How IVR Reduces Cost and Gains Productivity for the Business


Like every other department in an enterprise, contact centers also face the pressure to minimize the company’s operating costs. This puts the management in a dilemma of how to cut expenses without sacrificing customer satisfaction. Contact center needs tremendous manpower in order to fulfill the demand of the customers. Even after appointing a large number of people, it is not possible for the company to attend to every customer. And if the customers don’t get through the call, the company’s image declines in their eyes.

In order to be cost effective a company can use several devices and technologies which not only acts as the expense cutter but also helps in increasing the productivity of the company. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is one automation which can increas the sales and productivity of a company. Here are a few factors which prove how IVR comes to the company’s rescue:

 1)    Skill-Based Routing:

The first reason to have an IVR is that the menu can be designed to route callers to the most appropriate agent to deal with the call. Simply putting a caller through to the first agent available who is not efficient enough to handle the customer’s problem, will again have to put the client’s call on hold while searching for another agent who can help. This may lead to a lengthy period on hold and risks the caller getting frustrated and having an impression of inefficiency.

 2)   IVR over Manpower:

There are a number of benefits which both business and their customers can get from an IVR system. A contact center typically is flooded with queries that are routine and simple in nature. These queries could be routed to the IVR which can then be resolved through the information or channel provided in the system. For all the inbound calls, the customer care need not be present. This incurs the need to appoint only the specialized agents. That frees up the call center agents to handle more complex, or higher-value transactions, or more difficult inquiries. In addition to simplifying the way businesses answer customer calls, IVR systems also save companies money by not having to pay employees to do the work the system is automatically taking care of. If it can answer the client’s question without transferring to an agent the company saves a significant amount of money.

Even if the agents are busy and unable to attend the call, the customers get the choice of getting the response from the IVR system and get their queries solved. Moreover, the “millennial customers” who are more technologically inclined prefer getting an automated solution rather than talking directly to the agents.

3)    Prioritize the customer:

The IVR connects to the CRM which stores the customer’s details and it is displayed on the agent screen when the customer calls. High-value customers who are assets to the company deserve to get connected directly to skilled agents. This can be done by recognizing them and immediately passing them through the menu tree to appropriate agents.

The remaining existing customers are likely to be best served by a custom IVR designed to meet their needs, based on what it knows about the customer, in terms of their profile and in terms of what products they have purchased from you.

4)   Improved First Call Resolution rates:

Another great feature of this system is now available to the call centers; a speech-enabled IVR gives customers the privilege of carrying out transactions or get information about products and services on their own, without interacting with a live agent. This will result in zero call drops. These self-service solutions can get call centers higher “first call resolution rates”, whether it is informational, transaction-based, or outbound.

5)  Works even in the absence of the agents:

IVR is proficient to companies more after office hours or when there are a holiday and no agent is available. For eg there is a bank holiday and a customer needs an account inquiry the system can solve the issue and avoid the possibility of call drops.

Logistic companies work more on the IVR only. The customers call to track their parcel carriers, it is the system that gives the updation about the goods. The need for customer care arises to the least. But the IVR system should be designed efficiently.

Interactive Voice Response system is an intelligent and efficient technology for companies. Though no technology can replace humans, still it can be used as a substitute many times.

Read more:8 IVR Software Optimization Techniques of Fortune 500 Companies