Technological advances are fantastic for consumers who love to keep up to date with trends in smartphones, laptops, game consoles and so on, but for businesses, advances in technology can make the difference between them expanding their horizons with an increase in profits and the improvement of the customer experience, and failing to meet expectations and targets and suffering as a result.

The use of Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) technology has been growing significantly throughout the world of business in the last few years, and has become increasing popular in technology. For example, IVR has been used for satellite navigation systems and smartphones recently, and telephone banking has become more customer-friendly since IVR has enabled customers to be authenticated and identified by the voice system taking details such as date of birth and address details before sending them through to the call centres.

In call centres with extremely high call volumes, IVR is the perfect solution. If your call centre has a number of different services, it can sometimes be a time wasting issue if your call team have to keep forwarding calls and redirecting calls to the correct section. With IVR, the system becomes the middleman, ensuring that every call goes to the correct location within the business, enabling for higher productivity from each department as a result of being able to focus purely on their ownInteractive voice response individual departmental customers and tasks.

For some queries, IVR could cut out the need for human contact at all. If the customer needs a certain query answering, the voice response technology could direct them to a pre-recorded answer to the query, cutting out the need to wait in line to talk to call centre staff, and to get the answer to their question as quickly as possible. When it comes to improving customer service, IVR can be hugely beneficial to your business.

Here are a few of the most popular uses for IVR in business:

  • Mobile – Topping up Pay-As-You-Go phone accounts, registering and purchasing mobile phones including mobile phone products including ringtones, cases, games and logos
  • Banking – Account enquiries including making payments, registering cards, balance enquiries
  • Retail – Including making orders, bookings, credit card payments, issuing refunds, etc.
  • Utilities – Including meter readings, account balance, history of account, payments
  • Travel – Weather, ticket bookings, flight information, train enquiries, etc.

As most businesses will know, running a contact centre is an expensive task, but with IVR technology, calls don’t have to be wasted on dealing with simple enquiries, and call centre staff and get back to making sales and upselling products and services in order to make up for having to deal with the enquiries they shouldn’t have had to be dealing with in the first place. Reducing the average cost per call handled is a priority of all call centre businesses, and IVR allows for this to become a reality.

Applying IVR enables your business to develop and deploy new call services faster and cut operational costs, which in turn improves the job satisfaction of your call centre staff, who would much rather be dealing with customers who want to purchase goods and services rather than deal with small issues that could be dealt with by voice recognition technology. IVR allows management to customise the system to suit their needs and monitor call process from a desktop. Maintenance is also possible from a laptop, including debugging services as and when they go wrong. Having flexibility in your systems is a luxury in business, and is one of the biggest advantages of operating interactive voice response technology as an integral part of the operation of your business.

About the Author

Katie Matthews is a Marketing Executive at C3 a specialist in multimedia platforms for mass call handling and interactive messaging services in the UK.  Katie writes about topics covering technical applications, managed hosting and communications systems for business.