What to look for in an IVR system in 2020?

IVR system in 2020 has become a necessity for all types of businesses in this COVID scenario. When all the businesses and companies are encouraging their employees to work from home, IVR systems are need of the hour, more than ever.  2020 has changed the way businesses used to work. It has made everyone more independent and drastically increased online working mode.

With an increase in the online and staggered working environment, IVR plays an important role in helping better client connectivity and efficient issue resolution.

There are a number of IVR systems available for small businesses out there, which makes choosing the right one more difficult. So this article will help you narrow down your search by clearly explaining the features required in an IVR system in 2020.

IVR system in 2020

 What to look for in an IVR system in 2020?

1. CRM Integration – IVR system in 2020:

To implement automation in an effective manner, it is imperative for IVR to have the feature of CRM integration. This way all the customer’s details such as their KYC, issues, and their calling data will automatically be stored in CRM. This data can be fetched by any agent when required and even automatic reminders or email can be set through CRM.

2. Drag and Drop Configuration– IVR system in 2020:

Well not all of us know to code or are tech-savvy. Hence one must always look for an IVR that provides you with drag and drop configuration. With drag and drop you can easily set up a call flow and menu options for the system by simply dragging and dropping and linking together different aspects, visually (like flow charts).

This is most beneficial for small businesses that can’t afford to keep a technical team. But at the same time, IVR that offers this feature can be expensive. In fact, we can suggest one such IVR which provides this feature and is cheapest. Click on the link below to know more about this IVR.

3. Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR):

All the advanced IVR systems in 2020 have ASR features. This recognizes what a customer speaks and transfers into a text (speech to text). This text or document is stored as a record and even emailed to the concerned agents to apprise them of the situation whether it’s solved or requires further evaluation.

IV system in 2020

4. Self Service Options:

Self-service goes hand in hand with automation. It’s critical that your IVR supports self-service options to enable automated customer support. These self-service options will enable customers to interact with your system to solve issues without the need for agent intervention, allowing agents to focus on more complex issues and enabling callers to receive the help they need on their own accord.

Benefits of Self Service IVR

5. Queue Callback:

It really pisses a customer when they have to listen to music or a recording while on hold. Everybody’s time is precious, therefore Queue callback is great a feature to have in IVR these days. This gives the customer the option to have an agent call back when your turn arrives. This way the caller does not have to stick to the phone and wait for their turn.

6. Ring Groups:

This feature is a must in today’s date when everybody is working from home. Ring groups help a business to make sure they don’t miss any valuable calls. If a customer calls your office number (which might not get answered since the offices are closed), ring groups allow you to have multiple phones ring at once. When one dial a single phone number or extension, it enables your business to distribute incoming calls among different agents.

7. Skill-based routing:

This is very much useful when your company or business has more than one department. Skill-based routing forward incoming calls to the appropriate department or agent based on customers’ first interaction with IVR. This way, expert agents can handle more complex issues while callers are directed to the best agent for their issue.

IVR system in 2020

8. Extensions and Toll-free number:

An IVR system features should also include toll-free numbers, which gives a business a more professional and genuine feel. In-fact these numbers don’t cost a penny to the customers when they call you. Read more about the importance of a toll-free number for the success of your business in this article.

And with extension numbers, all your employees or departments can be allocated a specific extension number. This will streamline the entire calling process and make it more efficient and reduces time wastage. Your employees can answer your company phone from anywhere.

toll-free number for small business

Conclusion:

IVR system is becoming more and more important in 2020 when work from home culture is gaining popularity. If your company or business is looking for a new communication channel, make sure it includes an IVR setup, that has most of the features listed above.

We would encourage you to try out VirtuIVR one of the cheapest IVR and has most of the features mentioned above. Click on the link below to know more and try this new IVR at $67/year.

IVR system features – VirtuIVR all in one

There are multitudes of IVR systems available in the market today but the one who provides most IVR system features at a very reasonable price is VirtuIVR – An automated phone system for your business. If you are still pondering whether to get an IVR system for your business or not, we recommend you to please go through this article. We are sure that this will help you make an appropriate decision.

IVR System features

In today’s article, we are going to elucidate all the IVR system features of a very reliable and affordable Cloud-based PBX and Interactive voice response system – VirtuIVR.

IVR system features of VirtuIVR

1. Custom Greetings:

Custom greetings enable you to improve your interaction with your customers. You can upload a prerecorded message, use the standard greetings, or use our text-to-speech function. According to the nature of your business and customers, you can customize the greetings. You can also include wishes for a festival or a social message.

VirtuIVR allows you to create personalized greetings for welcome messages and for voicemail messages. This will help enhance your customer experience and show more professionalism.

2. Extensions – IVR system features:

VirtuIVR provides you with unlimited extension numbers. You and all your employees or departments can be allocated a specific extension number. This will streamline the entire calling process and make it more efficient and reduces time wastage. Your employees can answer your company phone from anywhere.

3. Local or toll-free number:

VirtuIVR

VirtuIVR works in any city and in every country. Therefore you can get a local number pertaining to any area, making the customers belonging to the specific area more comfortable to contact you.

In addition, this IVR system features also include toll-free numbers, which gives a business a more professional and genuine feel. In-fact these numbers don’t cost a penny to the customers when they call you. Read more about the importance of a toll-free number for the success of your business in this article.

4. Dial Pad – IVR system features:

Ever wonder if you can carry a business without the hassle of carrying multiple phones. Well, VirtuIVR makes this possible. All you need is VirtuIVR software on your laptop or tablet. And on the dashboard of VirtuIVR, there is a dial pad similar to ones on the phone. This dial pad enables you to place calls directly from the laptop or tablet to your customer. This type of feature is best for the sales team.

5. Text Messages- IVR system features:

Another very useful feature is you can directly contact your clients and leads via SMS or text messages. Again there is no requirement of the phone. You can make a conversation just like you would do on a phone.

We all know how tedious it can be to write text messages on the phone. It can take a toll on our eyesight. But if you can type the same message directly from the dashboard on a laptop or tablet, it becomes much easier. You can send text or SMS messages straight to your clients without the need for any cell phone or service. Additionally, you can reply back to their messages and have a full conversation.

6. Lead ID Detection:

Moreover, you don’t have to wonder who is calling anymore. With VirtuIVR, state of the art Lead ID Detection, you will know exactly who is calling. The system will also store that information automatically for you. This way all your leads will be stored automatically and this will further reduce any chances of missing an important lead.

7. Voice-to-email:

 Another life-changing feature of this IVR system is that the entire voice message is saved automatically. It is generally noticed that businesses tend to avoid voice messages due to lack of time. To avoid this scenario VirtuIVR IVR system software sends all voice messages to your email.

8. Contacts – IVR system features:

Just like a traditional phone, all your contacts are automatically saved in the system. With one click you can find the client you wish to contact and can directly dial their number via software.

Unlike other software where you might have to manually dial the numbers using phone, VirtuIVR makes this process a lot simpler by directly dialing the numbers through a laptop or tablet.

9. Library:

There are two ways to save your customized greeting. Firstly, you can upload a pre-recorded message using outside software.

Secondly, you can record a message in the VirtuIVR system. Moreover, you can type your message, which will get converted to a voice message and will be played as per the setting and instructions.

10. Call Forwarding:

In case you are traveling or nobody in your office is available to receive calls at the business number, VirtuIVR lets you forward all incoming business calls and extensions to any landline and cellular platform.

This way you make sure that you are not missing any important business calls or new leads.

IVR system features

11. Call Recording:

All incoming calls are recorded for better user experience and customer service. Recording calls helps the business to assess its sales team and other front-facing employees. In addition to that, it helps in keeping a record of the type of issues existing customers mostly call your business. And it also helps in figuring out, what all questions a new customer can ask you. Therefore it prepares you in advance to deal with your customers. Furthermore, the storage capacity of this system is unlimited.

12. Powered by Twilio:

Twilio is one of the most trusted API systems throughout the world. And VirtuIVR Works with Twilio API. Each number is $1 per month and minutes are $0.0075. Therefore you don’t have to worry about the quality of service and customer care.

Conclusion:

In addition to the features listed above, VirtuIVR provides you with all these IVR system features at pricing that doesn’t break your bank. Undoubtedly, it should be noted that it just costs you $67 per year for all these wonderful services.

In order to get more clarity, we recommend you watch the demo of this software and you will yourself realize the ease of its usage and its effectiveness.

If you have any more questions about VirtuIVR, please feel free to contact us at sales@virtuivr.com.

How to create a good IVR script for any business to impress your customers?

We all know of the statement “First impression is the last one”. Well, this is true in most cases, especially in the professional world. And if you are using an Interactive Voice Response system or IVR, you must know and accept the importance of a good and clear IVR script in your business. It can be very helpful to annoy your customers if not done right. On the other hand, it should help you retain your customers or clients.

IVR is like the door to your business. A customer is not able to know you personally but the first time he will be making a contact with your business will be through an IVR. Therefore it is imperative to have a well-written, comprehendible, and effective IVR script for your business. Most of the time, IVR gets a bad rap because of poorly constructed IVR messages, inaudible IVR recording, and too much jargon in the script. This further leads to caller frustration and a lost business opportunity. We would suggest you go through the tips below to create a better IVR system for a better understanding of designing an efficient IVR system.

IVR script for business
A Typical IVR script flow for any business

In this article, we will talk about the perfect IVR script for any business in different stages or process of a call.

1. Welcome Greeting

Everybody likes to hear a warm and friendly greeting. It might just bring a smile on their face. Therefore make sure to include a welcome greeting in your IVR script. In particular, remember to keep it simple and short. In fact, the most used and approved greetings are mentioned below:

  • Thank you for calling XYZ company.
  • Thank you for calling XYZ. Don’t forget to check out www.xyz.com for a list of our latest specials and events.           
  • You have reached XYZ. Your call is important to us. Please hold while we connect your call.
  • Thank you for calling XYZ. Please hold, and one of our amazing support agents will answer your call as soon as possible.
  • Thank you for calling ABC,  where customer service is our priority.

2. Main Menu Message

After the greeting, comes the main menu options. Try to keep the options as less as possible. As a matter of fact, a standard that most companies follow is to have a maximum of 5 menu options with 3 submenu options at the most. Let us understand this with an IVR script:

IVR SCRIPT
Never have too many options in your Main menu

Firstly ask the customer to chose their language.

Hello, you have reached XYZ. “For English press 1. Para Español presione el número 2.”

Most importantly allow the customer to enter their option anytime during the whole message and not wait till for the whole message to finish. Furthermore, always include an option to talk to an operator.

  • For new customers, press 1
  • Customer support, press 2.
  • For billing, press 3.
  • For technical issue, press 4
  • If you would like to speak with an Operator, press 0.
  • Press 9 to repeat the menu.

3. Available Agents Greeting

Suppose in the above example, a customer presses 2 for customer support and his call gets directed to the agent. A message similar to the ones mentioned below will be appreciated:

4. Waiting IVR Message to make a good IVR script for any business

After the customer chooses their language and the option where they want to be connected, they would want to talk to the agent. In most cases, the agents are busy with other calls and there may be a wait time, the customer has to experience. In this scenario, a wait message script should be drafted to assure the customers that their request has been acknowledged and you are working on it.

Suppose the customer presses 3 for billing issues, the message should be like:

  • All of our agents are currently busy. Please hold, and we will answer your call as soon as possible.
  • All of our agents are busy at this time. Your call is very important to us. Please stay on the line and we will answer your call

5. Delay Announcement

When a caller waits for over 2 minutes to talk to the agent, he is likely to get furious. So it is must send again a strong reassurance message.

  • Thank you for your patience. All of our agents are still busy. Please continue to hold and your call will be answered in the order it was received.
  • All of our agents are currently assisting other callers. Press 1 to leave a message. Press 2 to have an agent call you back.
  • All of our agents are still busy. Please visit our website at www.xyz.com for useful information, or continue to hold and the next available agent will take your call.

6. After Business Hour Greetings to make a good IVR script for any business

Since IVR systems can work 24/7 but this does not hold true for your agents. So there are chances your customers call after business hours and want to speak to an agent. In this case, a well-drafted IVR script saves your day.

  • Thank you for calling XYZ. We are currently unavailable to take your call. Please leave a message after the beep, or contact us during business hours: Monday through Friday between 9 am and 5 pm Eastern Standard Time. Thank you!
  • Thank you for calling XYZ. You have reached this message because it is after business hours. Please leave a message after the beep, or call back between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

7. Holiday Closure Greetings

In addition, there are chances a caller might call you during a national or a festive holiday. You can have a separate IVR recording which will take the caller to the next prompt.

  • Thank you for calling XYZ, we are currently closed in observance of [holiday name]. We will return on [Date] at 8 AM Eastern Standard Time.
  • To leave a voicemail, please press 2.
  • To repeat this menu, please press the # key.
  • [If no response after a few seconds] Goodbye

After Pressing 2

  • Thank you for your message, our executive will contact you upon our return.

8. Intelligent Reconnect Prompt

The last one on our list of IVR script for any business is Intelligent Reconnect Prompt. In this case, if a customer calls back after a disconnection within the intelligent reconnect time threshold. They should hear a message as follows:

  • It looks like you recently called us and were disconnected. Can we attempt to reconnect you with the agent you were speaking with? If you would rather return to the main menu, please press 1 now. Otherwise, stay on the line to be reconnected.
  • You’ve reached XYZ. It looks like you called us recently. Would you like to skip the line and be connected to the next available agent? If you would prefer to return to the main menu, press 1.

Conclusion:

Altogether, make sure you use somewhat similar messages as mentioned above when drafting your IVR script because a good IVR script can make or break customers’ interest in your company. The situations and script in this article are applicable to all types of businesses.

Apart from this, if you want help with IVR script of a specific industry such as banking, healthcare, restaurant, and many others, please leave a comment below or contact us at sales@virtuivr.com. Our team will help you in drafting the most effective IVR script for your organization.

5 Reasons Cloud-based IVR is better than Hosted IVR

With rapidly changing and evolving technology, Interactive Virtual Response (IVR) has also undergone major changes. These updates have made IVR less complex and rigid. With the introduction of cloud-based APIs, IVR systems have become more flexible and hassle-free. As the business needs to keep on evolving, so does customer’s needs, which means IVR systems also need to be continuously evolving for customer satisfaction. 

Cloud-based IVR

Nowadays IVR’s are not just used for call and wait for service but are a key element in marketing, sales to service, and support. Read this article to know more about the advantages of modern IVR. Companies are using this technology to interact with customers 24/7. Today IVR systems are classified into three main categories: on-premise, hosted, and cloud.

This article is going to explain to you how the above three categories are different. And why Cloud-based IVR is the best option for recent and upcoming times.

On-premise IVR:

Back in the times when there was no cloud technology, most contact centers were hosted “on-premise”, or on local servers stored within a company’s facility. They are considered to offer greater control and security since the servers are managed and supervised in-house. 

But while on-premise solutions do offer more control, several drawbacks are causing many businesses to avoid this type of solution.

  • Since the data and servers are typically stored in one centralized location, which creates a single point of failure. These systems are much more vulnerable to service disruptions and downtime. 
  • In addition to this, it requires large up-front investments. And a significant amount of time, planning, and manpower to look after the systems. 
  • It has also not been very efficient in handling a large number of customer calls and queries leading to bottlenecks and other constraints.

Hosted IVR:

These IVR systems are more evolved in comparison to On-premise IVR. Unlike on-premise IVR which requires the installation and looking after on-site, these are hosted at your servers premise. This helps the companies in reducing installation and supervising costs. 

  • But similar to on-premise, hosted solutions also have their servers in one centralized location, leading to the same vulnerabilities, service disruptions and downtime.
  • These have also not been effective in meeting the volume and ever-changing customer demands.

Cloud-Based IVR:

Cloud-based IVR is specially designed to meet the exponentially growing demand and expectations of customers. They are popular for their superior flexibilityreliability, and cost-savings. They have also eliminated the need for large up-front infrastructure investments. It further helps in reducing the dependency of companies on the functionality of IVR systems. 

Cloud-based IVR
  • Cloud-Based IVR has access to worldwide IT resources.
  • They are less susceptible to faults or vulnerabilities.
  • They work by distributing the workload across multiple data centers. This means if one center has a malfunction, the other can substitute it leading to no halt in the progress of work.

5 Benefits of Cloud-based IVR

Benefits of Cloud-based IVR

1. Low operational cost: 

One area where cloud IVR solutions prove very effective is in reducing business expenses. When a company receives hundreds of calls, they ought to waste time and misuse resources to attend this huge influx. Implementing a cloud-based IVR solution is the best way to funnel calls as they come in, segmenting callers and routing them directly to the agent who can best serve their needs. Or can even opt for the self-help option.

2. More reliable and error-free:

It is known to everyone how critical it is to keep systems up and running as the hosted IVR systems can easily go down. But in a cloud-based IVR solution, the chances of downtime are negligible. This is due to redundant servers and backup equipment. This helps the IVR service up and running even if a server were to go down.

From a business standpoint, this allows you to offer service 24 hours a day with a near-perfect level of uptime. Such stability and reliability are difficult to implement in classic on-site IVR configurations.

3. Less Investment cost:

In setting up a Cloud-based IVR, there are capital costs or maintenance costs involved. Since no hardware or equipment is required, there are no issues related to facility and administration concerning environment and space controls. 

You just need to pay a monthly or yearly fee for hosting your IVR on a good infrastructure like VirtuIVR. 

4. Simple Scalability:

 Another advantage of using a cloud-based IVR is its scalability. As the system does not have a phone hardware, adding and/or removing features, is instantaneous and extremely easy. The process is as simple as logging into a web-based dashboard and making changes.

Benefits of Cloud-based IVR
Cloud-based IVR can be used remotely

For example, to update a greeting message during a festival season, you just need to login to your software and record or store a pre-recorded greeting message which also includes your festival wishes. There is also a wide range of video and voice features that you can add or remove. You can also make changes to your menu options as in when required according to your customer needs, without any dependency on anyone.

5. More services means more efficiency:

 Cloud IVR also gives you a plethora of analytical insight. Firstly it allows you to track customer call volume, origin, and time-frame. Many businesses experience higher call volume during certain times of the day or week and by tracking this information, you reduce the chances of bottlenecks. This helps cut down on lost business and bad customer response.

Secondly, cloud IVR systems also allow you to track employees. This means you have access to the number of calls taken, overall call duration, percentage of overall work done versus their coworkers. This allows you to keep track of employee productivity and overall performance. 

Conclusion:

You cannot ignore the above-mentioned advantages if you want a more reliable and efficient IVR system. Cloud-based IVR is better than hosted IVR in almost every aspect. They are more cost-efficient, require less upfront investment, and are more accustomed to today evolving technology. Not only this they don’t require a dedicated team to supervise it and are also less prone to system failures and downtime. 

If you are looking to get an IVR system for your business, you know now that Cloud-based IVR is the one you should be looking for to meet your present as well as future business demands. Don’t invest in an obsolete system. 

VirtuIVR

If you want to see a live demo of how a cloud-based IVR works please visit VirtuIVR or contact us at sales@virtuivr.com. You can even leave a message for us in the comment section below and our team will get in touch with you.

How does an IVR work?

It’s 2020, age of automation and we are sure you must be considering setup an IVR for your business need. So let’s dive more into the technical aspect of how does an IVR work.

In technical terms, IVR is a technology that allows a computer to interact with humans through the use of voice and Dual Tone Multi-Frequency (DTMF) tones input via a keypad. This means IVR allows computers to interact with the customers before their call can be automatically transferred to the concerned agent or department.

How does IVR work

For example: If you wish to book an air ticket and you call the ABC airline. Firstly an IVR system will greet you with an automated pre-rerecorded message. Next, it will ask some set of questions like:

Press 1 to book a new ticket.
Press 2 to cancel an existing ticket.
Press 3 to upgrade your booking.

In this case, you want to book a new ticket therefore you press 1. And the IVR gets into more details and ask you further in-depth questions:

Press 1 if you wish to book a domestic flight.

Press 2 if you wish to book an international flight.

This way IVR directs you to the agent or department, which specializes in your area of concern. This further means it saves your time by not talking to random agents who cannot be of your help. If you wish to know more about IVR systems, please go through this guide, which will help you clear your basics about IVR.

So let us understand how does an IVR work?

A typical IVR system is based on Computer Telephony Integration or CTI technology. A traditional IVR system consists of telephony equipment, software applications, a database, and the support infrastructure. To start with, the computer should be connected to the company’s telephone line.

IVR software has to be installed onto a computer, and a special piece of hardware called a telephony board, or telephony card, is required to identify the DTMF.

Some details illustrating the requirements:

IVR system
  • TCP/IP network: This is the internet network that serves to provide Internet and intranet connectivity.
  • Databases: real-time information that can be accessed by the IVR applications.
  • Web/application server: this can be viewed as the home of Interactive Voice Response system software. One thing to note is that there are several different applications designed to perform various functions.

How does an IVR work at the Backend in detail:

When a customer calls you or your company, unlike the traditional call the computer will attend this call. The computer will greet the customer with a pre-recorded message set by you or your team. After listening to the options presented by IVR, the caller can choose to use DTMF tones or Speech recognition technology to answer.

IVR call flow

1. DTMF tones:

DTMF tones also called Dual-tone multi-frequency. It is the tone, which is produced when you press a button on your phone keypad. Each number key on a telephone emits two simultaneous tones: one low frequency and one high-frequency. The number one, for example, produces both a 697-Hz and a 1209-Hz tone. A computer needs special hardware known as a telephony card to understand this DTMF response. The system recognizes these tones and navigates the caller accordingly.

2. Speech Recognition:

This is a relatively newer technology as compared to DTMF tones. In this, the caller speaks their option and IVR recognizes the words. It is most useful in native languages.

Now a caller can opt for a self-service option or talk to agent option. If a caller opts for a self-help option, then the answer to the query is retrieved from a database or a pre-recorded script.

However, if the caller opts to talk with the agent then features such as call forwarding or routing help to direct the caller to the desired customer service representative. And with the help of CTI technology, the calls are available on the agent’s desktop.

How does an IVR work for the end-user:

Though it may sound a little cumbersome at the backend but it is super easy and simple for the user, hence highly encouraged to use if you want to increase customer satisfaction. When a customer calls on the business phone number, the IVR system greets the caller by playing an automated greeting message along with a list of menu options. 

These IVR options are customized as per the company’s customer service needs. However, in most of the cases, the IVR options are divided by departments, geography, or the service/product company offers. These options are self-explanatory which makes the navigation and query resolution easier for the caller. The two major kinds of IVR options used by companies are self-help options and connect with a customer service representative option.

Press 1 for Billing Related Queries
Press 2 for Product Enquiries
Press 3 for Sales Related Issues

The above options are an example of a self-service menu. These options help the customers to resolve queries without the intervention of a live agent.

Conclusion:

We really hope that this article gives you a brief understanding of how an IVR works, what all devices it requires, and the technicalities behind it. This will also make it easier for you to choose the right IVR system for you.

VirtuIVR

If you wish to see a demo of our IVR system, please visit VirtuIVR or contact us at sales@virtuivr.com. We will be happy to resolve your queries and give you a trial of our IVR.

7 Reasons you must have an IVR for Small Business

How do you feel when you are calling somebody for the first time and hear these statements on an IVR of small business?

“The number you are trying to call is currently busy. Please try again later.”

OR

“The number you are trying to call is out of coverage area. Please try again later. “

Will you call them again or call somebody who offers you the same service/ product and is easily reachable. We are sure you feel irritated the same way we feel. And chances are you won’t call them again and instead call the other option.

Do you know how much business can you lose with these unanswered calls? According to a survey by High Level Marketing, around 60 percent of your potential clients will move on to your competitors. You can’t change the past but you can make your future more productive by using IVR for all your businesses. 

IVR or Interactive Virtual Response system serves as an e-receptionist by greeting the caller and then directing the calls to the appropriate departments without any delay and error. If you wish to know more about IVR and how it works, please go through our article on the Interactive Voice Response System (IVR) Guide.

Let’s understand the reasons why you cannot miss to get an IVR for your small business

1. Better Customer Support

ACD benefits

When you call a business with an IVR system, you will automatically be routed to the correct person or department that can address your issue. IVR uses the Automatic Call Distribution feature, which directs the incoming call to the appropriate destination.

This whole automated call process reduces the hold time for a customer. As a result customer satisfaction increases and who doesn’t want a happy customer.

2. By having IVR for small business in place, your greetings won’t be affected if you are having a rough day

IVR for small business
Always greet your customer with a happy message!

Being a human means we have emotions, hence it is understandable you are going through a rough day. But how will your customer feel if they hear a sad or rude greeting? They also have emotions and they too won’t like the harsh voice.

Luckily IVR can take care of this. It is a machine, not affected by emotions. It will greet your customers with customized and personalized welcome messages creating a positive impact on them.

3. Never miss a call again even if you have only one phone

Yes you heard it right, if you are a freelancer or a solo entrepreneur chance are that you have one phone for your personal as well as business use. It’s only normal that your phone is busy most of the time. And clients don’t like to be ignored or to be asked to call back again. As the truth is you need them, they don’t need you.

IVR for small businesses

With IVR you don’t need more phones, you just need a laptop/desktop to manage calls. IVR system provides you with custom or toll-free numbers, which can be assigned to various support agents. In addition to that, in case all your support agents are busy IVR also stores the information of the caller and their voice message for follow-up. 

4. Reduces cost of operation and 24*7 service by having an IVR for all your business

Benefits of IVR
Attend multiple calls simultaneously

The IVR system these days is very easy on the pocket to install. They don’t require an extensive setup. And with single IVR you can handle 10 calls simultaneously. Which otherwise would have required at least 5 operators increasing your budget by a large amount. Therefore it helps you in saving a lot of your manpower expenses. IVR eliminates the cost of hiring new people for attending customer calls and helps you save your resources for a better investment option

Virtu IVR

VirtulVR is one such IVR system that has services starting from only $67 per year.

Not only that IVR will also handle calls beyond your normal operation hours without any need of an operator. This again helps you in retaining more customers by giving them timely resolutions.

5. Enhance your Professional Image

Clients are impressed by businesses, startups, freelancers who sound professional and value their customers time. A client won’t be impressed if they call your phone and nobody answers. If the phone simply rings, it does come off as a little too casual.

In fact if you have had an IVR system in place, your business will have a toll free number or a customized number which lools more professional. And with a call menu in place, your caller will consider your business more credible and reliable. 

In addition to that you can keep your caller engaged when on hold with nice music or a message aligning with your brand.

According to Call Source

“In a study, 72% of people correctly recalled vanity numbers after hearing a 30-second advertisement. The same advertisement with a numeric number resulted in a recall rate of just 5%!”

Still unsure if your consumers will want to dial a toll-free phone number to reach your business? Think again: 90% of Americans say they use toll-free numbers.

6. Stores all the queries and call data for future reference and call monitoring

It is very difficult to remember all the call details or make a note of the calls if you are working alone or have a small team. But it also very important to have all this data stored for future reference and to avoid any misunderstandings among you and your client. To maintain a transparent process, it is essential to store all the call data. IVR helps us to store this data and makes it easily accessible when required.

The second advantage of recording calls is in monitoring calls your support agents. It helps in training the agents and making them more prepared to answer calls more effectively. 

7. Gives more freedom for mobility

If you are a freelancer or starting a new business, which means you have to run around or travel to take care of many other issues is it professional or personal.

So no matter how big or small your team is or how near or far part your team members are, you can stay connected. IVR turns your cell phone into your office phone – no matter where you go or where you work from, the world is your virtual office.

Conclusion:

The above benefits should make you realize how important it is to have an IVR system for your business. Business can be small or big, but ultimately we all want to grow. Therefore we should think big to achieve big. It does not matter if you are a freelancer or solo entrepreneur, everyone deserves to put their best foot forward to make a long-lasting impression on your clients.

And when the investment is so little compared to its benefits, one cannot ignore to take advantage of the system.  

Want IVR for yourself or your company, check out VirtulVR. They offer quality service at a very competitive price and are built on the Twilio platform, one of the most trusted in the industry.

Interactive Voice Response System (IVR) Guide

We are sure that you have heard the following message on calling an office.

“Hello. Thank you for calling. Please press 1 to schedule an appointment. Press 2 to speak with a representative.”

Did you ever wonder who is the voice behind this meticulous message? Is it a person or a machine? Well the technical term of this message is called Interactive Voice Response or IVR.

And this article is going to prove to be a guide to all those who wish to know more about the Interactive Voice Response system (IVR). Simultaneously are confused if their business or startup requires such a setup.

Firstly let’s start with the basics:

Interactive Voice Response system

What is Interactive Voice Response System/ IVR?

In technical terms, IVR is a technology that allows a computer to interact with humans through the use of voice and Dual Tone Multi-Frequency (DTMF) tones input via a keypad.

Interactive Voice Response system

In simpler terms, when you call a bank, hospital, or any other business, you hear a pre-recorded message asking you to press or say a specific number to get connected to the concerned department or individual. This voice is called Interactive Voice Response or IVR. It basically serves as an e-receptionist by greeting the caller and then directing the calls to the appropriate departments without any delay and error.

Further lets delve into some technical stuff and understand how it works.

How does Interactive Voice Response System Work?

A typical IVR system consists of a computer attached to a phone line through a telephony board and an IVR software. The software stores the pre-recorded message which you hear as part of the greetings and informing you of the menu. The customer can then, speak or push the button on the dial pad matching to its choice. The software identifies the response and route the customer to his selected path.

Let us take an example to elucidate it further. When you call a business, you hear a greeting message followed by the below options:

Press 1 if you want to continue in English.
Press 2 for Spanish.

Suppose the customer presses 1, the IVR will continue to speak in English and further ask you:

Press 1 to connect to the sales team.
Press 2 to connect to the HR team.
Press 3 to connect to the PR team.

At this time the customer will choose the option based on his preference. And will be automatically directed to the specific team. Therefore IVR acts like a virtual receptionist, only more accurate, quick, and affordable.

IVR are broadly of two types single level and multi level.

Single Level Interactive Voice Response:

In single-level the IVR provides you with only one option and then directs you to an agent. Thus this comes in handy for small organizations and solo entrepreneurs.

Multi Level Interactive Voice Response:

The above example is a multi-level IVR system. It has various levels where the IVR filters the queries based on language and department. Hence bigger organizations, banks, hospitals use multi-level IVR.

Now that we are familiar with what is IVR and how it works, let’s go through a more important topic that why IVR is the need of the hour for your business.

Why does your business need an Interactive Voice Response System?

  • More efficient and error free process:

As we have already mentioned, IVR imitates the work of a receptionist and makes the entire call process more refined and less prone to error. In addition to that it helps to easily filter and prioritize calls, hence reducing the wait time.

  • Handles more volume of calls:

Since it is an automatic process that streamlines the entire call process, it helps in reducing the queue time, making it able to handle more calls.

  • Budget Friendly:
IVR system

Setting up an IVR system is way cheaper than hiring an operator. Moreover, it requires a nominal amount of charges for IVR software.

  • 24*7 Customer Service:
IVR - 24/7 customer service

The biggest advantage is that a machine never gets weary and does not require to work in shifts. A machine can work 24*7 and make sure that you are not missing any new leads or are disappointing your existing customers.

  • Record calls for monitoring and store data:

IVR records the call, making the whole call process transparent. These recorded calls help to monitor the calls and make sure the customer handling was proper. It also assists in the training of the agent.

  • Increase first call resolution:

In every business retaining a customer is the biggest challenge, which means customer satisfaction is the utmost priority of a business. With IVR the inquiries are handled effectively and escalated to the most appropriate agent. As a result, the issues of customers get resolved more speedily.

  • Increases Professionalism:

You don’t need to be a big company or an organization to be professional. It is equally important for the startups, solo entrepreneurs, and freelancers to put a professional face in front of a prospective client. And IVR helps you and your company give a formal and professional feel.

  • More Personalized Messages:

Advanced IVR systems can help you set up more personalized messages. This means you can create messages or personalized greetings for repeat customers. Using personalized messages creates a sense of belonging among the customers and helps customer retention in the long run.

Conclusion:

We are sure after reading the benefits of an IVR system, you have understood how important it is to have an IVR system in place for you to succeed. Whether you work for a multinational company, a startup, or are a freelancer, you need an IVR system to make you more efficient and professional.

Eventually, we all know that “the customer is god” in any business. If a customer is happy, your business will flourish. The customer will be satisfied if you are professional, efficient, and make them feel important. Interactive Virtual Response System helps you in all these areas.

VirtulVR IVR

If you are looking for a cost-effective IVR system for your business or a startup, VirtulVR is your solution. VirtulVr works with Twilio API, one of the best in the industry.

Don’t wait for others to tell you to get a IVR system, go get your IVR now!