If you’re reading this title and thinking something along the lines of “interactive what now?”, then read on, for all will be revealed in due course…
What is it?
Interactive voice messaging allows companies to make outgoing automated calls with interactive features, such as tailoring the content to a specific recipient, or offering them options as to what to do next. They can be used to confirm information, carry out surveys, or give reminders that can be responded to by navigating a phone menu. Still in the dark? Ok, here’s an example phone conversation between an interactive voice message and a person:
Caller: “This is an automated voice message from Woodgrange Surgery to remind you that you have a check up scheduled for this Friday, May 2nd, at 2pm. If this is correct, and you wish to confirm the appointment, press one. If you wish to cancel or reschedule the appointment, press 2”
You: [presses the 1 key on phone]
Caller: “Thanks. You have chosen to confirm the appointment at Woodgrange Surgery for this Friday, May 2nd at 2pm.”
Got it now? Good. Time for some other questions…
Can the recipient give verbal answers instead of pressing buttons?
Yes – if the messaging system makes use of voice recognition. This means that recipients can give simple answers, such as yes or no, to navigate through the various options, and also give more specific information such as their postcode or phone number.
What if the recipient doesn’t want to talk to a machine?
This is perfectly understandable. It might be that they have a specific query that can’t be answered using the menu options presented, or they might just be more comfortable with another human on the other end. Either way, these systems can be easily integrated with call centres so that people can have the option to speak to an operator if they want to.
Who uses it?
Interactive voice messaging systems are useful for all sorts of organisations and businesses, including emergency services, pollsters, retailers, banks, healthcare organisations, and utilities companies. It’s a proven technology that has reaped measurable rewards in terms of cost savings and objectives achieved.
Why not just use a call centre?
Without a doubt, the main advantage of interactive voice messaging is the cost. Hiring a call centre to make thousands of calls can be an expensive business, and many situations, such as the hypothetical conversation above, can be handled just as well by an interactive messaging system for a fraction of the cost.
Also, an interactive messaging system can make many calls at once, whereas a human operator can only deal with one call at a time. This means that you can get the same results a lot faster than you would using human callers. While systems such as these cannot replace a call centre in every scenario, it can dramatically reduce the need to use these expensive facilities in a variety of situations.
Would you like to speak to us about IVM?
For more information on our interactive messaging solutions please call 0844 693 0244 to speak with a member of the team or click here to send us your details and a member of the team will call you back within one hour.