If you were to call a customer service hotline, chances are, you would be greeted by a pre-recorded voice. This recording would then instruct you to choose from a menu of options by pressing certain numbers on your keypad. This functionality is part of a group of tools called interactive voice response or IVR technologies. These fully automated telephone functionalities are capable of interpreting either touch or voice inputs.

By assigning pre-recoded options for callers to choose from, a company or a call center can automate responses for the most common inquiries customers have. These include questions for things like bills payment, account information, and other general inquiries. IVR implementation allows your customer service representatives to save time when answering potentially repetitive concerns that customers may ask.

Aside from being a time saver, IVR systems can offer a number of other benefits for your business. In this article, we’ll go over some of these.

People can access your customer service system anytime

Since IVR is an automated response system, it gives you the advantage of having a service that’s available 24/7. This is useful for companies that may not be able to afford to pay customer service representatives at all times. With this system in place, customers can also contact your company even during holidays.

More customization options

With an IVR system, companies have the opportunity to come up with their own unique menu functions. Anything from automated responses to redirecting callers to live agents can be programmed. If your customer needs to inquire about their billing info or ask about any new offers, your IVR system can be programmed to lead them to answers to these queries.

For example, the recording can prompt users to press 3 on the dial pad in order to access their billing records, or they can press 4 if they want to hear pre-recorded information about new offers. This saves you from having to hire agents who will then need to memorize or read a sales pitches repeatedly over the phone.

Consistent service

Since a computerized system takes the calls, customers won’t have to face exasperated agents who have to answer the same questions repeatedly. Additionally, customers won’t even need to wait for someone to pick up the phone on the other end since the machine does the answering.

This leaves simple solutions to be designated to the IVR, like giving a list of self-diagnostic options for people who need computer-related tech support. And since the IVR menu can be programmed, you can input as many responses as you need, all of which are accessible with a touch of a button.

Allows agents to focus on urgent matters

IVR systems can reduce the volume of calls that need to be routed through customer service agents. This leaves them with more time to focus on customers who have more pressing concerns beyond FAQs. For example, if you are an internet service provider and your customers have concerns that can’t be addressed by simply restarting a modem, they can be assisted by agents who are trained to tackle these types of problems. With answering common questions delegated to automated recordings, you can invest in training your customer service representatives for more important tasks.

Simply put, an IVR makes your customer service faster and more efficient. Customers will enjoy getting quick feedback for common problems, while agents can help those with more pressing concerns. By taking the burden of addressing common and repetitive customer problems off your shoulders, you and your staff can refocus your energies on other important aspects of your business.