According to marketing guru Seth Godin, there are four types of people – prospects, customers, loyal customers and former customers. The loyal customers are often happy to spend more money with you. One way to engage with the four types of people is to improve your customer experience. IVR systems such as Inbound IVR and Outbound IVR can help you achieve this.
In the age of social media, customers are spoiled for choice. Every business is out to capture their attention. Turning customers into loyal customers is no longer a walk in the park. It’s something your business must invest time and resources. Let’s discuss how.
What are IVR systems?
Every business knows that customers value their time the most today. They want answers to queries as fast as possible. This is where IVR systems have proved to be a game changer. An IVR is an interactive voice response that has replaced phone receptionists and attendants. IVR systems save costs, work in non-working hours, and provide prompt service to callers. Synapse IVR can handle large call volumes and also make automated calls. Click here to get a quick demo.
Outbound IVR and Inbound IVR
Until a few years ago, IVR systems mainly handled inbound calls. But with time, IVR solutions have evolved. You can now connect with customers instead of waiting for them to connect with you.
Let’s see how.
Most of us know how inbound IVR work.
The IVR offers callers prompts and they respond using DTMF tones. The IVR takes action accordingly.
An inbound IVR is effective in the following scenarios:
This is where IVR systems work best. An inbound IVR can handle a large number of calls and provide callers with options. Based on them, it routes the call to relevant departments. Such an IVR system can also carry out basic troubleshooting. It can answer common Do-It-Yourself queries, process payments, and inform customers about the status of their shipment.
Inbound IVR for customer support is useful for businesses which have a dedicated contact centre or various departments which callers might want to engage with.
Inbound IVR is useful tools for sales and lead generation also.
Customers can call an IVR phone number (virtual number) listed on in an email or a marketing promotion in print or social media. The automated system can capture important details and also pre-qualify a lead. If the lead gets a high score on relevant metrics, he gets routed to a qualified sales person.
How does this help?
It saves cost for a business which doesn’t need to employ many agents to attend prospect calls. It also means less hold time for first-time callers. And salespeople waste less time on unqualified leads and spend more time trying to convert qualified leads.
All this increases the return on investment for a business by a distinct margin.
Inbound IVR also records calls, handling time, wait time and other measures that will help you improve customer experience. The more value you add to customers, the faster you can turn them into loyal customers.
The Synapse IVR provides you with everything you need to take your customer experience to the next level.
Let’s now dive deeper into the use and benefits of outbound IVR.
Marketing is of two types – push and pull. ‘Push marketing’ is when a brand ‘pushes’ people to buy what it sells. ‘Pull marketing’ is when customers seek out a product because it improves their lives in some way.
Both inbound and outbound IVR can help in push and pull marketing. However, most people associate outbound IVR with push marketing. This might be true to some extent. But using outbound IVR as a strategy for pull marketing pays richer dividends for your business in the long run.
Outbound IVR engage with prospects and customers automatically. This includes multiple channels like automated voice calls, email and SMS campaigns, social media messages (including WhatsApp) and so on.
It’s most effective in the below scenarios:
Promotional Messages using Outbound IVR
Many brands now inform prospects about promotions through automated phone calls, emails, and instant messaging. An automated voice message plays a pre-recorded message and ends in a call-to-action, often directing the prospect to a number where an inbound IVR is ready for them. This is a form of push marketing. It’s like door-to-door sales, only quicker and more cost-effective.
- Outbound IVR systems can send out reminders to customers or almost-converted leads
- They can remind customers about payment dates, subscription renewals, and updating account information.
- Not just that, they can let customers complete these actions through the IVR itself. This self-help tool saves plenty of resources for businesses and their customers. By increasing customer convenience, outbound IVR help in pull marketing
- Such IVR systems can also send reminders to leads who engaged with the brand but didn’t take action. It can inform them about ending dates of promotions, remind them that their registration is incomplete, and so on. It can send automated value-add messages to them
- All this without human intervention.
Customer feedback is integral for a business to grow. And outbound systems can collect this feedback efficiently.
Automated calls reduce dependency on human beings. They place calls to customers within a specified time after a recent transaction and record the feedback.
IVR Surveys are ideal to collect real-time feedback. The Indian Railway is an example of a service that uses outbound IVR for surveys.
By applying this feedback, you further increase customer convenience and engage in pull marketing.
Outbound and Inbound IVRs can make your business improve its efficiency in push and pull marketing.
Your customer’s IVR experience is no different from any interaction with your business. Make sure it matches (if not exceeds) customer expectations. The more loyal customers you get, the stronger your business becomes.