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IVR Quality and Social Media Can Make or Break the Brand
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IVR Quality and Social Media Can Make or Break the Brand

October 02, 2012

  By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) was once limited to non-flexible voice recordings used by banks and airlines almost exclusively. As technology has changed, however, so too has the way consumers access information about the products they buy. Social media is probably one of the most prolific occurrences that affect consumer behavior, and social media marketing relies on the tools found in IVR solutions.

According to this Fast Casual report, successful companies have always made efforts to retain their customers. But after the most recent devastating recession, attracting new customers became almost impossible simply because consumers had stopped buying. As a result, most companies put extra effort into retaining the ones they already had.

One such effort involved a loyalty/reward program to help develop more retention. But as research shows, most consumers don’t rank the loyalty/reward program as the single top reason for their spending money at one business or the other. What is more important than a retention program is developing the brand experience that keeps the consumer coming back.

When a customer receives the attention they deserve and a product or service that they consider stellar, they come back. Nearly 90 percent of consumers are actually willing to pay more for a better experience. One way to develop that experience is to invest in an IVR system that allows the customer the type of interaction that delivers the answers they need to be fully invested in a brand. 

The food industry is an excellent example of how consumers’ experience in one visit can make a lasting impression. Word can spread online quickly as consumers scour the Internet for information about where to eat. So, if the service is bad and the food sub-par, that information can spread like wildfire. 

At the same time, this information has been used by many in the service industry to shore-up weak areas of their operation. In some cases, the business can reach out to those adversely affected and offer a resolution that can turn opponents into allies, and advocates for their brand. 

Customers need to know they are valued. Engaging with them via a robust IVR system can make all the difference in the world in customer retention. Higher customer ratings in online forums have a direct impact on the flow of customers to that establishment. 

A recent economics report from the University of California – Berkeley said that even a slight increase in ratings can affect the service industries by creating a near 20 percent increase in business. This figure alone demonstrates the importance of ratings and placing a priority on the customer experience. An IVR system that helps a company drill down on the data it stores can lead to insights that when used for improvements, can draw more business.

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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo
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