Uses of Hosted IVR Technology in Retail IndustryOver the years Acclaim Telecom has worked with many clients on hundreds of IVRapplications. Some applications are simple and unique in usage, while others have wideranging and strategic impact on a company’s operation.As IVR capabilities continue to migrate to cloud computing models, even morecompanies are taking advantage of these applications itemized below. We thought youmight be interested in learning about a few of the more commonly deployed retailindustry IVR applications.Store locators – an early usage which allows retail vendors with multiple locations toautomate routine information retrieval for their customers. Information made availabletypically included store locations (identified by proximity to zip codes), hours ofoperation, directions, and the ability to search for department or employee extensions.Order status – by using an IVR order status application retail vendors can service theirclients 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Typical inbound call information availableinclude product shipment data for air, ground or mail shipments, back order status, alongwith outbound notices that a product has shipped or been delivered. One innovativecustomer used their IVR system to send advance sales notice information with a specialpurchase code. This purchase code could be used 12 hours in advance of the generalpublic announcement. Of course they provided the option to hear about pre-announcement sales information only after being updated on the status of their currentorder.Bill reminders – another one of the early and highly productive IVR solutions. Withvery little additional cost and with a potential huge reduction in live agent overhead, callscan be placed to customers reminding them before and after bills are due, along withcurrent balances and payment history.Employee notification and work scheduling – companies with large numbers of retailstores often have to make last minute staffing changes. This is especially true in times ofhigh shopping demand such as Black Friday, holiday shopping seasons, and unique storeor product promotion events. IVR systems can place outbound calls to store employees
which in turn allow them to respond with availability, enable automated work scheduling,provide work audit tracking, and provide reminder notices of work schedules foremployees who work irregular hours.Customer service polls – companies wishing to capture real time shopper experience canuse outbound IVR calls to capture important knowledge. Acclaim Telecom recommendslimiting the quest for information to the top 2 – 3 most important knowledge areas andallow the customer to finish the survey within 60 seconds. And most importantly, this isnot the time to market new offers to a customer.Internal Inventory and Reporting – while clearly web enabled automation hasencroached in this area, there are still times when using a mobile phone is useful to checkthe status of inventory, orders and sales information. By integrating iVR capabilities intosupply chain management systems, purchasing agents can place or check order statuswhen mobile internet access is not readily available.Call Center Automation – obviously this is the big one. By correctly analyzingrepetitive customer inquiries, automating non-strategic information inquiries or simpleinformation tasks, significant call center cost reductions can be achieved. This in turnsallows call center agents to address more complex or sophisticated customer inquiriesrequiring human decision making capabilities.Custom Retail IVR Hosting Applications – if you have a unique or custom retail IVRapplication need, contact Acclaim Telecom. We would be happy to see how our industryexperience can help your organization achieve your desired results while improvingcustomer responsiveness.About Acclaim Telecom Services, Inc.Acclaim Telecom is a trusted, professional source of reliable, cost-effective hosted IVRsolutions and cloud based telephony services. Founded in 1993, Acclaim Telecom hasover 18 years of solid industry experience supporting all aspects of IVR implementation;from cost effective IVR hosting, to developing and implementing new IVR speechapplication designs, to hosting PBX, SMS messaging, and long distance services.