Interactive Voice Response (auto-attendant) systems are often the first impression that callers have of your company. Make sure that your voice prompts are working with your marketing, not against it. In combination with Message On Hold marketing, planned, professionally recorded IVR announcements can be a tool that helps build brand awareness and customer confidence. When used in marketing, audio and the human voice can help form meaningful connections between individuals and brands. By keeping your brand's "voice" in mind as you plan your voice prompts, you can reach out to callers and encourage them to interact with your business.
Let’s start at the beginning: When you incorporate a "voice" into your phone system, be sure it matches your brand imagery. How would you describe your brand? Use these same terms when selecting the right voice for your IVR system. Hospitals, for example, generally look for voices with a calm, soothing tone, while Car Dealerships select voices that are informative and exciting. Your choice becomes the sound of your brand and the voice of your business.
Once callers are associating your brand with the voice of your IVR system, think about how the system works. Voice Prompts are designed to elicit a specific response from the listener. Essentially, they are a “call to action” in the form of a one line command that instructs the listener to press a button, speak into the phone, or recall information. Interactivity is the medium through which callers can connect with your business. The required response that IVR systems demands means that they are more interactive than your Messages On Hold.
Message On Hold programs are generally passive. When someone calls you, they’re put on hold as their call is routed. And on hold is where they wait. On hold marketing can be a point of engagement with your clients, but your IVR system allows your customers interaction with your brand, too. Asking the right questions in your voice prompts is the first step in increasing engagement.
How do you know callers are correctly prompted? Take some time to review your call flow, making sure your IVR is meeting caller needs:
- Analyze your existing data to pin point areas that callers require engagement.
- Review frequently asked questioned from agents, chats and emails.
- Look for opportunities to offer callers interaction to get the information they need.
Once you've completed this review, you'll be able to use your findings to create actionable items on your IVR, like checking order status, making item returns, or getting directions. The right items increase interaction and engagement, helping to drive customers to the right place sooner. Done right, you can also decrease unnecessary calls to live agents. Be sure to monitor and tweak your options as your products services and customers change and use your Message On Hold program to fill in the gaps for callers who may not understand what they want. By educating and reinforcing options, you can continue to increase customer interactions as you drive callers to the right places.