IVR is one of the most underused pieces of technology at the disposal of the modern business. Not as intuitively understood as mass text messaging, IVR is approached with caution, and sometimes not approached at all.
This reticence is probably due to a few fundamental misapprehensions about when and how to use IVR. If you run a business and you’re vaguely aware of the benefits of hosted IVR but don’t know exactly how to apply it, take a gander at some of the following ideas:
Sending an automated reminder by voice blast is one thing, but giving the customer the chance to reorder there and then will result in more renewals than leaving a message that requires them to call back. Only IVR can make this happen. Empower your customers to continue using your products or services while saving on costly human resources.
If making deliveries is part of your business, you’ll be familiar with the frustration of customers who aren’t home at the scheduled delivery time. Time and money is wasted sending drivers back a second time which, over the lifespan of a business, can amount to huge losses in revenue. You could send a reminder text, but what if their plans can’t be changed? By sending a voice broadcast with IVR options you can give the customer the chance to either confirm or change the delivery time.
Auto clubs can seriously improve their efficiency by using IVR. If a customer calls with a problem, they can simply enter their member number and location to have the nearest tow service sent out. Delivering rental cars can be managed in the same way, as can auto repo services. Using IVR to sign off and track the activities of drivers and employees is a convenient way of minimizing liability.
Health centers and medical schools are beginning to make use of hosted IVR to monitor patients who need regular treatment and assessment. Diabetics, for example, can engage with their healthcare providers and submit blood sugar readings over the phone, without unnecessary administrative pressure being placed on the organization. UCLA has used IVR to great effect in a sleep study, with subjects answering survey questions about the previous night’s rest (or lack thereof). IVR surveys are ideal for gathering medical research, as many patients are unable or unwilling to submit information online.
Community probation and parole departments are using hosted IVR with Voice Broadcast to remind people of hearing dates, parole meetings, drug tests and other related activities.
One area where most of us are already familiar with IVR is market research. Obtaining customer data from large numbers of people is a big task, and can feel like butting your head against a brick wall. Outbound IVR surveys take the stress out of it, providing your business with invaluable information on your target audience. The more data you collect, the better your understanding of the customer will be. Hosted IVR means you don’t need to hire a costly external market research company.