Conversational AI • Last Updated 7/8/2024

What is outbound IVR, & how can it increase engagement?

Learn how outbound IVR can help you increase customer satisfaction and streamline processes.


By Emily Bowen

outbound IVR graphic with ringing cell phone

Interactive voice response (IVR) technology is a powerful tool for businesses that want to improve customer engagement, increase customer satisfaction, and streamline customer service. Outbound IVR is an automated outbound calling technology that allows organizations to interact with customers without the need for human intervention. In this blog post, we'll explore what outbound IVR is and how it can help businesses increase engagement with their customers.

What is outbound IVR?

IVR systems are automated phone systems used by businesses to help interact with customers and route calls. Outbound IVR is a type of IVR system that allows businesses to send proactive, automated messages to customers.

IVR systems as we know them have been around since the early 1960s. The original system only allowed customers to enter their phone number and select an option from a menu of choices using a dial pad. In recent years, IVR systems have become more sophisticated and are now capable of using artificial intelligence (AI) to automate call flows and send personalized messages to customers.

It's important to differentiate between inbound and outbound IVR systems. Inbound IVR systems allow customers to speak their response to a question as the system routes calls. Outbound IVR systems, on the other hand, send outgoing messages to customers to alert them, remind them, or connect them with a representative. Outbound IVR systems also allow businesses to provide automated customer service, such as appointment reminders and payment confirmations.

How outbound IVR can increase customer engagement

Outbound IVR is a powerful tool that can help organizations increase customer engagement and optimize their customer experience (CX). With outbound IVR, businesses can provide a higher level of voice quality, create more consistent customer outreach, and automate tasks.

With greater voice quality and access to automated customer support, customers can receive prompt assistance for their inquiries, creating a more positive experience. Additionally, outbound IVR can help businesses reduce customer churn and increase customer loyalty, as customers are more likely to stick with a company they feel they can rely on. This can also lead to an increase in net promoter score (NPS) and net retention rate (NRR).

In addition to increasing customer engagement, outbound IVR can also help businesses increase brand awareness and outreach. Outbound IVR can automate tedious tasks such as order tracking and appointment reminders, freeing up employees to focus on higher-priority tasks. Organizations can also use this automation to personalize customer outreach, making customers more likely to engage with a brand. Outbound IVR can also automate customer feedback surveys, which allows businesses to quickly and accurately assess customer satisfaction, therefore creating better strategies that lead to higher ROI.

Ultimately, outbound IVR can help businesses become more profitable and efficient, allowing them to better serve their customers and grow their brands.

Outbound IVR use cases

Outbound IVR helps businesses to increase customer engagement and streamline customer service operations. Below are some of outbound IVR’s main use cases, each of which can help businesses to increase customer engagement.

Appointment reminders

Businesses can use outbound IVR to remind customers about upcoming appointments. These reminders can help ensure customers show up for their appointments on time and avoid potential losses due to no-shows. For example, a healthcare provider could use outbound IVR to send automated reminders to patients about their upcoming appointments.

Capture customers and convert leads

Outbound IVR can capture potential customers who have expressed interest in a company and convert those prospects into leads. For example, a business could use outbound IVR to automatically call prospects and ask if they would be interested in purchasing a specific product or service. Outbound IVR can also be used to re-engage individuals who did not make a purchase. A call can remind them to follow through by completing a specific action. This automated follow-up call can help businesses close deals with customers who may have otherwise been overlooked, increasing their overall sales.

Automate outbound dialing

Outbound IVR can automate outbound dialing, which helps businesses quickly and efficiently reach a large number of customers with personalized messages while maximizing agent productivity. For example, a business could use outbound IVR to send out automated calls to potential customers and ask them to sign up for a free trial or demo.

Verify customer identity

Outbound IVR can also be used to verify customers’ identities to ensure that only authorized customers have access to certain information or services. Verification methods such as two-factor authentication (2FA) are used across industries, but they’re particularly common in finance and healthcare. In any industry, outbound IVR can send automated calls to customers asking them to confirm their identities before providing access to their accounts.

Choosing an advanced outbound IVR: 5 criteria to keep in mind

When choosing an outbound IVR solution, businesses should look for a system that offers advanced features to ensure maximum engagement. And if you already have a system, check out this blog post to learn about mistakes to avoid when setting it up.

1. Flexibility to build with and without code

The most advanced outbound IVR solutions give businesses the flexibility to create custom IVR menus and scripts with or without the ability to code. This feature gives teams that might not have overly technical expertise the ability to automate their workflows and makes it easy to create a unique IVR experience that best suits the needs of the business. The provider you choose should allow you to configure your customer IVR menu to suit your own needs in the language of your choice.

2. Machine learning

The best outbound IVR solutions use machine learning to continuously improve CX. Machine learning helps the system better understand customer preferences and behaviors and optimize the experience accordingly. This greater understanding ensures each customer receives the most relevant, personalized experience possible.

3. Sentiment and intention prediction

Advanced outbound IVR solutions can also use sentiment and intention prediction to better understand customer needs. This helps the system identify the topics and keywords customers are most interested in and offer the most appropriate options. The goal is to direct the customer to the best possible solution for their needs.

4. Proactive calling

A truly advanced outbound IVR solution will offer proactive calling capability. This option allows businesses to reach out to customers in advance and ensures customers receive the information they need in a timely fashion. Proactive engagement increases customer engagement, improves customer satisfaction, and reduces support needs down the road.

5. In-queue self-service

In-queue self-service is another feature of advanced outbound IVR solutions. This feature allows customers to self-serve as they wait on hold, helps reduce wait times, and improves customer satisfaction. With in-queue self-service, customers can quickly access the information they need and get the answers they’re looking for—whether that’s making a payment, checking an account balance, or updating account details.

There are a number of out-of-the-box IVR solutions. But if you want complete control over your call routing, numbers, quality, and troubleshooting, you should consider building your own IVR application. Telnyx users can start building IVR menus using our APIs and following our guides and tutorials.

Contact our experts to learn how to optimize the deployment of IVR in your outbound call center.

Share on Social

Related articles

Sign up and start building.