Those who head financial institutions are well aware of how technology has changed the way consumers interact with products and services. From ATMs to apps, there’s a sea change in how financial solutions are provided.
For banks, a valuable way to improve consumer satisfaction is with Interactive Voice Response (IVR). This has made a significant difference to the way banks enhance customer experiences.
In a nutshell, IVR is a software platform that automates telephone interactions. It does this through voice and the multi-frequency tones of a keypad. But, how have banks taken advantage of IVR technology, and what are its use cases? Read on for insights.
Types and Features of IVR for Banks
There are different types of IVR phone systems that a bank can opt for. To know which IVR technology is best, one must compare various aspects such as the size, needs, and use cases. Some IVR features are simple and telephone-based, while others can connect to online channels to create a web-based support experience such as the visual IVR.
Here are some typical examples:
On-site and Cloud: The IVR technology combines existing telephone systems with an on-site system. The bank’s IT department has to maintain and run it. With Cloud IVR, the IVR services are accessed via cloud computing. This is hosted by an external vendor. Many banks choose hosted IVR because it is scalable, offers more functionality, and the vendor is responsible for maintenance.
Speech recognition facility: In a basic IVR system, consumers use the phone touchpad to put in information. Other IVR platforms have built-in speech recognition. Consumers reply to questions, and the conversational IVR system can recognise and handle this. Banks with departments such as credit cards, loans, insurance, etc., prefer conversational IVR as it heightens convenience.
Integration: Many IVR platforms also give banks a choice to integrate existing databases, websites and CRM systems. With such IVR call centre integration, the bank representative taking the call has instant access to the customer’s details, credit records and recent history. This means personalisation and a higher level of customer service.
Analytics: A smart IVR system offers analytics that helps banks understand and act upon consumer behaviour. In these platforms, dashboards can collate and present relevant data. With IVR integration, bottlenecks can be identified, and reasons for service escalation can be spotted. IVR calling journeys can be optimised, and digital pathways added for experience enhancement and convenience.
Some Advantages of IVR for Banks
With the right IVR platform, CEOs can ensure that banks save time, reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction. This is even more important in the wake of the pandemic. A recent McKinsey study also pointed out that minimising agent time on low-value activities suitable for IVR will notably help to reshape retail banking.
Here are some advantages that banks can look forward to with IVR technology:
Customisation: Greetings, messages, and prompts can be personalised depending on the nature of the call and the type of consumer. IVR applications with pre-recorded IVR scripts make this simple to implement.
Information: After the consumer has responded to IVR input, the representative taking the call can have all the essential information ready at hand. This saves time and boosts convenience.
Automated support: Many times, customer enquiries can be addressed without the need to speak to a representative at all. Customers can conveniently get the information they need from the automated IVR system with professional IVR recording.
Prioritisation: If a high-value customer makes a call, IVR services can be configured to transfer it to the right representative without wasting time. They will have no complaints about slow response time.
Efficient call management: With scalable IVR software, numerous calls don’t have to lead to delays and confusion. Automated information, routing to the appropriate department, and even a call-back facility makes life simpler for both the customer and the bank.
IVR Use Cases in Banking
IVR systems can transform the experience of interacting with banks. Here are some specific, day-to-day use cases that more than justify the IVR system cost:
Product information: Banks nowadays have a host of financial products like loans, overdrafts, savings accounts, etc. With automated IVR information, they can inform as well as educate consumers about them. If the consumer shows more interest, the call can be routed to a representative.
Account information: Often, consumers make calls to banks to check on the status of their accounts. Common queries are the account balance and whether amounts have been credited or debited. An IVR platform means that such information will be at their fingertips.
Investment updates: Similarly, investors can make calls to enquire about details of the value of their portfolios. The IVR menu can be programmed with IVR flows to update them on the same.
Credit card status and security: Credit card balances and outstanding are other common queries that can comfortably be taken care of with the right IVR process. Security, too, can be handled. In case of lost or stolen cards, cancellations and blocks can be carried out promptly.
Status of loans: Customers who call the bank to enquire about loan approvals or disbursements can be readily informed by the IVR software about the current status. In case of more information or paperwork, the IVR portal can route the call straightaway to the concerned department.
Up-selling and cross-selling: An IVR system can also create additional sales opportunities. Based on consumer preferences and behaviour, automated features can prompt consumers to find out more information about additional loans, increased credit limits and other financial products. Those who show interest can immediately be connected to an appropriate representative.
Feedback analytics: After a consumer query has been addressed, the IVR system for call centres can ask for feedback based on specified parameters. An analysis of such IVR calls over time can make the bank realise areas of customer service strengths and weaknesses.
Choosing the Best IVR Solution Provider
To make full use of the potential of IVR, decision-makers need to choose an IVR service provider with care. It’s a critical step that can have a lasting impact on bank operations and reputation.
IVR software as a service should have robust APIs. An IVR facility with additional tools should be able to embed real-time communication in other business applications. IVR cloud telephony with customised IVR scripts, menus and options to enhance customer experience can make a big difference. These factors should be looked at when considering the IVR price.
Of course, the cloud communication suite offered by the IVR company should be reliable, scalable and secure. In addition, the IVR setup should be simple.