IVR and Maximizing Call Traffic Value

Managing inbound calls is an issue for any business.  The question (as always) is: how do I make the most of those calls I receive?

The truth is “it depends.” 

It depends on: the size of your shop, how your call center is set up (if you have one), if you have attendants ready to answer 24/7, and if you never have too many calls to handle, and there’s always someone to answer the phone.  If you’re a large dealership group, these may not apply.  In those cases, IVRs are used for controlling staff size, or running complex routing campaigns automatically, or testing new advertising sources.

How does the IVR help your management of inbound calls?

  • Better applications, instead of simple voicemails
  • No dropped calls from being on hold
  • Greater credibility, and the appearance of running a strong organization

IVR technology is primarily used to automate call handling.  It’s not rocket science, but why go around reinventing the wheel.  People call, and someone (or something) needs to answer, and plain old voicemail and keeping people on hold do one thing: lose business and credibility.

An IVR is a digital agent that helps close business 24 hours a day.

Even with large call centers in place, IVRs help in providing substantial value in: routing, identification and authentication of callers, definition of responses, and short ‘ring’ durationEveryone gets answered, and everyone gets to leave the right message so the sales or service person can get the whole process much further down the line.  Web forms, and properly made IVR forms serve the same purpose: they save a lot of time, and make everyone seem much more professional.

That said, people and machines don’t necessarily mix too well.  People might hang up, and sometimes you just want to talk to a warm body.  On the positive side, these leads aren’t lost.  All data is stored and tracked, and you have ample opportunity to follow up.  Set up a procedure for delivery of data, and you immediately get notified of missed or dropped calls or leads.  Now you have a machine driving the bulk of the process, and a person sweeping up rather than a team of people requiring management and very close attention.

While a live agent is a core part of the team, time and money make you work efficiently, and an IVR is a digital agent that helps close business 24 hours a day.  You want to push clients forward?  Make sure you give them the opportunity to start the sales process.  Ask them what they’re looking for, and ask them to qualify themselves, and you’ll just get to ask, “how can I help you?”