The phone is the lifeline and also an impediment for small business owners. To illustrate this let us take an example. Mr Joe Smith runs a business and is the chief (perhaps the only) decision maker. His day starts at 8 AM. He sits down to plan the day’s work and the phone rings. He loses concentration and attends to the phone. Later on, he is in a discussion with a customer and the phone rings and he has to take time out to respond to the call. It is the same when he sits down to discuss important matters with employees. During the day he fields anywhere from 50 to 100 calls and that eats away time and energy. Do you find yourself in a similar situation? Then think of an IVR solution to free you to do important things without distraction.
The IVR can be part of call center solution but these days you can get it as a stand-alone cloud hosted solution. This means you do not have to buy any specific IVR phone or hardware. Simply signup for the service and you get the IVR number for your customers to call. You can configure the dynamic IVR with questions and responses linked to key presses. Should anyone call, it goes into the IVR first. Should caller wish for information, it can be provided through key presses and by calling up data from your CRM. If the caller wishes to talk with someone you can configure the IVR to route the call to someone in your office or to you. You can configure it to enable callers to leave behind a voice message. The IVR can do this and a lot more for your small business.
Free up time for your work
If you must focus on specific work and get it done within a fixed time limit then put your phone into the IVR mode. The phone may sit by your side but it will not intrude. If you wish you can configure the IVR solution so that you can listen to callers or callers can request a call back by pressing a key or by leaving a voice message. Complete your work and attend to important callers, leaving your staff to handle routine callers. Alternatively, you could listen to callers and jump in if you think that call deserves your attention. You can get more work done with minimum distractions from the phone by using IVR systems.
If callers desire nothing more than information then you will find the IVR solution simply indispensable. Just record all possible information that callers could desire and assign them to appropriate key presses. Callers will be satisfied and will be likely to turn into customers. Intelligent IVRs can detect such tipping points and channel these into the CRM under the label of hot leads to which you can give priority and generate more revenues with less effort. Callers do hate having to respond to inane questions and would like to jump straight to the point and they will welcome this type of self service support.
Never miss out on opportunities
As a small business owner you wish to grow but there are limitations. You cannot operate 24×7. The IVR solution is up and working 24×7 while you rest or attend to important matters. At the same time you will not miss out on opportunities when you are not in office or are sleeping. The IVR maintains a record of callers and if it is a sales opportunity, you will never miss it. This alone repays your investment in the IVR solution.
Consider another scenario. You are on a call and it takes 10 to 20 minutes. A potential customer calls but gets a busy tone and goes away. Put the IVR in place and you capture their phone number and reason for calling and can call back promptly
If you have a small organization then an incoming call is likely to be picked up by your receptionist or other staff who is not knowledgeable enough to respond to a potential customer. The IVR comes to your rescue. Configure it so that callers can press a key to speak to someone in sales and get connected to the right person. Happy experiences increase chances of conversions. 87% customers appreciate proactive and prompt responses from the right person. About one-third to half of sales is captured by first and fast responders.
The IVR is more than just a tool to help you focus on your work. It is perfect for outbound campaigns and to send out offers. Imagine a situation in which you have to engage a call center using call center solution for outbound sales campaigns and lead generation. You would be paying more than what you receive for such services. Switch to IVR solution and, with an additional SMS or voice broadcast module you can set it up to send out text messages by the thousands to potential customers and generate leads. Your business grows fast since such SMS/voice message campaigns cost next to nothing and have high potential for leads. It can also be used for surveys and to keep existing customers informed of developments.
One intangible but invaluable benefit of switching to IVR solution is the image you project. Callers get the impression that yours is not a one-man show but a corporate entity and that adds to your status and brand reputation. That alone can help you retain existing customers and add more new ones.
If your business has lots of customers to whom you extend credit or if you run a subscription service then you will find IVR payment gateway integrated solution worth the money. You can set it up to send out reminders and allow customers to make immediate payment through the IVR payment facility. Your collections improve.
Look at it anyway, the IVR solution is a must have for your business. Just make sure to get one from the right call center solution provider.