What is IVR and How It Works?
At it’s most basic uses, IVR is nothing more than an automated attendant or receptionist. Like when you call your bank or other businesses and an automated system guides you through to the person or information you require by a series of voice prompts. In some cases this can seem extremely frustrating when you are trying to get through to a live person with a complex problem. However when you just need a quick answer for something it can be incredibly handy and enable you to get what you need in seconds instead of being kept on hold forever. For example it can be great for checking on flight times and your bank balance, but not so fun when you have a problem with your bank account or insurance payments. However as a customer IVR actually means getting through to the person you need faster and enjoying lower prices. For businesses IVR offers incredible savings on staffing and phone bills that can dramatically improve profit margins.
As IVR began to develop a few years ago it became an incredible sales tool. Many industries including the housing and finance sectors found IVR to be an immensely powerful way to generate more sales and increase closing ratios from incoming calls. Toll free numbers on display advertising began to connect prospects to IVR systems, offer access for more detailed information and give sales staff the crucial information they needed to close a sale while capturing prospects contact information. IVR systems can now capture all types of consumer information and allow detailed information to be input such as email addresses.
More recently, in the last couple years IVR evolved even further to become a powerful outbound calling tool. Now interactive voice response can be used for voice broadcasting to make masses of people aware of something with a single call, such a warning of an approaching hurricane. Though has also become a popular and profitable marketing channel for businesses that have employed telemarketing in the past. Now automated calls can be blasted to thousands and even hundreds of thousands of people automatically. Prospects answering the calls hear an initial prerecorded sales offering or message and have the opportunity to connect through to a live sales person for more information. For businesses this reduces the use of expensive call centers to a minimum and turns tough outbound telemarketing into easy inbound sales from prospects who are interested in what they are offering. The potential uses for IVR are almost endless, what will you do with it?