hold times and eliminating the need for appointing multiple agents and infrastructure to answer customer calls.
Suppose you need to call your mobile sim company to raise a ticket on the extra bill you received. You ring the customer care / IVR number and listen to the below responses:
- “Welcome to ABC. Press 1 for English, Press 2 for Hindi”.
- Press 1 for post-paid and Press 2 for prepaid.
- Press 3 to check your balance
- Press 4 to raise a complaint
- Press 5 to activate ‘Caller Tune”
- Press 6 to know about Value-added services
- Press 9 to speak to the customer care agent
Different kinds of IVR today
There are advanced systems to make IVR more natural and interactive. Today, IVR systems even let customers respond to the instructions using either voice or keypad inputs.
For example, if you call a delivery company to check the status, the IVR system might ask you to enter the bill number or order ID to process information quickly.
Now, let us see more about the two types of IVR systems in use.
1. Single-level IVR
A Single-level IVR number is a simple and effective method for customers. It offers direct responses so that the customers can navigate to options easily. The only issue with a Single-level IVR number is that the customer may need to repeat the concern to an agent even after using the keypad inputs. It happens more often when a customer needs to escalate the issues or talk to a supervisor or manager to resolve an issue.
E.g. If you call a Single-level IVR number, you may get the below instructions.
- Press 1 for Language Selection
- Press 2 for Sales
- Press 3 for Support
- Press 4 to Repeat the Menu
- Press 0 to Exit
2. Multi-level IVR
A Multi-level IVR processes information on multiple levels, allowing the customer to pinpoint the issue more accurately. It lets businesses and customers save time and provide better support instantly.
The only issue with a Multi-level IVR number is that you need to implement it carefully. Else, it will add to the headache as callers may input wrong options multiple times and repeat the loop or come to a dead end. It will terminate the sessions and the customers will feel more frustrated.
Eg. If you call a Multi-level IVR number, you may get the below responses.
- Press 1 for Language Selection
- Press 2 for Sales
- Press 1 if you are a Client
- Press 2 if you are a New Customer
- Press 3 for Support
- Enter your Mobile Number to Proceed
- Press 1 for New Delivery Pickups
- Press 2 to Know your Delivery Status
- Press 3 to Cancel your Delivery
- Press 4 to Speak to an Agent
- Press 5 to Repeat the Menu
- Press 0 to Exit
Now, as we have seen the multiple use-cases and types of an IVR number for businesses, let us dig deeper into the critical functionalities and features of an Interactive Voice Response System.
Important features of IVR
IVR systems generally come with loads of features depending on the IVR service provider. Most IVR service providers offer many integrations and functionalities to take the IVR system to the next level.
Now, let us look at some of the top features of an Intelligent Voice Response system.
- Call-filter & Call Identification
- Automatic Call Routing
- Live Call Monitoring
- Inbound Calling
- Outbound Calling
- Custom Voice Messages
- Call Queuing
- Call Recordings
- Self-service Actions
1. Call-filter & Call Identification
The intelligent IVR system lets you filter calls based on their requirements and type. In simple words, an IVR system allows you to identify if it is a business call or not.
2. Automatic Call Routing
An IVR system can intelligently route incoming calls on your IVR Number for businesses based on the input received from the customer on its menu. It is a faster self-service option for a customer to resolve any issues without blabbering to an agent.
3. Live Call Monitoring
Lead generation and management are critical things for businesses to sustain. Live call monitoring in IVR systems allows businesses to monitor every call and evaluate its significance for conversion. The best part is that you can monitor all past and present calls to group them into multiple categories and sections for follow-up.
4. Inbound Calling
The inbound calling function on the IVR solution allows businesses to control and route all the incoming calls automatically. It doesn’t need any manual intervention or effort. All you need to do is to design the menus and then route the calls to the concerned departments or desks.
5. Outbound Calling
The outbound calling function in an IVR system enables you to make calls to phone numbers automatically and connect an agent to the call whenever the customer answers it. It is also very useful to call customers and collect responses.
6. Custom Voice Messages
Businesses can set up custom voice messages to greet and answer customer calls whenever they dial your IVR number. Some IVR solutions even offer you to customise greetings in multiple languages too. You can either use a human voice or a text-to-speech feature to personalise the greetings.
7. Call Queuing
Sometimes businesses may receive too many calls from several customers at a time, and they can’t answer all of them often. An IVR system is your solution. You can handle high volumes of calls hassle-free and keep the customers in a queue, keeping them informed of their waiting positions and response time.
8. Call Recordings
An IVR system allows you to record calls inbound and outbound calls to monitor the quality of the services provided. It can be accessed anytime and used to evaluate, train and monitor the staff’s performance. The call records are often stored in the cloud storage, making it secure and anytime accessible.
9. Self-service Actions
An IVR solution plays a very significant role in elevating the customer experience. When all your agents are occupied and busy, an IVR system will still help you handle customer queries and deliver solutions consistently. A well-configured IVR number can provide an array of self-service options to customers, and they can respond to the instructions accordingly.
Some other features you can look forward to having in an IVR number for businesses are;
- Built-in Text-to-Speech
- Interactive Dashboard
- Professional Voice Over
- High-level Security
- Voicemail to Emails
- Missed Call Alerts
- Intelligent Reports
- Call Tagging
- Lead Management
In addition to the above functionalities, an IVR service provider will give you more fascinating features to take the customer experience to the next level.
Now, as we have been through a long list of features and functions, let us examine some of the benefits of the IVR system in detail.
Benefits of IVR system
The IVR system offers several benefits to both callers and businesses. It is an ultimate win-win situation for both the callers and businesses. Companies save time, money, and energy by implementing an Interactive Voice Response system, and callers save time and effort by eliminating undue hold times and long detailing.
Let us examine how IVR numbers for businesses benefit enterprises in detail below.
1. Self-service Customer Assistance
The ultimate benefit of an IVR number is that callers can access basic information from the IVR system even after business hours or even when agents are not available or busy. All you need is an excellent menu that serves the purpose.
2. Increase Credibility
An IVR number or a toll-free number is a thing that adds value to your brand. It indirectly brings in a feeling of reliability and trust to customers. A well-crafted Interactive Voice Response system can greet customers and deliver accurate information before they reach an agent.
3. Intelligent Call Routing
Route all your incoming calls intelligently to the respective departments using the IVR number and save hold times and escalation requirements. It enables businesses to offer a quick resolution to customer problems.
4. Improve Customer Satisfaction & Experience
Customer satisfaction and improved customer experience are common business goals no matter what industry you belong to. An IVR system resolves customer issues faster by providing self-service options and redirecting the customer to the right agent quickly. It eliminates any possible hold times and multiple call transfers, improving the satisfaction and experience of customers.
5. Support During Rush Hours
Businesses often come to situations when all their agents are busy and are unable to attend to new customer calls, ruining the reputation and reliability of the agency. An IVR helps you answer calls automatically even when agents are busy. It can greet the customer, navigate them through multiple menus, add them to the queue if the agents are busy, and finally redirect them to the agent at the right time.
6. Efficient Resource Utilisation
Another key benefit of an IVR number is that it helps you improve your resources to the optimal level. With an IVR number, you can automatically redirect or route calls to the respective departments, provide on-call menus and prerecorded voice messages, and help team members manage multiple calls efficiently.
In addition to the above benefits, an Interactive Voice Response system has numerous other benefits like;
- increased efficiency
- lead conversions
- Access to call logs
- call recordings
- Auto-attend calls
- Improve agent productivity
- Maximise first-call resolutions
- enhanced customer support
- Reports & analytics
- After-hours call routing
Now, as we have seen the many benefits of an IVR number, let us understand the reasons why a business should get an Interactive Voice Response system from an IVR service provider.
Why should you get an IVR number for your business?
As you have seen many use cases of an IVR number, let us explore why a company should get an IVR number.
You should get an Interactive Voice Response system if you have a business that receives several calls from customers either to request support, raise complaints, or subscribe to a service.
An IVR solution can help you save time and effort. It helps a business save a considerable amount of money they spend on hiring and training agents and setting up huge infrastructures. IVR systems can give accurate and precise information to the caller and resolve a majority of customer queries on the call using prerecorded voice messages and instructions. The only point to note is that you should design the menus and services creatively so that it meets the purpose.
An IVR service provider can help you improve call metrics, reduce operational costs, eliminate resource wastage, and improve your professional image and impression.
Wrapping up on IVR number
Now we have understood a lot about the Intelligent Voice Response system in detail here. An IVR system caters to most customer needs quickly and automatically.
IVR service providers who use advanced technologies like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Voice Recognition, etc., to power up the IVR performance can elevate your customer experience to the next level. If required, it can replace the human agent completely and handle multiple queries 10x times.
Modern-day customers are also reluctant to wait and require service instantly. They hate multiple hold times and the need to repeat the same issue to multiple customer care agents. An IVR solution is the perfect answer to all these issues.
Therefore, it is the perfect time for any business to implement an effective IVR technology to improve their reliability, branding, and customer experience.
TringPartner, a virtual business number provider, is a cost-effective solution for Enterprises that look forward to implementing an intelligent IVR system or getting a virtual business number and is built using the same telecom technology developed by Waybeo.
If you need assistance, guidance or a free consultation on IVR numbers or virtual business numbers, feel free to talk to our experts.