Thursday, March 5, 2009

Boost Sales with Customized IVR Voice Recognition Software

Customized voice recognition software and IVR systems in call centers are usually associated with improved customer service. It’s true that when properly implemented, IVR systems and customized voice recognition software can significantly increase caller satisfaction. That’s why in past blogs I’ve focused a lot on how important it is to update your IVR system for better customer service.

But the question is, can IVR and customized voice recognition software also boost sales? After all, it’s important to keep business goals in mind when implementing an IVR system. I recently read an article on TMCnet which brought up the common divide between sales and customer service. The article points out that “organizations may be more successful if they ha[ve] a more direct link between service and the sales process”.

And in fact, with proper tailoring, call centers can do a lot to boost sales with IVR and customized voice recognition software. Here are a few suggestions for customizing your IVR and call center system to increase sales:

  • When customers are on hold waiting for an agent, why not have the IVR system tell them about your latest product or promotion? Instead of listening to irrelevant hold music, callers will get valuable information that can lead to sales. Customized voice recognition software can even tailor the respective product according to the caller’s particular characteristics or history of calls. For example, if they’re calling from a particular location, why not have the IVR system tell them about a new branch opening nearby?
  • IVR systems can consolidate information much more quickly and efficiently than a live agent. Use customized voice recognition software to collect information to up-sell and cross-sell. Based on location, gender, and caller history, the IVR system can establish the best sales recommendations before passing callers on to agents. The result? More sales, and a greater return on investment.
  • While it’s inadvisable to bombard clients with unsolicited sales calls, clients will be much more receptive to automated IVR reminders, whether for shipping dates, appointments, or account renewals. Soft sales prompts can be added to the end of IVR calls to increase sales. For example: “This is an automated message for Mr. Joe from ____. Your couches will be shipped at ____. For further inquiries or to learn more about our matching product of the month, please stay on the line.”
Customized voice recognition software and IVR systems are a valuable and often overlooked avenue for boosting sales. As the TMC article points out, “By more closely aligning the sales process with customer service and support, [a] company is more likely to enjoy a growing revenue base while the customer receives a consistent and enjoyable experience.” Particularly in the face of the current economic situation, it is crucial to identify issues that can increase the level of client loyalty or opportunities to cross-/up-sell the existing client. This may definitely change the result of ROI analysis on your planned IVR system.