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A Marketer’s Guide to Choosing the Best IVR Software

How do you distinguish your business and attract customers? Of course, behind every successful company is an even more successful team delivering excellent customer service. But many companies still struggle to provide an integrated customer experience, master all lead flows, and optimize customer journeys.

Fortunately, brands can meet clients’ rising expectations by automatically tracking their interactions across all touchpoints and streamlining workflows and call journeys. This way, businesses can learn right there on the spot about the quality of customer service, the reason behind specific interactions and calls, the most effective campaigns, and much more.

Traditionally, businesses serving high call volumes, like home service companies or insurance carriers, invest in call center solutions and systems. Implementing an interactive voice response system, otherwise known as IVR, allows companies to collect essential customer information, create customizable journeys with voice logic, and elevate the customer experience.

But a lot can go wrong with IVR, especially if you choose a solution that can’t serve all of your needs. So let’s explore what to look for in IVR software and how to make the right choice.

What Is IVR Software, and Why Does it Matter?

IVR is a classic example of the always-on system that acts as an additional communication layer or interface between customers and your business. Simply put, it enables companies to automate their call management process.

Here’s how IVR software can impact a company’s call center functions and customer experience:

  • Collecting critical customer information and verifying it
  • Processing orders, payments, or requests
  • Prioritizing calls and navigating callers
  • Routing calls to specific agents or departments
  • Offering a self-service option to callers
  • Integrating with CRMs and other marketing solutions
  • Allowing for personalization of call journeys
  • Saving time and cutting costs
  • Facilitating localization and simplifying market expansion
  • Improving business scalability

Some IVR technologies have built-in artificial intelligence. It allows recognizing the voices of callers and providing relevant information right away. On top of that, IVR systems can revamp outbound and inbound surveys that help assess agents’ performance and collect feedback on specific features, products, or issues.

How to Choose the Right Software

With so many automation solutions available today, narrowing the list down to just a couple of options might be challenging. Unfortunately, this is also true of IVR systems that are often part of comprehensive marketing solutions.

So what makes an IVR system suitable, and how do you make sure that it meets your requirements? Let’s explore some of the critical factors that companies should focus on while selecting a suitable IVR system.

Integration Options

When choosing an IVR system, it’s crucial to learn about available integration options.

As mentioned before, IVR is often available as part of a call intelligence solution or an automation marketing suite. It means that you might have to look for an opportunity to integrate your martech stack and CRM with the system. On the other hand, you might choose to implement an all-in-one marketing automation solution that includes an IVR feature and integrate it with your CRM to share data.

Ultimately, integration capability can be a pro and a con of IVR software.

Customer Journey

IVR is a feature that any organization can use to design specific customer journeys based on the types of clients, nature of their requests, interactions with specific channels, etc. Naturally, it depends on the individual IVR system and its capabilities. In other words, you need to find out right away how well you can tailor these journeys and how customizable the call flows can be.

The best course of action while shopping for an IVR system, in this case, is to find out about its testing and simulation capabilities.

Cost to Functionality Ratio

It might seem like the more features you get with IVR the higher the system’s quality will be. But that’s not exactly the case. The key to finding the best IVR option is the balance between the functionalities your company needs and their cost.

Before opting for a specific system, ask yourself how it will enhance the existing workflows and impact the customer experience. That way, you will understand whether you want or need all the presented features.

Final Thoughts

Implementing any marketing solution is a judgment call. Whether you’re in the insurance, home services, travel, or digital marketing business, marketers’ core requirements are often an easy setup and affordability.

But when it comes to implementing an IVR system, it’s crucial to understand its technical compatibility and its ability to enhance customer experience and impact business growth.

If you’re looking to automate your call management process, an IVR system is exactly what you need. But bear in mind that before committing to any system, you need to carefully examine its capabilities and ensure that it’s cost-effective.

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