Mr. Rajesh wanted to book a ticket for an office conference and he browsed a couple of touring websites. He came across NineOnNine Tours, who were offering great packages for office people. He wanted to enquire in detail about the packages and therefore called the travelling agency.
This how the conversation took place:
Front Office: Hello! NineOnNine Tours. How can I help you?
Mr. Rajesh: Hi! I am Rajesh and I want to book a ticket for a business conference. Also, I want to know about the business related packages that you guys are offering.
Front Office: Yea sure! Actually you’re talking to Gagan from the front office department. You need to hold on for sometime and I’ll call someone from the sales department and he can provide you with the necessary details.
Rajesh waited for 5-8 minutes…Frustrated with the waiting process, he kept down the phone and started browsing for alternatives!
What did just happen? The Travel Agency lost one of its prospective customers!
Businesses often come across such situations, where they are unable to solve the problems of some customers and that is when they start looking for alternatives, offering quick responses.
Let us find out why this happens…
Usually, businesses receive a lot of calls everyday and when there are too many customers calling, it becomes difficult to manage (imagine 20 customers visiting a grocery shop with just one shopkeeper handling them).
High call volume in a company can also be observed at the time of crisis. For example, 7/7 bombing in 2005 generated massive calls to national helplines and travel agencies. Therefore, it is not always the brand of the company which spikes call volume but sometimes serious incidents can also be one of the serious causes.
Connections to the Wrong Department
Sometimes customers are connected to the wrong department and helping them connect to the right person may take some time. The case of Rajesh highlights two problems. One, “poor customer interaction” and second, “inefficient customer service”. Both the factors are risky for any business.
Conversation with a customer can start with his first enquiry. Thus, an enquiry can be a lead to retain customers . As a result, companies cannot afford to make the environment of interaction poor.
Customers are like “no-sleeping pills”. They can have the urge to enquire about anything and everything at any point of time. But sometimes when the customer support department is busy managing other activities, there is a possibility for the customers to be unheard. This results in losing prospective customers for the business.
New Language is No Language
Customers who may call to enquire about a particular service, get perplexed due to the language spoken over the phone. For instance, a Punjabi calling Karnataka for availing a service and he gets to hear a Kannada language. Unable to understand the language, the Punjabi keeps down the phone and moves to the next! Thus, a scenario of miscommunication is created leading to communication gap.
Why does a business needs an IVR?
1. Businesses with large number of customers calling, face the problem of attending each call. An IVR makes it easy for such businesses. It helps to take up every single call of the customers and each customer is greeted with a professional voice. Therefore, customers are not left alone in the noise of “tring-rings” of phone calls. High traffic facing industries like Cineplex or travelling industry, have to manage large volume of calls every day. An IVR is used in such places for payment transactions.
2. While in the process of enquiry, customers are sometimes connected to the wrong departments. IVR facilitates to divide departments over the phone using a voice. This helps customers choose the department they want to get connected to. For example, when someone calls a toll-free number it has a system generated voice which says: Press 1 for Sales; Press 2 for Payment; Press 3 for General Information. Other IVR features like Live Call Transfer makes customer call connectivity mobile. Thus, you see it’s easy and fast with an IVR.
3. SMEs and High-traffic facing companies are sometimes not available to respond customer calls. An IVR is an automated call handling system which greets each customer calling with a system generated voice along with your brand name. For instance, you call Airtel Customer Care and this is what you hear: “Welcome to Airtel Customer Care Service…”- this helps in easy marketing of your business and at the same time makes you look professional. Also, an IVR is available 24×7, thus helping in retaining customers. The capability to react through an IVR helps in sustaining reputation of companies in the market.
4. Languages are a common problem for customers. Customers feel warm if they are recognized with their own local language. An IVR helps a customer to choose from a set of multiple languages, eliminating dialect confusion. For instance, you call the Airtel Customer care and they receive your calls with a welcome message along with a message saying: “Press 1 for English; Press 2 for Hindi, Simple!
An IVR proves to be beneficial for SMEs as well as huge companies. It helps in customer interaction management, moulding to the requirements of the customers.
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