Interactive Voice Response (IVR) can be a lifesaver in such cases. Interactive voice response (IVR), which is IVR delivered via the cloud, by subscription, now makes a lot more sense for business from a cost perspective. Unfortunately, calling a business and being greeted with a recorded prompt can put some existing and prospective customers off. In this post, we’ll outline how you can make #IVR work for your business.
Here are few tips for a successful, hosted Interactive voice response (IVR) deployment:
- Always give your callers a way to get to a real person: At the end of each menu, you should always give the option of pressing “0” to speak to a live human being (or to record a message if someone calls after business hours). Leading hosted #IVR systems will allow you to do this easily through a web-based management portal.
- Put important information in your greeting: You’ll probably find that most callers need basic information, such as your hours, your address, or your website. Consider putting those details in your greeting, so most callers will be satisfied without having to push any buttons.
- Choose your menu options carefully: You want to present callers with the most popular option first. This means monitoring how many people are selecting each option. For example, you might find the majority of callers press “0” to talk to a person asking for the customer service department. In this case, you should give that a “1” or “2.” The goal is to make sure that the main menu gives callers the most useful options and the option of going straight to customer service without requiring a human attendant.
- Keep your menu options short and simple:Do NOT have more than five options—people won’t be able to remember them all. Worse, they’ll just hang up if confronted with too much complexity. For example, you might want to have a main menu with just two items, such as “new customer” or “current customer,” then give them more options from there.
- Make sure calls are going to the right place or person: It’s a good idea to thoroughly test all the touch-tone or voice-recognition options on your IVR regularly. Make sure if customers press “2” for finance, their calls get routed correctly to finance. Most leading hosted #IVR systems provide a web portal with a friendly graphical user interface that allows you to quickly and easily change how your calls are routed.
- Don’t frustrate callers with a long, cumbersome menu tree:Once a caller selects an option from an introductory menu, don’t lead them to another long list of menus to find the information they’re looking for. As a general rule of thumb, don’t make callers go through more than three menus before they find what they need—whether that’s a live operator, general information, or a transaction.