Table of contents
- What is outbound IVR?
- Why outbound IVR scripts matter
- The benefits of an effective IVR script
- Common IVR scripting mistakes to avoid
- Route calls more effectively with LiveVox Inbound & Outbound IVR
Interactive voice response, or IVR, is an effective tool to help contact centers manage volume and improve efficiency, but its capabilities aren’t limited to inbound calls. Outbound IVR can deliver personalized customer experiences that drive revenue while increasing customer satisfaction. It all comes down to creating action-oriented outbound IVR scripts that are customized based on the customer’s profile.
What is outbound IVR?
Outbound IVR is a customer service solution that can be used to communicate tailored messaging to a large number of customers at once. With an outbound IVR system, companies can engage customers not just through a phone call, but also via SMS, email or social media.
Outbound campaigns have three key functions. They can be used to manage inbound call volume by proactively providing important information, like payment reminders and order updates. This eliminates the customer’s need to call you. They can also be used to prompt revenue-generating inbound calls by sharing promotions and following up on a customer’s actions on other channels, like your website. Finally, you can use outbound IVR to gather customer feedback, which is an important activity if you want to continuously improve your operations.
Outbound IVR differs from predictive dialers in that it’s fully automated–there’s no live agent waiting on the other end of the line to take over the call. It’s different from robocalling in that rather than delivering a blanket message to all customers, the message is personalized to the end-user.
Why outbound IVR scripts matter
They set the tone for the interaction
A good outbound IVR script provides information that’s personalized and useful, not blanket and generic. When writing your IVR scripts, taking the time to create messaging that’s tailored to your various customer segments makes the difference between an interaction that’s pleasant and helpful versus one that’s mostly just annoying.
They influence the customer’s perception of your brand
In addition to providing useful content, the tone and language of your outbound IVR scripting matter, as well. Compare these two IVR script examples:
“Hello. We are calling to inform you of a 20% discount on our new product.”
“Hi, John! Because you’ve been our valued customer for five years, we’re offering you a special 20% discount on our newest product.”
Whereas the first script example is cold and robotic, the second is warm, familiar, and references specific customer details. There’s no question that the second option is the better one in terms of influencing brand perception. A positive brand perception helps strengthen customer retention and boost lifetime value.
They send the right offer at the right time
Effective outbound IVR scripting ensures you’re not treating an existing customer as a new one, and vice versa. By pulling in data from your CRM, you can send a highly targeted offer that’s more likely to lead to a conversion. This not only generates more revenue but is more satisfying to the customer than sending an irrelevant or ill-timed offer.
To get the most from your outbound IVR solution, here are four key pillars to incorporate into your outbound IVR scripts.
The main feature that sets outbound IVR apart from mass robocalling is the ability to personalize the message. Consumers demand personalization more than ever, with 72% of respondents in a recent survey saying they only engage with marketing messages that are tailored to them.
By leveraging data from your CRM systems, you can customize your outbound IVR scripts based on the customer’s purchase history, billing schedule, past ticketing activity, and more. Furthermore, you can leverage known data to communicate with them primarily on their preferred channel, which makes them more likely to engage and increases trust in your brand.
Outbound IVR scripts shouldn’t be a one-way conversation. Though outbound IVR calls don’t involve a live agent, your script should provide the option for call recipients to take the next step, which may include getting connected with an agent, where relevant.
For example, if you’re running a promotion, you might use your outbound IVR system to follow up with leads who expressed their interest via an online form. That script should include a call to action to claim the promotion, enroll in the new service, get connected to an agent, or whatever the appropriate next step might be.
Identity verification is a crucial component of security, but using live agents to verify every caller’s personal details is costly. What’s more, customers hate repeating information you’ve already asked them for.
Instead of making the customer take unnecessary steps when interacting with an outbound IVR script, use your CRM integration to confirm key personal details. Let’s say a customer is using your automated phone message to complete a bill payment. You might prompt them to enter their social security number and zip code. These details, when matched with the customer’s phone number, are an effective ID verification mechanism.
IVR offers huge value in its ability to allow your customers to self-serve. Most customers prefer self-service options… until they run into a problem.
Use your IVR scripts to combine the convenience of self-service with adequate channels for receiving additional support when needed. The option to schedule a call back from a live agent, for example, can help control call volume while maintaining a positive customer experience.
The benefits of an effective IVR script
They guide the caller to the right resources
Despite being a recording, an outbound IVR script doesn’t have to be one-sided. It should be interactive, helping lead a customer to the resources and tools they need so they don’t have to go looking for them on their own later.
Here’s an outbound IVR sample:
“Your billing deadline is approaching. Did you know you can opt to receive a monthly text message when your payment is due? You can even set up automatic debits so your bill is always paid without thinking about it. If you’d like to set up either of these options, press 1.”
They help customers solve their problems faster
We often forget that we’re the experts on our own products and services. Oftentimes we know what a customer might need before they even ask. Providing proactive problem-solving options and relevant upsells not only leads to faster resolutions, it contributes to a more positive brand image and stronger revenue.
They utilize the full range of call center software capabilities
When coupled with other features of your call center software, the powers of outbound IVR scripting are multiplied. By using performance metrics to place an outbound IVR call during less busy hours, you can minimize agent downtime while creating new revenue opportunities. By routing call recipients to tools like virtual agents, you can mitigate call volume and keep your best live agents free for tackling incoming phone system requests.
Common IVR scripting mistakes to avoid
Too many options
The last thing you want to do with an outbound IVR script is confuse the customer with a mess of options. For best results, limit your script to one to two calls to action.
Low quality recordings
If your recording sounds like you’re calling from inside a tin can, it’s a problem. Invest in a high-quality recording and update it regularly to avoid distributing any dated information.
As we mentioned earlier, outbound IVR is different from robocalling, so your script shouldn’t feel like a robocall. Use your CRM integration to bring in customer details that make the call feel personal and the offer relevant.
Not respecting customers’ time
Remember, this is outbound IVR, so YOU’RE the one calling THEM. If there’s an option to speak with a live agent, don’t make the customer wait in a queue. Use priority call routing to send agent requests from outbound IVR calls to the front of the line.
Failing to check the necessary compliance boxes
Make sure your IVR scripting adheres to all compliance requirements for your industry and country. This might include capturing consent and making necessary disclosures before proceeding with the call.
Route calls more effectively with LiveVox Inbound & Outbound IVR
Contact centers are under ever-increasing pressure to do more with less. Meanwhile, customer expectations are higher than ever. LiveVox’s IVR solutions for contact centers empower customers to shift seamlessly from self-service to live conversation, helping you save on costs while keeping customer satisfaction high. To learn how to use LiveVox’s IVR applications to drive personalized experiences and increase sales, schedule your demo today.