Is IVR a good option for small business?

15th July 2019

Even if the term “IVR” didn’t quite ring a bell when you read it in this article’s title, you have probably been greeted with an IVR system on many an occasion when phoning a company. Have you ever rung a number only to hear a recorded voice instructing you on which button to press?writing in a notebook

Yes, we mean along the lines of “If you’re an existing customer, press 1” – that’s how an IVR system works. Furthermore, IVR systems are everywhere these days – from banks to airlines to hospitals, as Forbes implies. However, if your business is small, should it seriously consider IVR?

A booming market – but should you join it?

It wouldn’t be too generous to say that the IVR market is in good health globally. According to MarketWatch, which cites work from analysis firm Market Research Future, the worldwide IVR market is anticipated to touch $3.7 billion in estimated value by the end of 2023.

That would represent a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7% on top of the equivalent figure of 2017 – and, indeed, IVR comes with various benefits which have clear, practical appeal to small, potentially cash-strapped businesses.

IVR systems are popular for a simple reason: they help companies to route calls to the relevant people. However, there was once a time when IVR hardware and software were prohibitively expensive – and too difficult to deploy and manage – for all but larger enterprises.

Fortunately, the days of IVR simply being an “elite” service are now behind us, thanks to the introduction of hosted, cloud-based IVR, which has made the technology sufficiently streamlined in cost for small and mid-sized businesses to use.

Why IVR is a genuine option for small companies

When IVR is implemented in the cloud on your behalf, you don’t have to expend money and hassle buying and maintaining on-premise equipment. Neither do you need to overprovision to account for seasonal peaks in call volume; instead, you can simply scale up and down IVR services as you need them, as is possible with the Dynamic Call Agent (DCA) services from Planet Numbers.

Of course, another reason to seriously contemplate taking up IVR services is their ability to help you scoop up customer calls that, otherwise, could be missed to your company’s own cost. Research reveals that, for a UK SME, the average cost of a missed call is £1,200.

Worse, that cost can hit £20,000 for an SME that still can’t be reached over the subsequent 24 hours. This is the kind of money that, as a small business, you can’t afford to fritter away. It’s all a strong incentive for you to start putting together the building blocks of an IVR system.

At Planet Numbers, we enable businesses to augment their IVR systems with call queuing, a free service for each of our clients with a Planet Numbers business number. The service lets you hold dozens of callers in a queue and politely inform them of their current position in that queue.