Why an IVR System is Perfect for Retail
December 04, 2012
By Rachel Ramsey
, TMCnet Web Editor
With Black Friday (News - Alert), Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday behind us, the holiday shopping season is in full swing. What retailers need to consider is today’s shoppers; they are always connected and operate on an on-demand mindset. As online shopping continues to increase, retailers need to cover all of their bases to provide an optimal customer experience over any medium. An IVR system helps with the number of customers that will call to order over the phone, check stock or voice any other questions or concerns.
Interactive Voice Response systems are automated and allow users and computers to communicate via speech or numerical input. In essence, they allow callers to drive themselves to the department they require to talk to by giving information over an automated voice system. Freeing up agent’s time, IVR solutions keep calls to a minimum and maximize the quality of customer service because it allows businesses to act on 100 percent of calls, while it also has the capacity to send caller details to the required agent so he/she has relevant information before the conversation even begins.
Retailers are beginning to use IVR systems to provide high-touch customer service. The latest UK-wide research found that 86 percent of telecoms companies, 80 percent of IT companies, 73 percent of transport and travel businesses, 63 percent of the manufacturing industry, 56 percent of insurance companies and 44 percent of the public sector used some form of IVR. However, only 40 percent of the retail and distribution industry did so.
IVR can be of great assistance in retail operations, as it can provide high-quality service across every point-of-contact with the customer while managing costs. It can also assist with promotional messages, ordering, customer surveys, gift card management and employee notification.
Rite-Aid, for example, is bridging the gap between healthcare and retail with the IVR services for its pharmacies, which are some of the best IVR services around. Refilling prescriptions is easy, aided by an outbound call from the IVR system notifying customers when their prescriptions are filled.
The outbound side of IVR is now opening a whole new avenue for promotion, in the same way it opened up treatment in healthcare. Retailers are beginning to use IVR to keep in touch with current customers, announce upcoming sales and remind them of service changes.
While it is most common to see retailers using live agents for providing order and shipping confirmation, it can be a poor allocation of resources when an IVR system can do the same job more efficiently and cost-effectively, which retailers understand very well.
Interact’s Nimblevox provides an outbound blast solution that can help retailers keep their customers up-to-date on promotional information. Setting up an outbound dialing campaign is as simple as uploading phone numbers in CSV, uploading prompt files, clicking “run” to start the campaign and viewing campaign results. Nimblevox’s plans start with support for 10,000 calls per hour with more calls available on request.
Users can create on-demand or prescheduled campaigns, create and upload separate messages for live answered calls and answering machine messages and set criteria for campaigns to stop once the desired number of successful calls has been reached.
Reports from Blast include how many calls were made, answered, unanswered, messages left on an answering machine, call hang-ups, call completion percentage and call data. In addition to retail marketing, Blast is also great for political calls, appointment reminders, payment reminders, service reminders, wakeup calls and more.
To inquire about Blast, click here.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo