Effective Ways to Leverage Outbound IVR in the Call Center

Elemér Erdősi
October 03, 2019
October 03, 2019
6 min read
#Business

Have you ever asked your customers what the first thing is that comes to their minds when they think of IVR systems?

Well, the bad news is that it’s probably the vision of never-ending calls, with an automated system playing annoying music in the background until they get transferred to a live agent.

The good news is that these days, thanks to rapidly advancing technology solutions, an IVR system can be used for a lot more than just routing callers’ incoming queries.

IVR technology can now also be used for outbound purposes as well, a well-constructed outbound IVR allowing companies to excel at some of the most important customer service activities.

Check out my article and find out what the most effective ways are to use an outbound IVR system in the call center!

Outbound IVR surveys

As we all know, customer feedback is vital to any business. On one hand, by collecting customer feedback, you can communicate that your customers’ opinions matters to you. On the other hand, customer reviews contain some of the most valuable information you can gather about your product, allowing you to improve your processes in the long run. After all, it is customers who use your products, isn’t it?

When it comes to collecting feedback, companies often send out mass SMS messages with a link that directs customers to a survey they can fill out. And while this is one way of collecting customer feedback, why not instead simply give your customers a call and ask them directly for their opinion?  

An outbound IVR can be used to proactively reach out to a large number of customers and conduct a survey with them over the phone. Customers can either use their dial pad to type their message or simply say their opinion out loud while the IVR system records it, and using speech-to-text these voice responses can be also saved as a text.

Luckily, outbound IVR survey calls can be personalized as well. By leveraging text to speech technology, for example, you can address your customers by name and further personalize the message by providing additional personal details in the conversation.

IVR for debt collection

One thing is certain, debt collection companies receive a lot of payment promises. There’s only one problem: these promises are not usually kept. When this happens, debt collectors have no other choice but to repeatedly call back customers and remind them of their outstanding debts. And of course, it is costly allocating some of your resources to repeatedly remind the same customers of their debts.

So, have you thought about launching an outbound IVR campaign that uses a recorded message to notify customers of their outstanding debts and due dates? For example, VCC Live’s outbound IVR feature can calculate and subsequently let customers know how many days are left until they need to settle their debts.

And if you want to kill two birds with one stone, you can even offer your customers the option of being transferred to a live agent or self-service to pay their debts during a call. How amazing is that?

Telesales and lead generation

Outbound IVR systems can also be used for telesales and lead generation purposes. Most companies have at least a few databases with extremely cold contacts who almost never pick up their phone.

Allocating members of your workforce to repeatedly call numbers that are unavailable for the majority of the time is unlikely to bring any return to your business. And this is where an outbound IVR campaign comes in handy: you can launch an outbound IVR campaign specifically for your cold contacts, and if any of those customers pick up, they can be automatically transferred to a live agent. By doing this, you can make the most of your cold contacts without having to waste your expensive workforce on them.

Furthermore, it is the main goal of any telesales department to prospect for qualified leads. Finding these qualified leads, however, takes a lot of cold calling, which is again very costly. An outbound IVR system, on the other hand, can greatly improve your lead conversion process by pre-qualifying interest.

In other words, you can start automated cold calls, play messages regarding your product, and then offer customers an option to be transferred to a live agent if they are interested.

Mass notifications with outbound IVR

Outages and service interruptions can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. In such cases, you’ll need to notify hundreds or even thousands of customers about the interruptions within the shortest possible time period.

But handling mass notifications in a call center greatly reduces productivity, as agents end up dealing with the notifications rather than handling customer queries. However, one effective way to easily communicate such interruptions with your customers is by sending out mass notifications through an outbound IVR.

Again, you can personalize your mass notifications by using a combination of pre-recorded audio and text-to-speech technology.

Of course, with an outbound IVR, you can communicate other important messages as well, such as letting your customers know of unexpected changes in your business, driving them towards last-minute sales, or reminding them of an upcoming appointment with your company. 

Outbound IVR systems can be greatly beneficial for any call center that deals with outbound customer activities. Make sure you also leverage it!

Elemér Erdősi
Elemér Erdősi is Head of Key Account Management at VCC Live®. With substantial experience in the contact center and telecommunications industry, he focuses on sharing his Service Delivery, Analytical Skills, Operations Management and Call Center Development knowledge and expertise with clients and CX enthusiasts.
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