Automated phone system for small business: No more fear of missing business calls

Did you know

80% of all business communications take place over an automated phone system for small business.

AND

Roughly 85% of people whose calls are not answered will not call back.

This would mean a huge business loss for those startups and enterprises, who did not bother or did not recognize the importance of a well automated phone system for small business or a Virtual Receptionist.

What is an Automated Phone system for small business?

An automated phone system used for small business is any telephone system that interacts with callers without input from a human other than the recipient.

Automated phone system for small business

It is also called Interactive Voice Response or IVR. More specifically IVR is the technology that automates telephone contact between humans and machines.

Types of Automated Phone System for small business:

Outbound Calls: Automated outbound calls contain a pre-recorded message which plays once the customers pick the call. They are placed either to deliver a recorded message or establish a connection with another human. 

Inbound Calls: These calls trigger an action. Customers can call a certain number to trigger an action – unsubscribe, cancel a booking, balance enquiring, and more.

Hybrid Calls:  These calls combine features from both inbound and outbound systems, allowing them to both make and take calls.

Why should you consider VirtuIVR for Automated Phone System for small business?

1. No phones, only laptops or desktops:

IVR
No more Phones

Confused, that how can you make a business work without a phone. Let us clarify it. With VirtuIVR all you need is your laptop or desktop to place and receive calls. The VirtuIVR dashboard lets you save all your contacts and helps to make calls to them without any phone involved.

In addition, it even helps you to send mass text messages to your clients or potential leads.

2. Don’t miss business calls:

You must have heard the phrase missed business calls = missed the money. You do not want to lose on opportunities due to not being able to answer your calls. VirtuIVR records data of all the incoming calls even the one you missed. Moreover, it will keep on sending you reminders to call back the numbers you missed.

You can also ask your customer to leave a voice message that will be stored in VirtuIVR software, helping you to assess the lead.

3. No need to stick to one place:

Call forwarding for automated phone system for small business

With VirtuIVR you can transfer all your calls to a different number according to your convenience. If you are traveling or are busy with some personal work, all the calls will get transferred to the phone of your choice.

  • All you need to do is log in to you VirtuIVR account
  • Set some instructions like after how many rings you want to forward the call
  • Finally, enter the number where you want to forward the incoming calls

4. Get 10 Toll-free number or Local numbers:

You can get 10 different toll-free numbers and local numbers for you and your team. This makes your company looks more professional and credible. A toll-free number enhances your customer calling experience, builds a better brand image, earns credibility for your business. Hence, it brings more customer calls and business revenue.

5. Email Notifications for Messages

Email notifications for business messages are important because it is very common that you will miss on voicemail messages. Set up your account to send new voicemail messages to a specific email address, select any email address that you want, and get a ping from your email the moment a customer leaves a voicemail for you.

You can even set up multiple mailboxes on your account for different employees and then set each mailbox to route to that person’s email.

6. Call Recording:

VirtuIVR records all incoming calls. This helps to monitor the client calls and in addition, will help you to keep track of your employee’s business call activities. These call recordings are immensely helpful in the training of employees and understanding customer concerns.

It helps you to find the issues and concerns where there is a scope of further improvement.

7. Powered by Twilio:

VirtuIVR Works with Twilio API. Twilio is one of the most trusted cloud communications platform company based in San Francisco, California.

8. All this and much more at just $67 per year:

VirtuIVR

Yes, you heard it right, all the above features and many more will be available for you at just $67 per year.  Think about it, this number is just peanuts when considering the amount of business you can lose if you do not have a proper automated phone system for small business in place.

Don’t believe us; See for yourself the demo of VirtuIVR – An automated phone system for small business.

Demo – VirtuIVR

Conclusion:

To conclude, Automated phone systems for small business is one of the most important things that was ever created for businesses. It saves time, saves labor, gives the caller a better experience, and prevents you from losing sales due to confused or frustrated callers.  Many businesses and other organizations typically use inbound automated phone systems in place of a receptionist. These systems can route callers to the appropriate department, accept input and, when connected to a computer database, even answer basic questions.

Automated phone system for small business: No more fear of missing business calls

Did you know

80% of all business communications take place over the phone.

AND

Roughly 85% of people whose calls are not answered will not call back.

This would mean a huge business loss for those startups and enterprises, who did not bother or did not recognize the importance of a well automated phone system for small business or a Virtual Receptionist.

What is an Automated Phone system for small business?

An automated phone system used for small business is any telephone system that interacts with callers without input from a human other than the recipient.

Automated phone system for small business

It is also called Interactive Voice Response or IVR. More specifically IVR is the technology that automates telephone contact between humans and machines.

Types of Automated Phone System for small business:

Outbound Calls: Automated outbound calls contain a pre-recorded message which plays once the customers pick the call. They are placed either to deliver a recorded message or establish a connection with another human. 

Inbound Calls: These calls trigger an action. Customers can call a certain number to trigger an action – unsubscribe, cancel a booking, balance enquiring, and more.

Hybrid Calls:  These calls combine features from both inbound and outbound systems, allowing them to both make and take calls.

Why should you consider VirtuIVR for Automated Phone System for small business?

1. No phones, only laptops or desktops:

IVR
No more Phones

Confused, that how can you make a business work without a phone. Let us clarify it. With VirtuIVR all you need is your laptop or desktop to place and receive calls. The VirtuIVR dashboard lets you save all your contacts and helps to make calls to them without any phone involved.

In addition, it even helps you to send mass text messages to your clients or potential leads.

2. Don’t miss business calls:

You must have heard the phrase missed business calls = missed the money. You do not want to lose on opportunities due to not being able to answer your calls. VirtuIVR records data of all the incoming calls even the one you missed. Moreover, it will keep on sending you reminders to call back the numbers you missed.

You can also ask your customer to leave a voice message that will be stored in VirtuIVR software, helping you to assess the lead.

3. No need to stick to one place:

Call forwarding

With VirtuIVR you can transfer all your calls to a different number according to your convenience. If you are traveling or are busy with some personal work, all the calls will get transferred to the phone of your choice.

  • All you need to do is log in to you VirtuIVR account
  • Set some instructions like after how many rings you want to forward the call
  • Finally, enter the number where you want to forward the incoming calls

4. Get 10 Toll-free number or Local numbers:

You can get 10 different toll-free numbers and local numbers for you and your team. This makes your company looks more professional and credible. A toll-free number enhances your customer calling experience, builds a better brand image, earns credibility for your business. Hence, it brings more customer calls and business revenue.

5. Email Notifications for Messages

Email notifications for business messages are important because it is very common that you will miss on voicemail messages. Set up your account to send new voicemail messages to a specific email address, select any email address that you want, and get a ping from your email the moment a customer leaves a voicemail for you.

You can even set up multiple mailboxes on your account for different employees and then set each mailbox to route to that person’s email.

6. Call Recording:

VirtuIVR records all incoming calls. This helps to monitor the client calls and in addition, will help you to keep track of your employee’s business call activities. These call recordings are immensely helpful in the training of employees and understanding customer concerns.

It helps you to find the issues and concerns where there is a scope of further improvement.

7. Powered by Twilio:

VirtuIVR Works with Twilio API. Twilio is one of the most trusted cloud communications platform company based in San Francisco, California.

8. All this and much more at just $67 per year:

VirtuIVR

Yes, you heard it right, all the above features and many more will be available for you at just $67 per year.  Think about it, this number is just peanuts when considering the amount of business you can lose if you do not have a proper automated phone system for small business in place.

Don’t believe us; See for yourself the demo of VirtuIVR – An automated phone system for small business.

Demo – VirtuIVR

Conclusion:

To conclude, Automated phone systems for small business is one of the most important things that was ever created for businesses. It saves time, saves labor, gives the caller a better experience, and prevents you from losing sales due to confused or frustrated callers.  Many businesses and other organizations typically use inbound automated phone systems in place of a receptionist. These systems can route callers to the appropriate department, accept input and, when connected to a computer database, even answer basic questions.

To get your business an automated phone system, click below and experience all the benefits of the system.VirtuIVR @ $67/year

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.

Toll free number for business at just $67/ year

toll-free number for business

What is a toll-free number?

As per Wikipedia toll-free number for business are also called, as Freecall and Freephone are numbers that start with 800, 0800, or 1‑800. These numbers are identified by a dialing prefix similar to a geographic area code, such as 909 (the area code that covers eastern Los Angeles County and southwestern San Bernardino County).

For example, Indian toll-free numbers begin with 1800 while the US; UK toll-free numbers begin with 800.

The specialty of these numbers is that a customer can call them without incurring any charges, from any part of the work. The number owner instead of the caller pays all the charges of incoming and outgoing calls.  This ultimately expands your customer base, as they are able to call your business across the world.

What is the difference between 800 Toll-Free, Vanity Numbers, and a Local Number?

  • Toll-free numbers: They are any normal toll-free numbers with 800 prefix.
  •  Vanity numbers: You can add your business name along with the digit code, for example, 1-800-COCACOLA or 1-800-VIRTUIVR. However, these numbers do not have the benefits of VoIP.
  • Local numbers: These are numbers with area code prefixes. And your customers will have to pay for the calls made while this is not the case with toll-free numbers.

Why does my business need a toll-free number?

toll-free number
The right choice for your business

This question is very common, especially among small business owners or entrepreneurs. But in reality, getting a toll-free number does not hurt any kind of business, in-fact it boosts a companies revenues and reputation. Let us list down the major features of a cloud-based toll-free number for your business.

1. IVR solution and Better Customer Satisfaction:

The first and foremost benefit is enhanced customer experience. Since the customers don’t have to spend a single penny to get in touch with your company or the agents, they are more likely to call for their issues. This further means more customer retention.

In addition, with these numbers, callers are greeted with an automated message and their call is routed to your agents’ phone number, which helps in faster on-call resolution to your customers.

2. Easy to remember numbers and Wide Range of Number to chose from:

A number like 1800-111-1111 is definitely easier for people to remember than other numbers. People tend to recall a toll-free number because of its standard pattern. Apart from existing customers, this flexibility helps you to attract more leads.

This also gives you options to choose the best-suited toll-free number for marketing your brand from a wide range of premium numbers.

3. Call Monitoring and Analysis:

A toll-free number helps to monitor the calls and gain instant insight of active, on-hold, and disconnected calls on a real-time call monitoring dashboard.

4. Call Management solution:

Call Recording: It helps to record & store your customer conversations and use it for future training and other purposes.
Call Tracking: It helps in keeping a constant tab on all incoming and hold calls.
Call Reports: It creates daily call reports, which can be downloaded or be received on your mail or through SMS text.

5. Business Portability:

Organizations those who are in the process to relocate or expand their business do not need to get worried about changing the existing numbers. In addition, it increases your brand’s visibility throughout the country. And with cloud-based toll-free services, the process of scaling your communication channels becomes quick and smooth.

6. Better Brand Image Keep your personal and professional communications separate:

People think that only big corporations can have 800 numbers. However, it’s not correct. Any startup, small business or enterprise, can have such a number. Undoubtedly, it behaves as a trust factor to a new customer or a lead and increases your credibility.

IMP: How to get a Toll-free number for my business?

This answer is very simple. To get the best 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, and 844 TOLL-FREE NUMBER, click on the button below.

Why should I choose VirtuIVR to buy my Toll-fee number?

CUSTOM GREETING

Impress your clients by playing a custom greeting or offer a new deal when they call you.

LIBRARY

Upload and save your custom greetings. Moreover, use the system to record and save without the need for any other tools.

LOCAL OR TOLL-FREE NUMBER

Get a local or a toll-free number. VirtuIVR works in any city and in every country.

DIAL PAD

Make calls directly from your laptop or tablet without the hassle of a phone. Perfect for sales teams!

TEXT MESSAGES

Contact your clients & leads via SMS straight from the dashboard. Have conversations like you would on your phone.

LEAD ID DETECTION

Don’t wonder about who is calling anymore. Our system will let you know exactly who is calling.

featureVOICE-TO-EMAIL

All your voicemails are magically transcribed and sent along with the audio to your email.

CONTACTS

Save and search your contacts easily in VirtuIVR. With a click on button, start dialing them automatically.

EXTENSIONS

Finally, add as many extensions as you like. Your employees can answer your company phone from anywhere.

And last but most important: Pricing that doesn’t break the bank! It costs only $67 per year.

Please go through our demo video to know more about the working of VirtuIVR:

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.

10 IVR Design Tips: You don’t want to upset your customers

. We all know that businesses, startups, multinational companies, and freelancers have one thing in common. And that one thing is, they all cannot survive without customers. This makes customer service and satisfaction, their utmost priority. And this is where the IVR design tips to an efficient and simple way of designing the IVR or Interactive Virtual Response System plays a crucial role, since you don’t want your customers to be mad or upset with bad call experience. 

“ A study conducted by Purdue University suggests that bad IVR experience will make 63% of consumers stop using the company’s products or services.”

The main reason companies use an IVR menu is to automate their calling process and make it more efficient. The IVR menu helps to direct callers to operators, different departments, and employee extensions. It is imperative for the IVR menu to have an optimized design, or else it could lead to a lot of frustration among the customers. Nobody wants to lose their potential or loyal customers because of one bad IVR experience. 

IVR design

Let’s understand a scenario of bad IVR design setup:

An existing customer who needs some technical assistance immediately tries to call the customer care hoping to sort his problem over the call. After the call connects, the IVR professionally greets him.

But, then he finds himself stuck in a long list of options for almost 15 minutes. Adding to this, he did not even get the option to connect with an agent. Nor could he get any information through self-service options. In this case IVR proved to be insufficient to handle his query. Infuriated by this experience, he finally gave up, left negative reviews on social media platforms, and move on to a competitor.

To avoid the above kind of scenario, please make sure that you strictly abide by the following tips while designing an IVR set up for your business or yourself.

10 Tips to design IVR for your business:

1. Always have the IVR designed to have the option to speak to an agent: 

One of the main IVR design tips is to have an IVR system in place, it is mandatory to give customers the freedom to choose to talk to an agent or even skipping the whole IVR process. It is also rude to hang up on a customer when they are not able to provide any input. Instead, his call should be automatically transferred to an agent.

2. Understand your customer issues and put the most popular option first in your IVR design:

Ivr design tips

Analyze your existing customer data. And figure out the most common issue for which the customers call your IVR frequently. Make sure to include these options in the starting of your IVR menu.

In general, your first two options should be related to a new customer query and second to an existing customer. In addition you may have an option for potential customers.

3. Keep the introduction under 8 seconds and menu under 4 seconds in your IVR design:

Everybody has a busy schedule and none of us would like to waste time listening to some never-ending meaningless sentences. As a rule of thumb, keep your introductory message under 8 seconds, and each option announcement under 4 seconds. 

Also, keep in mind to not include any recent marketing or promotion materials in the call. Customers call with a sense of completing a task. So please don’t irritate them by delivering information that is redundant to them.

4. Keep menu options to minimum preferably limit to 5: 

ivr menu
Minimal menu option

Simplicity is the key while designing an IVR. Studies show that callers begin to get irritated after hearing three or more prompts. It also causes frustration if they have to navigate more than three levels of menu options. To prevent this, keep your menu options to minimum preferably limit to 5.  

Use analytics and call reports to monitor and improve your IVR menu. Improvising is an ongoing process. Hence keep trying different options and menu until you figure out what works best for you.

5. Make your IVR sound like human and a female:

IVR design tips
Give a human voice to IVR and have options for multiple languages

Another IVR design tips is to make customers feel at ease and assured when they are talking or listen to a human voice rather than a mechanical voice. To increase the level of ease of communication, make sure your IVR uses a human voice and most preferably female voice. You can even add extra customer experience ethos by incorporating updates about wait times. Additionally mentioning statements like “Sorry, this is taking longer than expected!” can put customers at ease.

6. Always call back and don’t make the customer wait:

Call queue
Don’t make the customer wait for a long time. Ask their details and call them back.

Never make a customer wait for an agent to talk to them. If an agent is unable to take a customer call, the IVR should be set up in such a way that it saves the customer number. This information should be later used by the agent to call back.

The IVR should also mention something like: “Sorry all our agents are busy at the moment. Please leave your number and we will return your call.” 

7. Store and transfer the data to the concerned agent:

It’s a shame if the customer has to give his details again such as customer ID, phone number, or account number. It makes sense for the IVR to store all such information and directly transfer this data to the live agent. Doing this would eliminate a lot of frustration and gives customers better user experience.

8. Touchpad option is a must:

Call menu
CaHave both touch-pad and speech recognition option

There have been situations when the voice recognition does not interpret the input accurately. This can be due to language or accent differences. Therefore it is must to always have the touchpad option in your IVR. This further reduces any chances of errors and miscommunications.

9. Send follow up message every time a customer makes a request through self-service: 

 It is primitive to make the customer know that we have been receiving your requests or messages. And make them aware that the concerned team is working on it and will be contacting you shortly.

It sends a wrong message if your customer leaves without having an idea, whether their requests or messages are being taken into consideration. Thus it is essential to send a follow-up text message to the caller as a confirmation that the request has been received. 

10. Continue to monitor and improvise your IVR menu:

 As mentioned earlier improvising is a continuous process, no one can reach the perfect solution in one go. It will be helpful to utilize analytics and call reports to monitor and improve your IVR menu.

Review your system regularly, remove options that might confuse customers, and make adjustments as required.

Conclusion:

IVR should have a simple design that makes customer navigation, and issue resolution easy and quick. IVR’s main objective is to increase satisfaction and add value to the customer lifecycle. But if your IVR is not optimized and designed as per your customer needs, it can lead to huge business losses. Further, it can create mistrust among the existing and potential customers. In order to ease and make customers experience great service, the IVR should be set up in a user-friendly manner.

If you follow the above ten points to design the IVR system, you can save yourself and your company from all adversities. And VirtuIVR can help you design one of the most effective IVR systems according to the needs and demands of your business and customer.

IVR

Let VirtuIVR make IVR an asset for your company and not a liability. 

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!