In your organization, do many incoming calls deal with straight forward, fact based transactions – such as refilling prescriptions, booking reservations, checking order status, updating account information, researching inventory or making credit card payments? If so, wouldn't you like a way to relieve your staff of these mundane, repetitive requests, while giving customers and clients faster service? After all, you'd want to reserve your people for more value-added customer relations, and callers might not want to wait for a human attendant when the transaction can be speedily and accurately handled by an automated system. That's why we equipped Nortel Business Communications Manager 200 and 400 systems with interactive voice response (IVR) capabilities. IVR reduces costs and improves service by giving customers 24x7 access to your business to carry out routine inquiries and service requests. Callers can access a broad range of information and initiate transactions or other interactions simply by responding to a series of prompts. It's like having an always-on corporate contact center – at a scale and price to suit small and medium businesses.
A Robust Call-Processing Engine – Customized for Your Unique Needs
The IVR function includes two key components: a run-time engine that processes inputs and outputs, and an application component that contains your unique menus, prompts, recordings and routing logic that govern how those inputs and outputs are processed.
The IVR run-time engine:
> Answers calls from the Business Communications Manager
Messaging Auto Attendant
> Plays pre-recorded prompts, such as “For billing inquiries, press 1.”
> Collects the caller's entry via the phone set dialpad
> Retrieves requested information from commercial databases
> Speaks the results back to the caller using pre-recorded prompts
The IVR application is fully integrated with Business Communications Manager 200 and 400 platforms, so it has access to and benefits from all Business Communications Manager telephony, call center, messaging and data features, as well as support for a variety of industry-standard databases. That means the possibilities are wide open. For example, a retail pharmacy could design an IVR system that enables users to renew prescriptions, check the status of filled prescriptions, verify insurance coverage, initiate delivery requests and ask for a refill reminder page – all without diverting pharmacists from their primary responsibilities. The pharmacy could also use the IVR system to broadcast informational content, such as medication indications, side effects, generic substitutes and pricing – or store location and hours, current advertised specials and other store promotions.
Consider another example in an entirely different market. An automotive aftermarket retailer could use the IVR system to enable callers to locate a specific part, check its price and availability, and order it for pick-up or later delivery. The caller could return to the IVR to check the status of a pending order or back order, get shipping updates or arrange pick-up and delivery to remote customer sites. The retailer could also automate routine inquiries about store location and hours, employment opportunities, in-store specials and special services and programs. Utility companies find IVR applications extremely useful for processing the many transaction-based calls they receive, such as outage reports, service requests, billing inquiries and online bill payment. Applications can blend promotional and informational messages, such as tips for electricity conservation or special rate programs. IVR can return tremendous benefits in many markets, including education, healthcare, government, retail, manufacturing, utilities and enterprise environments – anywhere rote transactions can be automated.
You can rely on the expertise of our professional services organization or third-party consultants to design and implement an effective application. An integrated management application then puts you in control of all aspects of system operation and provides a clear picture of how well the IVR application has been designed and accepted by users.
You Already Have IVR at Hand. Why Not Take Advantage?
IVR dramatically increases the value of the Business Communications Manager in branch offices, retail outlets or local offices of large enterprises. It provides a win-win combination – reducing costs while enhancing the quality of customer service – and thereby pays for itself very quickly. Your Business Communications Manager platform (release 3.0 and above) already has IVR pre-installed on its hard drive. All you have to do is activate it with a key-coded option that is sold in channel or port increments, up to 24 IVR channels/ports. Nortel can assist with any or all of your application development. By deploying an IVR application that is fully integrated with your voice-and data communications platform, you know it will work. Nortel has fully tested all interactions to ensure that everything interworks, and the reliability and performance of all components is maintained. The open, modular design of the application, both in terms of capacity and future feature development, ensures that the IVR solution will be adding value for your organization for many years to come.