A certain “Snooozy” has written an article detailing the advantages of using an IVR system for customer surveys. It contains some good points worth a closer look.
IVR is interactive voice response. This means that on your side of the phone is a machine programmed to elicit responses from the living, breathing human customers on the other side.
Some of the advantages are immediately obvious; they cost a whole lot less, in the long run, than a room full of people making calls to get your survey questions answered. And, in the asking of the questions of the customers themselves, there’s a certain efficiency to the customer not being able to ask for clarifications before giving their responses.
Yes, in some cases, this is a drawback, as it might leave them a bit confused. But on the other hand, their answers aren’t unduly influenced by how the questioner might rephrase the questions.
Snooozy lists some other advantages of an IVR, besides the fact that it never gets sick, asks for a day off or alienates customers if it shows up to work in a sour mood.
“The biggest benefit of the IVR system is how quickly an organization can collect information from a person,” Snooozy notes, and yes, cost aside, this is the number one benefit of an IVR system for customer surveys: “Within two to five minutes after a service interaction is finished, an organization can have feedback from the clients that how their experience was with them and how they feel.”
And that quickly, an administrator can be data mining to see if there are any red flags in that conversation meriting a quick follow-up call to smooth over a problem or suggestive sell a product or service the customer sounds ready to buy.
And once you’ve got that IVR system, there are lots of other uses you can find for it. A few weeks ago, TMC (News - Alert) recounted some of the major advantages to the well-done IVR in retail. “A fully-hosted IVR and call center applications give companies a platform for retailers to optimize the customer experience as well as manage costs, increase productivity, and even generate new revenue.”
Customers can find the store closest to them, searching in more than 120 different ways, including zip code or area code, using an IVR instead of tying up your call center agents’ time on such mundane inquiries. They can also use IVR to find, order, and get the status of products at any time, check balances, and, when calls require an agent, good IVR systems have a Virtual Call Center to ensure you can quickly and easily route callers from an IVR to an available customer service rep.
And don’t forget that not all IVR survey advantages are strictly customer-facing. They can also be used to provide direct access for your employees to benefits information and can ease the burden of screening job applicants with a phone-based application survey. An IVR system can also be used internally to alert, notify and inform employees on store closings, hour adjustments and benefits information.
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David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Rich Steeves