Magazine article CRM Magazine

The Dos and Taboos of Outbound IVR

Magazine article CRM Magazine

The Dos and Taboos of Outbound IVR

Article excerpt

Outbound IVR is an efficient and cost effective way to contact customers with relevant and timely messages. It has become more widely used in the past few years for appointment confirmations, prescription renewal reminders, and feedback with an automated survey. Outbound IVR improves customer care and strengthens loyalty when implemented correctly. However, the wrong outbound IVR strategy can also turn off customers to the point that it damages a company's reputation. VoltDelta's services team has deployed outbound IVR in 53 languages, reaching 250 countries. Based on this experience, the team offers some practical advice on the best ways to leverage outbound IVR while avoiding the pitfalls that can hurt your business.

DOS

Do Use Outbound IVR as Part of a Multichannel Contact Strategy--Customers view proactive contact with outbound IVR as beneficial if it is initiated at the right time with the proper context. A history of interactions with your organization regardless of the channel used helps to predict when a customer may call. Proactively initiating a conversation with customers before they call you helps to improve loyalty and defers the more costly inbound contact.

Do Leverage the Cloud--If outbound IVR is a new channel, or your existing solution does not integrate with other channels of communication, consider deploying it in the cloud. A cloud solution does not require an upfront capital investment. Also, cloud vendors tend to keep up with the latest innovations and provide tight integration with other communication channels. For example, look for a vendor that converts automated outbound calling campaigns to inbound automation or call routing to available agents.

Do Keep it Simple--Executing an outbound IVR campaign should not require assistance from IT. Contact center managers or the marketing department should be able to upload pre-recorded audio and contact lists to the system. Web-based reporting pages should display real-time results of current campaigns as well as completed efforts.

Do Measure the Results--When measuring the results of your outbound campaigns, look at metrics that support your strategic and operational goals. Areas to measure include:

* Renewal or repurchase rates

* Satisfaction rates, including Net Promoter Scores

* Social media sentiment

* Reduced inbound contacts

* Increased revenue

TABOOS

Don't Call without Opt-in Permission--Calling customers without permission potentially angers the people you are trying to engage. …

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