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5 Innovative Ways for a Call Center to Use Interactive Voice Response

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Does your call center business use IVR to communicate with customers? A well-designed system offers incredible versatility, which can help your business in a variety of ways. Check out these five innovative ways for call centers to use interactive voice response technology.

How Can IVR Be Used in a Call Center?

Most inbound call centers use IVR systems to provide callers with pre-recorded greeting messages and sets of menu options. Menu options will often be for self-service, sales, and customer support. Callers provide input to a call center IVR system by pressing a key.

After gathering caller inputs, the IVR can help your call center route inbound callers to the right agent or department.

So, what are some ways to get the most out of your IVR system?

1. Skills-Based Routing

It is important to choose the right routing strategy for your contact center.

Effective call routing can boost first call resolution rates as customers are able to speak to the right agents right away. IVR can also help call centers automatically route inbound callers to the right department in less than twenty seconds.

The most effective IVR routing strategies are often based on:

  • Agents’ skills such as language preferences or experience.
  • The origination of the inbound call.
  • The time the call is coming through.
  • Equal distribution of calls among a group of agents, and more.

These are real strategies that call centers have used over the years. We have helped businesses implement such strategies to improve efficiency.

2. Create Personalized Messages

A customized greeting and menu options provide a great branding opportunity. Studies show that callers are more comfortable when they hear a welcoming greeting message. IVR can be used to personalize your entire caller experience.

The best technique is to welcome callers with a customized greeting message and pre-recorded menu options. These should have relevant information about your business to help callers easily navigate menu options.

3. Provide Self-Service and After-Hours Support

IVR can be used to offer after-hours customer support by adding information about your company, its product and services, and upcoming promotions.

You can forward incoming calls after-hours or during the weekend to remote offices, agents, or voicemail. You can even have the IVR assist callers in completing certain tasks such as making a payment or scheduling an appointment.

4. Call Center Agent Automation

Automation will certainly boost call center productivity. Luckily, artificial intelligence offers a simple way to automate complex business tasks. This will help your business gain greater performance abilities and utilize the talents of your team more effectively.

A contact center IVR operates right along these lines. The main point of having IVR is so your business can speed up processes. Some of the automation advantages it offers include:

  • Verification and service activation
  • Payment and renewal processes
  • Providing product information
  • Troubleshooting services
  • Providing answers to frequently asked questions, and so on.

If the IVR can help customers with these tasks, then they are less likely going to need to speak with an agent. This leaves trained representatives with more time to handle more high-value customers.

5. Manage Calls During High-Traffic Periods

By adopting the right strategy that helps organize your calls, your team can effectively handle calls during high-traffic periods. By automating services, most calls can be handled by the IVR system alone, giving your agents and reps more breathing space during such periods.

Learn More About IVR

United World Telecom offers a highly customizable IVR system with tips to help your business leverage its voice communications. To learn more about interactive voice response, please contact us today!

Inbound Sales Calls vs. Outbound Sales Calls

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Trying to identify the best ways to increase sales for your business? There are a few different approaches you can take: inbound sales calls, outbound sales calls, or a combination of both. Let’s look at how each approach works and what you should keep in mind.

Inbound Sales Calls vs Outbound Sales Calls

Before we move into specifics, it is important to understand the basics of sales calls. These calls generally revolve around generating leads and sales. They include either contacting a set list of prospects to increase brand awareness and make sales. Or, running a strong customer service and support team that answers incoming calls, resolves queries and concerns, and sells new products and services. Depending on the type of business you run, you may benefit from inbound sales or outbound sales calls, or both.

Inbound Sales Calls

There are typically two types of inbound sales calls. The first type refers to “hot calling” which is basically customers calling your business to resolve a query or initiate a purchasing process. The customer may have interacted with your website or seen a promotion on social media that piqued their interest. Now, you have managed to get their attention and interest. But it is on the inbound sales call where you convert this interest into a sale.

The second type of inbound sales call refers to “warm-calling” where you call customers who have interacted with your business. Maybe they signed up for a newsletter or emailed you a query or downloaded a PDF through your website, etc. This customer could also be a past or recurring customer who you are following up with. They made the first contact and now it is up to you to give them a reason to make a purchase and become a returning customer.

Outbound Sales Calls

Outbound sales calls refer to cold calls made to a predetermined list of prospects. This list is usually put together through market research and buyer persona reviews. Then, your sales team calls these individuals, informs them of your company’s products and services, current promotions, and sells to them. Some companies outsource their outbound sales calls to virtual call centers.

More recently, businesses subscribe to an outbound calling service to call local and international individuals in a less expensive way. An outbound calling service lets you make calls through the internet instead of traditional phone lines. And you have the opportunity to customize your caller ID to display specific local or toll free numbers instead.

Which Can Benefit Your Business?

This depends on the type of business you run and what you want your calls to do. For example, do you want customers to reach you when they are ready? Can your marketing efforts support an inbound sales call strategy? Is lead generation the focus of your company? Do you want to use customer service and success to make more sales?

However, you do not have to choose one over the other. With a strong customer support and service team, you can have outbound and inbound sales calls working together. This way, you target prospects based on marketing results as well as engage with interested customers who reach out to you. Having the right communication tools can help you maximize your company’s visibility as well as generate more leads.

United World Telecom Can Help

United World Telecom offers virtual communication tools for businesses of every size and in every industry. Whether your calls are focused on outbound or inbound sales, our features and services can enhance the way your business interacts with its customers. To learn more about what we offer, call us at 1 (877) 898 8646 or talk to an expert.

How To Create a Call Center Business Plan

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Starting your own business can be an exciting but frightening endeavor. You know that you want to be your own boss, manage your schedule, and may even want to work from home. But you may feel challenged in choosing a successful way to write a business plan that allows for all this. Creating your own call center gives you the business opportunity to make money from any setting, whether home or office. And allows you to create your own schedule to manage your income how you see fit using various call center solutions. So, how does one get started on writing a business plan to open a call center? Additionally, what does one need to ensure success right off the bat?

Determining What Your Call Center will Do

Call centers are used by many industries for a number of things. Call centers can help to increase sales production, offer customer service, set appointments, provide debt collection, and more. Call center agents can pick up inbound calls or may make hundreds of cold calls a day. To best determine how to go about starting your new call center business, you’ll first need to decide what your center will do by determining what you’ll offer.

Considering the Number of Employees You’ll Need

Before opening a call center of your own, you’ll need to determine the number of agents needed to manage the business successfully. There are centers of all sizes, but you don’t want to begin with too many agents, as you’ll quickly drown in overhead. On the other hand, you don’t want to hire less agents than you need, as you’ll struggle to accommodate all of your client needs. Think about your customer needs, how many consumers you plan to help on a daily basis, and how long it takes to help one customer on average to best determine how many agents you may need.

Furthermore, consider employment numbers in the future. So, if you plan for your call center to grow substantially, make accommodations for this before the hiring process begins. You don’t want new employees getting to your workspace to find they don’t have desks or phone lines. So, if it’s in your business plan to add agents down the line, make sure that’s something you can afford and are prepared for.

Business plan for call centers
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Choosing an Office Space or Home

Whether or not you’ll be hiring agents who work from home or accommodating them with a business space is important when determining a call center business plan. For example, if most of your agents have offshore contracts, you may not need the office space you initially planned for. Choose your office space based on the number of employees you know you’ll need to work in-house. On the other hand, if you know you want to provide your employees with a place to work, make sure you consider the location. Opening an office near the company brand can help to promote brand fluidity and trust in employees. Furthermore, it’s obviously helpful to choose an office space that’s near more employees. A shorter commute makes things easier for all.

Determining Call Center Solutions

Call companies have their own needs as they provide specific services. So, one of the final things you’ll need to consider when determining your business plan is your solutions. Choose solutions which can best help provide for your consumers. For example, if you’re opening a call center business that provides customer service support for a third party, you might want to implement call recording. This allows you to record all company calls to determine if your customer service strategies are working. Another example is if your company is an outbound cold calling center, you may want to purchase virtual toll numbers. This allows consumers to answer calls for free and forward them to any type of line!

Closing: Help with Starting Your Call Center Business

United World Telecom offers a number of call center solutions which can help to take your business plan to the next level. If you want your new business to succeed, you can help prepare yourself for success with our top-rated phone features and virtual phone number solutions. To learn more about how we can equip your new call center business with the solutions you need, contact us today.