A new advertisement or marketing campaign can generate significantly more attention for your business. This leads to an influx of calls from potential customers, causing you and your team to spend significantly more time on the phone taking orders or answering questions.
An increase in calls can often overwhelm small- and even mid-sized businesses. Trying to qualify new leads and answer general inquiries, while maintaining service quality elsewhere, can take a toll on your business. There are multiple ways to handle the additional demand, such as hiring more staff or add extra incoming phone lines to manage the workload – but these options carry significantly greater cost than automating inbound calls.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is the common automated menu system heard when customers call into businesses. IVR systems allow businesses to filter or route calls to specific people or work groups – such as sales or customer support – making inbound communications more efficient all around. Alternatively, some businesses use their IVR to share pre-recorded answers to common questions, such as office hours or location info.
IVR offers a business owner free and easy access to create, edit, and remove the menus or prompts (recordings the customer hears when calling the company) via web interface. This is especially useful for on-the-fly updates, like a limited discount offer or an emergency office closure.
Most hosted IVR systems include mailboxes via their virtual phone system’s web interface. Real estate services, for example, can use these virtual mailboxes to create directories for each of their listings, enabling them to connect buyers to recordings about specific properties. By automating the call process with answers to routine questions, sales agents are free to follow up with the most serious leads.
Advertising effectiveness can also be measured by designing the IVR system to collect data from different metropolitan areas or those catering to local customer markets (i.e., pizza delivery services, community service groups, etc.). This enables you to compare IVR reports and determine which phone number and ad text generated the greatest response.
No matter how you use it for your business, a virtual phone system with IVR features is certainly an affordable, flexible way to handle inbound calls more effectively.
Have an example of how you’re using IVR to generate leads and save time? Please comment in the section below.
For more on this topic, check out our Ultimate Guide to Auto Attendant Phone Systems.