What is Multi-level Interactive Voice Response (IVR)?
INTERACTIVE VOICE RESPONSE MEANING
Interactive voice response (IVR) is an automated voice technology solution which allows a system to cooperate with humans via voice or keypad input. Interacting with inbound callers, the technology is designed to gather the details of a customer enquiry using automated phone menu options. IVR allows customers or callers to interact with a business phone system using speech recognition technology and simple keypad instructions to help the company to route the call effectively.
Often IVR is used as a precursor to human interaction, merely establishing the needs of the customer to ensure they reach the appropriate agent. Sometimes IVR is used to eliminate the need for human customer support. IVR systems can often solve a customer query through pre-recorded, automated content as a reaction to the customer’s IVR journey, offering help on how they should proceed.
Typically, organisations make use of IVR to reduce costs and streamline the customer journey, resolving customer queries in a more efficient way.
How does multi-level IVR work?
INTERACTIVE VOICE RESPONSE TECHNOLOGY
Quicker calls driver better customer satisfaction. Many customers state that waiting on hold is a key frustration when they interact with a business. With IVR, small businesses and enterprises alike can eliminate frustrations of their inbound callers by offering a solution to streamline and improve the efficiency of that touchpoint.
IVR can be used to direct customers to their end solution using a series of simple interactions. Enabling the customer to navigate the self-help options then means businesses can reduce the costs of human resources in tackling common customer enquiries.
Greeted by a recorded auto-receptionist message, callers will be given an audio menu of options to proceed with their call. Multi-level IVR simply means there will be a number of these menu stages during the call to help direct the customer to a resolution.
These options may include choices for the customer to make, such as “press one for sales”, “press two to hear our office opening hours.” Alternatively, the caller may be required to give a voice response, for example, a car parking organisation may ask a caller to verbally state the number of hours they wish to park their car at that location before moving the caller on to an automated payment stage of the call.
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What are the benefits of Multi-level IVR?
Using a multi-level IVR feature can bring a whole host of benefits both for businesses and also for the customers they serve. Here are just a few of many advantages of implementing a multi-level IVR system.
Better customer service
According to research conducted by marketing software company, HubSpot, 33% of customers are frustrated by having to wait on hold. Equally, 33% said they were most frustrated by having to repeat themselves to multiple agents.
With multi-layer IVR tools, businesses can significantly improve the caller journey. With automated responses to answer their questions and intuitive instructions to guide them through the process, customers feel their needs are being adhered to.
IVR also mitigates the issue of long waiting times and gives customers informative, quick responses to address their (mostly standard) problems or enquiries. The process helps you reduce call volumes and saves you and your customers valuable time.
24/7 Customer support
Once you have implemented your IVR system for inbound calls, you can configure it to function around the clock. That means you support customers across different time zones or those who may want to contact you outside of the usual business hours.
Not only does this help you eliminate the issue of smoothing out peak call times and high call volumes, but it also means you are always accessible to your valuable customers whether it’s during their lunch break, on a national bank holiday or in the middle of the night.
Establishes a brand for your business
Historically, having an IVR system was costly, and, for that reason, they were used mostly by enterprise businesses. For that reason, the use of IVR can position your brand as a more professional, large-scale entity and with solutions now commonly included in most cloud telephony solutions. They’re nowhere near as pricey as they used to be.
What’s more, with recorded, automated responses businesses can choose the tone of how they want to present themselves, starting with how customers experience that very first phone call. Customisation is critical for the modern consumer, so carving out a journey that they feel is unique and meets their needs is an important aspect to consider when building your multi-level pathways.
Map-out a journey that feels like a natural progression and resolution for your customers, and you position your brand in a better light, leaving them to continue the day with positive feelings about your brand.
Improves agent performance and morale
Empowering your customers to self-serve automatically means less strain on your agents. While there may still be some more complex queries that require a human response, multi-level IVR significantly reduces the need to have several support team agents on deck to handle high call volumes at peak times or unsociable hours.
With agents free to handle more meaningful work, rather than responding to repetitive questions, routing and transferring calls, and dealing with frustrated customers, implementing IVR could have a significant impact on your employee engagement.
What’s more, making use of an IVR feature helps to free up agents so they can upskill and handle more online customer queries across other channels such as Twitter, Facebook or an online chat.
As well as setting a customised welcome audio prompt, which gives the customer an immediate positive impact, businesses can include a choice of hold music to play between each action level as well as smart advertising.
That means call hold times could be overlayed with recent new product updates, special offers or exclusive deals. These advertisements can prove highly useful with a captive on call audience of consumers who have already bought into your brand.
How to setup RingCentral multi-level IVR?
RingCentral offers IVR systems that allow businesses to configure customised call tree voice menus, including an easy-to-use visual IVR Editor and controls to manage audio prompts. The system is easy to set-up in just a few easy steps:
Step 1: Add an IVR menu
On logging in to your RingCentral account, go to your admin portal and select Phone System>Auto-Receptionist>IVR Menus then select ‘New IVR Menu’.
Once you enter the extension number and name, then click ‘save’ you will be redirected to the IVR menus page.
Step 2: Set-up the IVR prompts
To customise your IVR audio prompts, select the IVR from the list, then click ‘Prompt’.
This will allow you to implement your custom greeting.
You will have two prompt options: ‘Audio’ or ‘Text-to-Speech.’
If you choose ‘Audio’, you will need to add a pre-recorded prompt or welcome greeting to the short library. If you choose ‘Text-to-Speech’, you will need to type out your custom greeting.
Step 3: Set-up the key presses
This is your multi-level configuration stage, where you map-out where to direct customer calls appropriately.
Select ‘Key Presses’ to add a new key option. If you wanted to set the system so that Key 1 is directed to sales, for example, select ‘Action’>’ Connect to’, then from the search box look for ‘sales’ to choose the ‘sales call queue before saving the pathway and moving to the next keypress.
Step 4: Add key presses
To add key press options to allow customers to leave a message, or schedule an appointment, for example, select ‘Add Key’.
Under ‘Action’ go-to ‘Transfer to the voicemail of’, then choose the department extension number you want to direct those calls to.
Click save and then repeat the process for the respective directions of the other critical press paths.
Step 5: Activate the IVR menu
Make sure you activate your new configuration once you have finished adding the relevant vital presses.
To do this, select the general settings, then choose ‘Multi-level’ from the drop-down list, then ‘Continue’. Select the top-level IVR menu you want to use, then click ‘Save’.
What does RingCentral Multi-level IVR offer?
Multi-level IVR features
RingCentral’s easy to use IVR system affords several benefits for businesses looking to manage the inbound customer calls more efficiently. Some of the key features and services include:
- Flexible IVR phone menus to handle incoming calls.
- Centralised phone routing management for multi-site locations via a resilient cloud-based solution.
- Options to add a direct business number for each IVR menu independent of the company call handling.
- Options to configure up to 250 IVR menus per account, including sub-menus.
- Visual and comprehensive IVR Editor to help manage and implement the auto-attendant.
- Ability to import XML files to implement bulk changes efficiently.
- Implement custom IVR prompts via several options, including text-to-speech, self-record, or file imports.
- Quickly summarise and resolve configuration issues such as non-existing extensions or missing prompts with our validation function.
- Efficiently edit call routing and auto-prompts for out-of-hours and bank holidays.
What is the difference between the auto-attendant and IVR?
How to record a multi-level IVR prompt over the phone?
- Go to Admin Portal > Phone System > Auto-Receptionist > Prompts Library.
- Select Record Prompts.
- Give your prompt a name so you can identify it easily later.
- Select the phone tab.
- Select the drop-down list under ‘Call me at’ to select or specify a number, then click ‘Call Now’. RingCentral will call the number for you to record your prompt over the phone.
- During the call, you’ll be asked to press ‘1’ to proceed. Record your audio prompt then press the # key to finalise, when you select from the following options:
-Press 1 to save
-Press 2 listen
-Press 3 to change the recording
Once finished, be sure to select ‘Done’ to save your new recording.
How to create multi-level IVR menus in XML?
How to add audio files to the multi-level IVR prompts library?
How to record a multi-level IVR prompt using your computer microphone?
- Go to Admin Portal > Phone System > Auto-Receptionist > Prompts Library tab.
- Click Record Prompts.
- Enter the Prompt Name to identify or describe the prompt that you are recording.
- Select the Computer Microphone tab.
- Click the Record button to start recording. Click the Stop button to finish. When you click Stop, click Play to listen to your recording or click Record to change your recording.
- Click Upload to save your recording to the Prompts Library.
- Click Done.