Most consumers are used to hearing or interacting with IVR messages and are not surprised when their call is answered by automatic voice response. While various forms of IVR systems have been in place since the 1990s, this does not mean that customer expectations are also the same. Confusing dialing options, robotic voices, distorted elevator music, and repetitive sales messages are bound to get your IVR abandoned call rates high and your customer satisfaction low.
Whether you are just starting out or have been in the contact center business for a longer period of time, it is important to take a proactive attitude and try to use this technology in your favor. This is where well-optimized outbound IVR comes into the picture.
How does outbound IVR work?
Interactive Voice Response or IVR is not just limited to handling inbound calls. Used in outbound campaigns, an outbound IVR system can be used to reach a large volume of customers with customized messages on multiple channels, such as phone, SMS, or social media.
Depending on the aim of your campaign, outbound IVR systems can primarily be used to generate sales by following up with customers based on their previous purchases or activities. Outbound IVR can also help your company in getting valuable customer feedback, helping improve customer satisfaction. Finally, using outbound IVR can also help you reduce inbound call volume, by setting updates and payment reminders for your customers.
In short, outbound IVR is capable of increasing your profit and can boost your customer satisfaction when used right. The key lies in creating the right messages based on your customers’ needs.
Personalized marketing is everything! Keep this in mind when creating your outbound IVR messages. According to a recent study, 72% of consumers engage with marketing messages only when they feel that it is personally tailored to their interests. Therefore, make sure to leverage your customer data when creating your outbound IVR messages. Use information from your CRM, such as purchase history, past activity, or billing schedule.
Communicate on the platforms that matter
Make sure to set your outbound IVR communication on the platforms that your customers actually use. You can leverage this information from your existing CRM systems. Engaging with your customers on their preferred channels will not only drive more engagement but will also increase brand loyalty!
Conversational IVR messaging
It’s easy to think of IVR as a one-way mode of communication. Although IVR does not involve live conversation, your scripts should be as close to a live conversation as possible. If your outbound IVR includes an outgoing call, make sure that the voice recording has a natural, conversational tone. Make sure to include a call to action, whether it’s a promotion claim or an overdue debt prompt. Additionally, make sure that your clients have the option to connect with or to schedule a call-back with a live agent in case their needs are not satisfied with any of the IVR options.
Build trust and security
Verifying your clients’ identity is essential for any customer interaction. When using an IVR, this can often become cumbersome, as clients are often asked to repeat themselves, or, are asked to give a large number of personal details. Instead of tiring your customers with a large number of security steps, simply apply CRM integration to affirm their details.
You can match pre-existing data you have on them with little additional information. For example, you can ask a client’s ID number and zip code, matching it up with their phone number and email address, already existing in your database. Maintaining an easily accessible security process is essential not just for security but for building trust and customer satisfaction!
IVR systems can be used not just for directly handling inbound calls, but also for proactively managing your outbound campaigns! However, in order to achieve customer satisfaction with your outbound campaigns, make sure to create personalized IVR messages by leveraging data from your CRM database.
Communicate on the platforms that are most frequented by your customers and in a manner suited to them, whether that’s SMS, phone, or social media. While IVR does not include a live agent, make sure that the tone of your messages is conversational, with a call to action, and a live agent option included. Finally, make sure to maintain your security when using an outbound IVR script, but don’t make it overly complicated for your clients.