What are the benefits of IVR?

The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system offers numerous benefits for both customers and customer service agents: it saves time, is available 24 hours a day, reduces costs and facilitates the collection of data . This interactive voice response system enables callers to navigate through a voice menu to access the information or services they are looking for. Contact centers and customer services departments often use this technology to offer faster, more efficient service to their customers.

IVR technology is a worthwhile investment for any call center or customer service department, as it delivers a more efficient, personalized and satisfying customer experience, while increasing productivity and reducing costs. In this article, we’ll explore the many benefits of using an IVR for contact centers and customer services.


Cost reduction

One of the main benefits of using an IVR is cost reduction. It automates tasks that would otherwise be carried out manually by agents, reallocating staff to higher value-added tasks. What’s more, by automating responses to the most frequently asked questions, such as order status or account updates, the number of staff allocated to managing inbound call campaigns can be reduced, without impacting on the quality of service provided.

Reducing the number of agents needed to answer calls enables them to concentrate on more important and complex tasks, such as selling products and services, and thus potentially boosting the company’s sales. At the same time, it enables them to specialize and enhance their skills. In addition to enhancing the value of their profession, which boosts productivity and quality of life at work, having specialized agents for more complex problems means that customers can be directed to the most competent advisor to solve their problems as quickly as possible. Customer service quality and satisfaction are thus enhanced.

Improving customer satisfaction

The IVR is a valuable tool for improving the quality of customer service. Firstly, because it develops autonomy in the customer experience , by offering self-service options that are quick and easy to use. According to Deloitte, 67% of customers have a more positive experience with a contact center that uses an IVR than those who don’t. And with good reason. And with good reason: customers are more likely to be satisfied with their overall experience, if they can access services easily, with faster resolution of their problems.

Waiting time is one of the main friction points for customers when they contact a contact center. According to a study by Harris Interactive, 60% of customers are ready to abandon a call after just one minute on hold. Interactive voice servers reduce customer waiting time, as they enable information to be obtained directly without having to wait in line, helping to reduce customer frustration.

By offering call deflection and callback options, and providing customers with the information they’re looking for without having to speak to an agent, the interactive voice server contributes to better management of call peaks. This reduces the number of inbound calls and relieves pressure on contact center agents, improving their efficiency and ability to handle calls more quickly, and consequently contributing to increased customer satisfaction. This is why, according to ICMI, 75% of customers prefer an interactive voice response system to waiting on hold.

Finally, with call-tracking technology, contact centers can record customer calls and use them to train agents. This enables agents to better understand customer needs and deliver a more efficient service.

Improving operational efficiency

Interactive Voice Servers are capable of handling multiple calls simultaneously, and redirecting them to available agents according to their specialization. In this way, IVR helps to improve operational efficiency, by increasing the number of calls handled, reducing the number of missed calls, and improving the first-call resolution rate. According to Dimension Data, contact centers that use an IVR have a 27% reduction in call abandonment. What’s more, according to a survey by Forrester Research, the use of IVR helps reduce the number of call transfers by 90%, resulting in a 23% reduction in handling time and a 22% increase in customer satisfaction.

By optimizing the IVR experience, high volumes of incoming calls are managed more efficiently. Contact centers can be overwhelmed by calls during busy periods, such as peak periods or special events. An IVR can absorb these high call volumes by directing customers to specific information or services. According to a study by Frost & Sullivan, contact centers using an IVR can handle up to three times as many calls simultaneously as those not using one.

Personalizing the customer experience

Thanks to voice recognition technology, interactive voice servers can identify the customer and offer personalized menu options based on their profile. This creates a pleasant, personalized customer experience, strengthening the relationship between your company and your customers.

What’s more, when properly optimized, the IVR can be a driving force behind your customer service. By coupling your Call Center software with your CRM, you can use customer information stored in your company’s CRM systems. The IVR can then provide personalized menu options for customers based on their purchase history, location or language preference. This can help not only customers but also advisors to find the information or services they need more easily, while improving their overall experience with the company.

Beyond CRM integration, it’s speech recognition and text-to-speech technologies that help create a personalized experience. According to a study by Nuance Communications, customers prefer IVRs that offer personalized options such as speech recognition or text-to-speech, rather than generic menus:

  • Voice recognition systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated, helping to identify customers by their voice: when a customer calls, the IVR can recognize their identity and provide personalized service. For example, if a customer has already purchased a product from the company, the IVR helps to provide information about that product and offer similar recommendations.
  • Text-to-speech (TTS) is another form of voice technology. It enables you to speak in a personalized digital voice. It is also often coupled with IVR menus; the synthesized voice is generally natural, close to the human voice, and is addressed to the customer. The text recited can be a welcome message, menu options, or any other information designed to help the customer.

Despite the advantages that these technologies offer, they have not been adopted as widely as initially expected. One might ask if they are indispensable or a must-have  for brands?

Capture valuable data

When a customer uses an IVR, the information they provide is recorded in the company’s database. This data is invaluable, as it provides insights into their purchasing habits, service preferences and behavior.

What’s more, IVR helps to gather information about customers before they are even connected to an agent. This helps reduce the time it takes to handle each call, and increases customer satisfaction by resolving issues more quickly. According to Forrester Research, 80% of customers prefer to use an IVR to manage their interactions with a brand. Customers are therefore more inclined to provide personal information if it helps them resolve their problem or request more quickly.

Finally, the IVR can also collect valuable data on the reasons for customer calls, the problems most frequently encountered, the products or services most in demand, and so on. This information can help companies understand their customers’ needs and improve their customer experience. This data is also collected to improve customer satisfaction, by understanding needs and training agents: according to ContactBabel, 64% of companies use data collected by their IVR to measure customer satisfaction. What’s more, 47% use this data to assess agent performance and improve training.

By using IVR to collect and analyze customer data, companies can also improve their operational efficiency. According to a study by Aberdeen Group, companies using an IVR are on average 27% more productive than those without.

Easy integration with other systems

Integration of the Interactive Voice Response System with other systems used in customer relations is essential to guarantee a smooth, consistent experience. Companies can improve their customer service by combining IVR with other systems such as CRM, ticket management software and customer interaction tracking tools.

There are many advantages to integrating IVR with other systems:

  • Personalization, as mentioned above . Using data collected in other systems, the IVR can provide personalized messages and options based on the customer’s profile. According to a study by Accenture, 75% of customers are more likely to buy from a company that recognizes them and provides personalized offers.
  • Store the right information, thanks to CRM integration. This makes it easier to track interactions. According to Salesforce, companies using CRM have increased customer satisfaction by 25% and sales by 25% to 30%.
  • Improve operational efficiency by integrating IVR with ticket management software. Tickets are then automatically generated by the IVR when a customer requests help, and directed to the right agent for rapid problem resolution. According to a study by Forrester, automating customer service tasks can reduce costs by 33% to 49%.
  • Omnichannel vision, by integrating IVR with omnichannel customer engagement software.  This enables the detection of emerging issues and trends, which can help companies make improvements to their customer service. According to Aberdeen Group, companies that track customer interactions across multiple channels have increased customer satisfaction by 89% and loyalty by 59%.

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