The success of your marketing efforts depends on how effectively you can communicate with your potential customers at every point of your sales funnel. You should provide the best experience possible both online and offline.
For instance, your potential customers can call you, and you should make sure that this way, the communication is as effective as when engaging with them online or in person.
As per Microsoft survey, as much as 60% of customers don’t complete their purchases because of the poor customer experience. If you want to drive more conversions, you need to optimize your online as well as offline customer experience.
One of the effective ways to improve the customer experience is to use IVR (stands for Interactive Voice Response) and help customers connect with your business as and when they need.
In this article, we will explain what IVR is and how you can use it to deliver better customer experience and make your marketing efforts more effective.
What Is IVR and How Does It Work?
IVR systems are a type of software created for calls. It relies on voice recognition or keypads. IVR systems don’t need anyone to direct calls and they save callers a lot of time. Big call centers need IVR systems to be able to control their call volumes. Thanks to such systems, callers can quickly reach a particular department within a company and talk to the right person. IVR systems may work differently, depending on a company’s call network and its menu system.
Although there are many different IVR systems, most of them are based on the same sequence. First, callers dial in and listen to a pre-recorded greeting. After this, many IVR systems ask a caller to choose the preferred language. Then the caller listens to different menu options. For instance, the system may offer them to press “1” for support service and to press “2” to talk to the sales department. The caller responds, and the call gets redirected to the necessary department or service.
An important thing to keep in mind is that IVR systems are not only for big enterprises. Both big companies and small businesses can use IVR for marketing purposes. These systems are a great tool for inbound calls as well as outbound calls. Improving call routing is always appreciated by customers. You will also be able to increase your reliability, responding to queries as quickly as possible.
Speech recognition and touch-tone IVR systems streamline the entire inbound call process and enable you to respond to more customer calls by improving support staff efficiency, save costs, and deliver enhanced customer experience.
The benefits of IVR are not limited to efficient call routing. There are several key features of IVR that can help you with your marketing experience and delivering seamless customer experience:
Benefits of IVR: Marketing & sales perspective
This is probably the most obvious area of application but it’s important to mention on-hold messages because you should take them into account while implementing an IVR system for your business. Some people think that they need to choose either IVR or on-hold messages. The truth is that, even though IVR can reduce on-hold time, it doesn’t eliminate it completely. The remaining on-hold time shouldn’t be filled with silence.
If you include an on-hold message, consumers will spend more time staying on the line. Such messages enable you to engage with your audience, telling them about your latest offers and promos. With IVR on-hold messages, you can:
- Demonstrate that you care about customers’ time;
- Engage caller with information on your products, services and offers;
- Reduce call drop rate.
Generating leads for marketing campaigns
Many marketers use IVR as call-to-action. Besides sending emails and using ads, you can also encourage your potential customers to call on your IVR number and talk to you through IVR. For example, you can ask people to take a quick survey or to find out whether they’re using the most effective solution or need to switch to your solution.
Once users call on your IVR number and respond to the IVR menu, it can connect them to your sales representatives. You can also direct your callers to different agents based on the campaign they came from. This way, you can streamline the whole lead-generation and sales process. No matter whether your callers make a purchase or not, you’ll be able to collect their contact information and responses to your questions.
Scoring leads from calls before passing them to sales representatives
Thanks to IVRs, you can evaluate and score your phone leads to focus on the most promising ones. Your IVR can ask various questions and qualify your leads for a particular campaign. You can determine the quality of your leads, knowing whether or not they’re ready to buy. We recommend that you talk to your sales manager to know what questions they consider especially important when it comes to qualifying leads.
If leads score enough, you can pass them from the IVR straight to your sales representatives. If they don’t, you can provide customized marketing messages. Moreover, using multi-level IVR, you can use more than one IVR and redirect these leads to a second IVR that corresponds to a certain campaign. The same approach is used by many companies that include qualifying questions in their web forms. However, IVRs are more effective because you can connect leads and sales representatives immediately.
Researching your audience preferences, needs, and habits
All marketers need to research their target audience to determine their purchasing needs and habits. Surveys are an invaluable source of insights into your customers’ behavior and preferences. You can ask your audience about your products or services, as well as about the industry, as a whole. You can understand what they consider important, interesting, or convenient. You can also find many opportunities for growth.
Researching your audience with IVR surveys offers high response rate and great flexibility. You can get feedback from your customers through automated IVR calls made with outbound calling solutions. You can change any questions or adjust them as you need while being able to analyze responses immediately. If you use an IVR system, you will save a lot of costs compared to hiring a survey team that can get expensive.
Expanding mobile marketing
IVR systems are used in marketing in many ways, and one of the main areas of application of IVR is mobile marketing. Marketers always try to improve the online experience and keep optimizing their web content for mobile devices. However, people still use their smartphones to make calls. When they get a call from the brand they’re interested in, they are likely to engage and to interact with it.
Of course, cold calls are difficult, but IVR can help you automate this process so that you can reach out to people who are most likely to become your customers. You can have an in-house IVR system that will cost much less than outsourcing your marketing campaigns. IVR is also less expensive than using your in-house staff for such purposes. Given that IVR systems are connected to analytics, you can analyze your audience and segment it with daily call reports. With insights from data, you can improve the effectiveness of your cold calls and adjust your mobile campaigns according to the audience’s needs and behavior.
Improving customer support
IVR numbers can be integrated with toll-free service. A combination of toll-free and IVR works very well for customer support.
On your toll-free IVR number, customers can connect with your business anytime and get real time support through the IVR menu and your support staff.
Once they’ve finished speaking to a support agent, your IVR can ask them to provide feedback. You can also schedule IVR outbound calls to call your customers later for feedback.
One of the most important things about feedback is that it should be timely. Your customers’ feedback will be much more accurate if it follows a transaction because all the details are still fresh in their memories. Based on feedback received from your customers, you can see how satisfied your customers are with your customer service and how you can improve.
The efficiency of IVR systems enables you to minimize the number of confirmation and follow-up calls that you should otherwise make. An IVR system enables you to inform your clients about any important events or the status of their order. You can also send reminders, confirm meetings, and notify your potential customers about your products’ new features.
To succeed, you need to build long-term relationships with your customers. Every business needs loyal customers but not everyone manages to increase loyalty because keeping the audience engaged is not an easy task. At the same time, modern consumers like fast and efficient communication and they want everything to be delivered as quickly as possible. Thanks to IVR, you can demonstrate that you value their time, and make communication, customer service, as well as the sales process more efficient.
Final thoughts on IVR for marketing campaigns & sales
IVR systems can benefit your marketing campaigns in many ways. They offer a simple way to interact with your existing and potential customers while enabling you to automate many processes and save time. You can use IVR systems not only for notifications and customer support but also to get actionable insights into the preferences of your audience and to collect valuable and relevant feedback. IVRs can help you attract leads and qualify them. Given that IVR has so many possible applications, don’t be afraid to experiment with different approaches. After all, experimentation is key to find new opportunities and improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Better marketing campaigns. Better sales.
With cloud-based IVR system
About The Author: Aaron Swain is a writing specialist who is currently working in the writing service reviews company Best Writers Online. He is passionate about marketing and SEO. He expands and improves his skills throughout the writing process to help and inspire people.