IVR, also known as an auto attendant, phone tree, or call menu, exists to save time and frustration for you and your callers by directing them to the right person or department. With an automated call menu, you won’t have to waste time fielding every call and sending it to the appropriate department because your IVR system does that for you.
History of IVR Technology
IVR, or Interactive Voice Response started as a primitive version of the widely-used self-service technology that is used in phone systems all over the world. When the first Auto Attendants came into use, functionality was limited, and they allowed for very little interaction. IVR has come a long way in its development, even adding Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) to give callers who use the system a more natural experience while retaining the efficiency of original IVR.
Using Talkroute to Add IVR
Any small business owner can now reap the benefits of this technology, which has taken years to develop, and Talkroute gives you simple tools to quickly add an industry-standard call menu (IVR) with the latest features to your virtual phone system (included with your Talkroute subscription), without buying any new equipment or installing the conventional, massive infrastructure previously needed for a professional phone network.
An IVR System Automatically Makes Your Business Look Good
No matter how small, a business has to present an image that shows you’ve got it together. When you call a business and the phone rings before going straight to voicemail—that might convey a number of things to your caller. You may have a great business, but when the phone simply rings, and that’s it, it does come off as a little too casual. Also, a call menu reassures the caller that you are equipped to handle larger volume, which adds to your credibility.
No Dead Ends
One key to remember when putting together your call menu is to do periodic quality checks and pay attention to details. After it is set up, it’s good to go back and walk through all the options to make sure you don’t have any errors, like dead end paths that leave the caller with nowhere to go. What happens when a caller presses “7 for tech support,” and the line goes dead? That’s a customer that you may lose because your IVR failed to carry them where they needed to go.
Allow Callers to Skip the Options
We live in a time when the disposition of most people borders on ADD, and though your call menu may serve every caller appropriately and efficiently, some people just want to leave you a message and aren’t willing to wait for the prompt to do so. This is why you may want to let your callers know that they can choose between leaving a message, or hearing other options.
Make Sure it Sounds Good
When you have access to features such as the ones offered with your Talkroute subscription, you have plenty of freedom to create a high-quality call menu. You have the option to record your own audio for menu options, and even assign your own music to play for customers on hold. Be sure to use good quality audio, and again, going back to do a quality check is important to make sure it sounds just the way you want it to.
Bonus: Check out our article 6 Ways to Better Serve Callers on Hold
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.