IVR ROI: Generate Sales with a Smart IVR

A customer calls in to your IVR. She has an issue to solve, or a payment to make, or a delivery to check on. It doesn’t matter. She’s called you. She’s connected to you. She’s engaged in the interaction with your IVR.

What a perfect to time for your IVR to sell her something.

There are many ways you can leverage what you know about your customers, their individual call intent, and your own product offerings to turn your IVR into a reliable, effortless sales channel. USAN has written a white paper that describes a range of techniques for doing this: you can download it here.

I’ll highlight some of them in this post.

Bypass Offer

Sometimes the smartest thing your IVR can do is take itself out of the loop as quickly as it can. That’s what a Bypass Offer is: one that bypasses the IVR entirely. As you build and promote new offers, certain customer profiles match one or more of those offers closely. Often, those customers are top-value customers that you always want live interaction with. When one of those VIPs calls in, the IVR immediately routes that call to a live agent. The agent solves the original issue, and then opens the door for the new sell.

Use Case: A financial institution is offering a lower student loan interest rate for highly qualified customers. When that highly qualified customer calls, the IVR instantly transfers the call to a live agent.

Scriptable Offer

This is, essentially, the automated version of the bypass offer. Now, the IVR takes over the sale. When it matches the caller to a specific offer, the IVR—after satisfying the initial caller intent—then presents a recorded offer. The caller can accept or decline the offer, ask to hear more details about it, or be sent to a live agent.

Use Case: When a policy holder with auto coverage calls—for instance to pay a premium—the IVR handles the call and then presents a bundling offer for life and home policies.

Sales Teaser

Some new products or promotions aren’t targeted: they’re offered to everyone. In this case, when the IVR answers, at some point in the first interactions it makes the offer. That could be before or after it presents the menu options. This isn’t an interaction—often these are informational only messages.

Use Case: A cable TV provider is planning to offer a highly anticipated Pay Per View event and wants to make everyone aware of it weeks before the feed goes on sale.

Routable Offer

You don’t have to give up on making offers just because a customer wants to route to a live agent. Definitely, you don’t want the IVR to make it difficult for them to reach an agent. With a Routable Offer, before the IVR transfers the call, it plays a recorded pitch for offers that appear to be relevant to the caller’s intent, or to the caller’s profile.

Use Case: A new car owner calls the dealership and requests the call be sent to a service manager. Before that call is connected the IVR plays a message about extended warranty (if that customer hasn’t already purchased one).

Smart Offers Offered Smartly

In all these cases the IVR is continually profiling callers to determine which offers are best suited to each caller, how to make the offer, and what information to provide. It tracks whether the offer has already been made to that caller on an earlier call, and may withhold it or present it again. Effortlessly and automatically, the IVR becomes another effective avenue for increasing sales and customer satisfaction.

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