Business Uses for IVR Systems
IVR, or interactive voice response solutions, allow companies to not only provide answering services but also offer engaging automatic responses for its customers. The modern, open-ended IVR system encourages a number of new industries to experiment with the technology to help save time and reduce costs. This has led to several interesting IVR applications popping up organizations such as the industries below:
Healthcare is one of the most promising industries for the future of IVR systems. Think about the vast amount of data that clinics have to gather and you can see how an automatic input and voice recognition service could be an invaluable addition, especially for returning patients who are already on file.
From refills and appointments to claims and billing, all types of health companies can benefit from interactive answering services:
- Appointment confirmation. Voice recognition systems can automatically call patients and remind them about appointments to ensure timely arrival. More advanced solutions can allow patients to call in and make appointments through voice commands.
- Communication of additional information. A hospital or clinic can use answering services to notify patients of any important information, such as a follow-up appointment or a reminder about treatment. These systems can also call patients to warn them about bills, insurance, missed appointments, or appointment cancellations.
- Data collection. New patients need to fill out a lot of information. Interactive voice recognition systems make the process easier by processing key customer data during the first phone call.
- Care transition. Care transitions from the hospital to in-home health management often present challenges. Voice recognition systems allow hospitals to arrange regular calls to patients, who then record key information about their health, habits, and how the transition is going.
- Medication management. New medications with strict schedules raise new difficulties, especially among elderly patients who must learn to incorporate the medication into their daily regimen. A robust system can make regular calls to these patients at the time when they need to take their medication, and it's a handy training method that can also prevent patients from misusing potentially dangerous medications like blood thinners.
Security services can use voice recognition, thanks to advanced voice analysis that can confirm identity and allow callers to make key changes in alarm systems or access important data that need to be protected.
Auto companies, especially manufacturers, have begun to equip their cars with more and more IVR features. Those emergency call buttons use the technology to identify customers and send for help no matter where drivers are or what time they call. Of course, auto dealerships can also use the services to recruit prospective buyers and answer basic questions about available models.
On the simplest level, banks can use IVR systems to offer clients information about their account balances or specific payments. However, deeper services adopt more advanced models that allow customers to make voice-based account decisions or seek a swift resolution to banking problems.
IVR system technology helps grocery stores improve their marketing in several ways. They can help companies automatically call or text to notify customers on their client lists about weekly deals, or notify customers about specific product recalls and similar important details. Department stores can also use automation to answer questions about product availability and purchases.
Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents can use IVR technology to collect information when they are out of the office, which is a high percentage of the time for most on-the-go agents. These systems automatically collect information from clients and allow agents to call back potential clients to generate new offers or represent new properties.
- More Calls. People who are just beginning the process of buying a property may not feel ready to talk to an agent. However, they might be more willing to call for information if they know they will be talking to an automated system. They can find out about a listing without feeling pressured to talk to a person.
- Better Tracking. If an agent sets up an 800 number, he or she can select different extensions based on the type of advertising. For instance, one extension could be for a website, another one for print ads, and still another one for yard signs. When a call comes in, the agent will automatically know its source.
Schools can save time and money by using IVR solutions to automatically contact parents when their children are absent from classes, a useful tool for parents and administrators. Schools can also use the technology to spread a number of other important details on closures, delays, class updates, and general school news.
- Parent Alerts. Both local school systems and higher education organizations can use alerts, but IVR systems offer local schools a particular advantage when it comes to communicating with parents. By entering data into the IVR system, the school can initiate automatic calls to parents informing them about important milestones like parent/teacher conferences or special events.
- Language Options. Languages have grown to become a key part of education customer support. Fortunately, any school management system can use IVR technology to offer updates in a variety of different languages depending on the preferences of the callers. Spanish, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, and similar languages help schools communicate more clearly with parents and meet their demographic goals when it comes to international students.
- Course Information. Colleges can increase their service options by giving students a voice-led option to find out course information quickly. These systems can provide automatic updates on grades and completed courses that go straight to student phones, while also allowing students to call in and ask for timetable, test schedule, and rank information for any class.
- Entrance and Admissions. Admissions season is one of the busiest times for higher education organizations. An IVR system's automated and voice-recognition abilities can prove especially helpful during these periods.
- The Turnkey Approach. For smaller schools and simpler grade school systems, turnkey IVR solutions offer an easy way to adopt voice recognition and automated systems. These systems automatically incorporate entered data, providing simple interfaces and a full configuration that can save on IT and tech specialty expenses that may be holding some schools back from updating their technology.
Governments, particularly local or state governments, may use IVR to spread tax or social program data without taking up the valuable time of government employees. Systems can also be used to collect basic, necessary information from citizens.
Insurance companies receive numerous phone calls each day. While callers requesting a quote or applying for a policy must speak to a live person, other calls are routine and can be handled by an interactive voice response system, or IVR. Using an IVR for these calls allows anyone operating an insurance agency to better allocate their employees' time to improve customer service.
- Providing Information for Claims. When a customer calls in to make a claim, he or she can easily leave the basic information with an IVR. That information can then be transferred to his or her agent, who can begin processing the claim right away. The automated system also makes it easy for the company to collect valuable information about the number and types of claims received each day, week, or month.
- Status Updates. Processing insurance claims is often a lengthy process and customers might get impatient or concerned. With an IVR system, they can enter their claim number and find out the latest status. This saves the customer time wasted waiting on hold, and frees the agent to focus on other aspects of the job. Customers can also contact an automated system whenever it is convenient for them, even if that's after hours.
- Payments Due. An outbound IVR system can contact customers to remind them of premiums due or past due. This allows the insurance company to collect the payments faster and with less hassle, and can reduce the paperwork generated by sending out late payment notices or notices of cancellation.
- Basic Insurance Information. An IVR system can provide potential customers basic insurance information, such as location and obtaining a quote. Current customers can enter a PIN to talk to a local agent. The system can list the types of insurance the company provides, office hours, and even a list of local agents.