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IVR: The Office Automation Tool That Makes Business Communication Easy

As a new company or one that has been running for a few years, you are always looking for ways to improve office productivity and efficiency. And with advancements in technology, businesses are finding more and more utility for office automation tools like interactive voice response (IVR), product and content management software and applications, and more. Here we will look at how IVR improves internal and external communication.

Interactive Voice Response: A Necessary Office Automation Tool

Interactive voice response (IVR) is a communication tool that allows an automated voice to answer incoming calls and assist callers. This is achieved through highly effective technology that enables a computer to speak with a client using voice and digital tones. When an interested individual calls a company, this feature can be set up to welcome the caller, provide information about your company, and ask what task they’d like to complete today.

How Does an IVR System Work?

IVR systems work based on how you program them. You first need to purchase the service from a cloud-based phone service provider, like Global Call Forwarding. Then, you create a phone tree that maps out how customers will interact with the automated voice. They could either use their keypads or say words, or both, to move closer to completing their task. Then, you input this map into the software offered by your provider. Now, when callers call in, they will have a custom welcome greeting and a menu of options. Click here for information about how such systems work.

How Businesses Are Using This Feature

For small businesses to large corporations, IVR can be programmed and customized to meet your specific communication needs. Say, you are a pharmacy and want to cut down time spent on the phone refilling prescriptions, you can have the IVR take care of it. For example, your IVR could ask callers to “Press 3 to refill prescriptions.” Callers can then be asked to provide their information and the name of the prescription they’d like filled. Then, your business gets a notification of the renewal request. Here are some other examples of what an IVR system can do:

  • Place orders
  • Process payments
  • Verify accounts
  • Activate services
  • Register complaints
  • Collect caller information
  • Checking account balances
  • Record surveys
  • Make appointments
  • Direct callers to appropriate departments
  • Provide business information (like office hours or movie showtimes)
  • Provide customer support options
  • Interviews to streamline hiring processes, and more.

Having automation take care of these simple tasks can considerably cut down phone time and free up agents or employees for more complicated tasks or to resolve bigger customer issues. And that is the main reason why office automation is growing more and more popular with businesses. It creates an environment that supports high productivity and reduces time-consuming tasks.

Benefits of Including Automation In Your Communication System

With a well-developed IVR office automation system, calls are answered immediately, instantly improving the caller experience. Customers trying to contact your enterprise or store or wanting to complete a task don’t have to wait in long lines, and they appreciate the convenience. You can create customer greetings providing company information and important departments. You can also include announcements, new promotions, etc. Additionally, you can control and coordinate your IVR system, provided it is from a cloud-based provider, from anywhere in the world. This helps with companies that have multiple offices and employees spread across the globe.

Make Your Office Phone System Efficient and Professional

You can get IVR with your purchase of virtual business numbers from Global Call Forwarding. Tailor and customize this feature based on the number of employees or lines your company uses. Streamline and organize your office communications to increase productivity. Talk to an expert at Global Call Forwarding to find out how we can help you set up the perfect IVR system for your business needs.

Building Credibility with Professional Toll Free Numbers

If there’s one thing that new businesses need when they enter the market place, it is the credibility to attract customers. And there’s no better way to do so than with the help of professional toll free numbers from Global Call Forwarding. In this article, we will explore a number of ways that professional toll free numbers build credibility with customers around the world.

Getting Professional Toll Free Numbers

Think about the last time you contacted a high-level organization, like a government organization, non-profit, or multinational corporation. Or, what about a high-volume business, like law firms and large retailers? Chances are that in each case, those entities offered a toll free number to the public to enable communication that would otherwise be pricey – or impossible.

As you may be aware, toll free numbers help accommodate the broadest audience for your business by picking up the charges that would normally be incurred by the caller. Instead, your business foots the bill to enable all callers to reach your business. By offering this service, your business gains an edge over lesser organizations that demand more out of prospective customers. Even subconsciously, customers immediately appreciate a business that makes it problem-free to contact them.

Geographical Agnosticism

One way to build credibility is to have a national presence instead of being tied down to a specific area code. With toll free numbers, your organization’s toll free numbers help to create something called “geographical agnosticism.” This component enables your business to gain a professional sheen that automatically implies that your organization has the capabilities to handle inbound calls from nearly anywhere.

And because most toll free numbers are national, geographical agnosticism can help obscure where your business is calling from, particularly if it is located in a less-favorable location or one not known to carry the same weight as major cities.

Accommodating International Customers

One particular challenge that comes with offering toll free phone numbers is that international callers are not able to receive these benefits when dialing a phone number located outside of their country and/or numbering plan. Instead, these callers are saddled with long-distance fees, saddled with the chore of dialing outside of their country, and may not be able to complete the call depending on their telecom service providers’ requirements. This can reduce credibility in the eyes of international markets and may render your efforts useless. Is there a better way to guarantee ease of communication?

Yes, there is. Luckily, with the help of Global Call Forwarding’s services, you can use two forms of toll free numbers that help bridge the gap: ITFS numbers and UIFNs (International Toll Free Numbers and Universal International Freephone Numbers, respectively). Both types of toll free numbers enable international callers to reach your business without incurring charges or service blockages. In most cases, these phone numbers match the area code and remaining digits identical to “normal” toll free numbers that those customers are already used to, which is something your international callers will certainly appreciate.

Professional with Toll Free Numbers Customer Service Directory
Source: Stockphoto.com O#23559 – ID#100077897772

Adding Professional Toll Free Numbers Directories to Your Business

Going back to our first example, another component you’ve probably encountered with large, high-volume organizations is first encounters a directory that allows you to self-select which person and/or department you’d wish to speak with, as well as provide information relevant to your inquiry (i.e store hours, frequently asked information, voicemail services, staff list, etc.). One common form of directory available from Global Call Forwarding is called Interactive Voice Response (IVR), which uses spoken voice commands to navigate through your company’s directory, which can reduce the hassle of constantly dialing numbers to navigate (or eventually dialing ‘0’ to reach an operator to guide you, if available).

Global Call Forwarding also offers PBX services, which is short for “Private Branch Exchange.” Essentially, by using a PBX, you can expand one phone number into many sub-directories for callers to reach various departments and staff members, usually by dialing * and the appropriate digits. Callers appreciate this and it helps build professional credibility, particularly when multiple calls need to be made quickly and directly.

Better Functionalities with Add-ons from Global Call Forwarding

Because modern professional toll free phone numbers are powered by cloud computing (supplanting the limitation of landlines), there is a host of new advancements that can be added to regular phone service to augment how your business operates. Let’s cover a brief list of some of the most popular add-ons to build credibility:

CallMe Click: As the name implies, when you use CallMe Click, a visitor to your website can initialize a call from their device to reach your business with a simple click. This makes contacting your business more instantaneous instead of having the customer dial the number manually. This allows for fast action, allowing for almost-instant connection with a customer, and wasting no time.

Time of Day Routing: This add-on enables inbound calls to be routed to a specific destination depending on when a call is placed. For instance, if callers reach your business outside of regular business hours, those calls can be forwarded to another destination, such as a call center in a favorable time zone or voicemail.

Call Recording: This add-on records and stores calls made between your phone number and the public. By using call recording, you can more adequately assess if your staff is following company protocol to establish the best customer service possible and follow best-practices – a crucial component to building credibility.