IVR For Sales and Marketing

How To Effectively Utilize IVR For Sales And Marketing?


22 December 2023

In the dynamic realm of business, the effectiveness of your marketing endeavors hinges on seamless communication throughout the sales funnel. Whether engaging online or offline, providing an exceptional experience is paramount. Imagine a scenario where potential customers reach out via phone – can you ensure the same level of efficacy as online interactions?

Various researches highlight that more than 50% of customers abandon their purchases due to subpar customer experiences. To boost conversions, optimizing both online and offline customer interactions becomes imperative. Enter Interactive Voice Response (IVR), a powerful tool that can significantly enhance customer communication and connection.


1. What is an IVR?

2. How IVR Works in Simple Terms

3. Best Use Case from a Marketing & Sales Perspective


What is an IVR?

IVR, or Interactive Voice Response, is a sophisticated technology designed to automate and streamline customer interactions over the phone. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a helpful guide for phone calls that uses recorded voices and keypad choices to direct callers to the right place, making things easy. It's a bit like a digital helper that ensures you get what you need when you call a company. It can also ask survey questions or collect feedback and help businesses learn more about what customers like. This makes phone interactions smooth and guided.


How IVR Works in Simple Terms:

Call Initiation: When a customer initiates a call, the IVR system greets them with a pre-recorded message, providing instructions on how to proceed.

User Input: The system prompts the caller to provide input through voice commands or touch-tone responses. This input helps determine the purpose of the call and the desired information. With voice commands (powered by speech engine and NLP), the need to traverse the IVR menus is reduced and customers can get to the point quickly.

Information Retrieval: IVR interacts with databases or information systems to retrieve relevant data based on the caller's input. This could include account details, order status, or other personalized information.

Call Routing: Based on the nature of the call and the information gathered, the IVR system intelligently routes the call to the appropriate queue (managed by the Automated Call Distributor - ACD) directing it to the department. The skill-based routing will then land the call to the right agent.

Automation and Resolution: For routine inquiries or transactions, IVR can automate processes, providing quick resolutions without the need for human intervention. This enhances efficiency and reduces wait times for customers. The customer enquiry can be resolved by the IVR and there may not be the need to transfer the call to a live agent. This is also referred to as the IVR containment rate.

In essence, IVR acts as a digital receptionist, efficiently managing and directing incoming calls to ensure a smooth and effective customer experience. Its versatility extends beyond basic call handling, making it a valuable tool for businesses looking to enhance communication and streamline operations.


Best use case from Marketing & Sales Perspective:

1. Generating Leads for Marketing Campaigns

IVR transcends its traditional role by becoming a proactive lead-generation tool. This is achieved by using Callblast or Press 1 campaign. The leads can be dialed from the list of contacts manually uploaded or sent by the CRM. Once the call is answered the IVR provides the choice for the lead to connect to the sales agent (by Pressing 1). This call can be routed to the available sales rep. This way IVR can be used in marketing or lead-generation campaigns. To ensure that these calls are not marked as spam calls, it is better to use the contact who has shown consent to call in one or the other way.

2. Connecting customers who have abandoned carts or left in between

While brands make the best effort for a frictionless purchase process there is always a chance that customers may drop in between. Automated calls reminding of their abandoned cart and providing choices through the IVR to select various options can help brands regain customers. On selecting the option, the IVR can send the payment link via SMS or WhatsApp and help in closing the sale. This can be also very useful in the customer onboarding process or at any critical point in the customer journey where the customer is near to the closure. According to a study by Deloitte, personalized IVR interactions can increase customer conversion rates by more than 30%.

3. Researching Audience Preferences, Needs, and Habits

IVR surveys provide a direct channel to understand audience preferences, needs, and habits. This data serves as a goldmine for tailoring marketing strategies, ensuring they resonate with the target audience and yield optimal results.

Through carefully designed IVR surveys, businesses can gather valuable insights into what their audience likes, what they are looking for, and how they prefer to interact. These surveys act as a window into the customer's world, providing data that is akin to gold for tailoring effective marketing strategies.

This can be very useful for new product launches usually for consumer products where such surveys can collect actual feedback from consumers. For citizen surveys related to government policies or even election campaigning, survey IVR is a great savior.

4. Additional channel for marketing

Customers may have to wait in the IVR while getting assigned to the right agent. Instead of just playing queue music, some informative message can be played so that the caller gets informed of any new offer or cause that the brand supports. This also cuts down the boredom of waiting in a queue. However, the message should be properly crafted as the customer may not be very interested in listening to a promo when she has a pressing issue at hand.

5. Improving Customer Support

IVR isn't solely a marketing tool; it's a game-changer in customer support. Efficient call routing and swift issue resolution not only enhance customer satisfaction but also contribute to an overall positive experience. Reduced wait times convey prompt attention, making customers feel valued and lightening the burden on support staff. IVR functions as a virtual assistant, managing routine queries and leaving human agents available for more complex issues.

The IVR can retrieve information from backend systems like CRMs or ERPs and act as an efficient self-service tool for customer service. It can also take in inputs to create tickets without reaching an agent. 

6. Measure and Improve Customer Support with IVR Phone Surveys

By using IVR phone surveys, businesses can check how happy customers are and get helpful feedback. This quick feedback helps solve issues fast and keeps improving support services.
The beauty of IVR lies in its real-time feedback mechanism, allowing businesses to address concerns and continually enhance their support services promptly. It's not just about resolving issues; it's about building a better support system based on the insights provided by customers. 

Once the call is over, the customer can be transferred to the Feedback IVR. The IVR requests the caller to rate the experience of the call. Immediately the rating of the call is made available to the supervisor as well as the agent. The CSAT score of each call is a definitive guide of the overall experience the customer care team is delivering.

Feedback IVR can also be initiated as an outbound call post an event like once the car got serviced or the shipment got delivered. In pursuit of building a superior customer experience, collecting customer feedback at different touchpoints is critical.

7. Call deflection 

The pursuit of the brand is to create a high level of customer experience. There are situations where the brand can notice the possibility of subpar customer experience. One such situation arises when the customer has to be on hold for a long time. When the lines are busy, the IVR can notify the caller of longer than usual wait time and offer an option for a call deflection to a messaging channel like WhatsApp or SMS (where 2-way SMS is permitted). The customer may choose the option and get diverted to a digital channel and continue the interaction.

In conclusion, the strategic implementation of IVR goes beyond call management; it becomes a catalyst for lead generation, audience research, and improved customer support. Businesses that embrace the multifaceted capabilities of IVR, position themselves at the forefront of technological innovation, ensuring a seamless and engaging experience for both prospects and existing customers.


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