Things have been challenging — to say the least — for many small business owners over the last few years. But there is some good news that will improve everything from customer satisfaction to the bottom line. It is one of the most popular advanced features in our cloud-based (i.e., voice over internet protocol AKA VoIP) phone system: Interactive Voice Response (IVR).
Even if you do not currently use IVR in your small business, you have doubtlessly experienced it many times as a customer, or when contacting a government agency. It works by asking you to press digits on your phone’s keypad to self-direct your call to the right department or individual (e.g. “press 5 for technical support, press 6 to access our company directory”).
There are some best practices you should follow for your IVR and auto-attendants. Because you want your auto-attendant to increase your customer experience, be sure your IVR follows a logical flow routing customers as quickly as possible to the correct person or department.
Behind the scenes, the digits that you enter transmit a dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) to a database, which routes your call to the correct private branch exchange (PBX) extension.
There are many benefits of IVR that make it a must-have for small business phone systems, including:
Improve Your Image
Stand out from the competition and make a powerful, positive impression by greeting each caller with a customized greeting 24/7. Even if you have a small workforce, you will look like a large organization. You can easily record your own greetings, or have our professional voice talent do it for you.
Increase Customer Satisfaction
Enable callers to quickly and easily their intended department or employee. What’s more, IVR helps ensure that the right team members are tagged to deal with escalated customer issues. For example, you can route phone calls for technical support to your product/service experts. This makes your sales team very happy! A study found that for every 1% improvement in first call resolution (FCR), there is a 1% increase in customer satisfaction.
An IVR can help you eliminate the need for a receptionist whose primary task is answering incoming calls. According to data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for receptionists in 2022 was $33,960 per year. Make sure any cloud-based phone system you are researching includes a wide range of key features like IVR in its pricing.
Speaking up liberating your team: an IVR also lets you free up staff from having to provide common information. Instead, customers automatically get this information on their own through the system (e.g. hours of operation, business address, etc.). This also boosts employee morale, since your staff gets to spend more time on high-value priorities and tasks.
Provide Up-to-Date Messaging
With an IVR you can provide customers (and other callers) with up-to-the-minute automated messages during disasters and emergencies. For example – “Our offices will be closing at 3:00 pm on Friday due to the hazardous weather.” Another example is, “We are pleased to announce that now have an after-hours toll-free number for support”). Plus, you can quickly and easily change the messaging at any time. Additionally, you can use any device including digital desk phones, softphones (i.e. headsets), or mobile phones.
It’s VERY Affordable (Hint: How Does $0 Sound?)
When you choose Carolina Digital Phone, what is the extra cost of IVR? Nothing! It is built into our all-in-one cloud-based phone system, which uses your existing internet connection.
By switching from your current landline phone system to a VoIP provider, you will not just significantly lower your small business’s annual telecommunication costs, but you will also enjoy ALL of the benefits described above plus a wide range of key features including (but not limited to):
- Unlimited calling
- Voicemail-to-email with transcription
- Call recording
- Apps for cell phones
- Built-in team messaging and instant messaging
- Video conferencing
- Collaboration tools
- Third-party integrations
- Management features (e.g., track outbound minutes)
Learn more about IVR and many other advanced features in our all-in-one cloud phone system by scheduling a live guided demo. We’ll show you how easy, affordable, and effective it is to help your small business get MORE for LESS, with prices starting at just $6/user per month (for basic phone plans). You don’t have to be a larger business to have enterprise-level business communications!
Discover why we are one of the industry’s most trusted and recommended cloud phone system providers with 100+ 5-star customer reviews. Call us at (336) 544-4000.