What is IVR?
IVR or Interactive voice response is a technology that allows a conversation to be held with a machine through the use of voice and DTMF tones input via keypad.
There are examples of IVR in our daily lives that we cannot miss, such as telephonic calls to advertise new offers and schemes by telecommunication sector or the long list of instructions while calling a customer care or help centre. IVR works in mysterious ways; it can play the role of an automated attendant or a catch-all telephony menu. Professional can add or break interactions to achieve their desired results.
What is the relationship between IVR and rural marketing?
IVR is an automated system capable of greeting and directing callers, this feature gives it the ability to assist in multiple business functions such as internal communication, client servicing etc., it even presets as a virtual receptionist to the outbound callers. Given the features and the uses, CMO’s and marketing agencies are often attracted towards IVR as a medium for brand communication. The following are the ways IVR can be used to plan and implement a rural marketing campaign:-
1 Market Research:
Conducting a telephonic survey through use of IVR is one of the most cost effective ways of market research. Collecting information about your callers is very important to understand the psyche and attitude of target audience. The option of hiring a skilled set of surveyors and paying for their travel expenses might repel people but the ease of doing it with IVR makes data collection bearable.
2 Sales call:
Personal selling with a twist and minus door to door selling equals to IVR. Lead generation is faster and more efficient when the human is talking to a computer rather than another human being. Another benefit of using IVR is that higher number of sales call can be made without any breaks and at lower cost.
3 Customer Support:
IVR is and has been the most popular choice for customer service, the same can be attributed to following up on leads generated, cold calling and after sales service. An IVR ensures that no time is wasted by transferring the call to the right department and registering complains or requests without any hassles.
Why is the use of IVR for rural marketing campaign on the rise?
Rural audience is often taken by surprise with IVR; earlier the reaction to a prerecorded message or computer was very varied. Now, however, the rural areas have grown in size and developed in education and technology. This means that rural marketing agencies have finally started accepting IVR with open arms and why not, its benefits are multiple.
Following is a list of advantages from the use of IVR for brand communication which is getting it acceptance among rural people;
Reduction in costs
There is no doubt that trained and skilled manpower is more expensive in long run as compared to IVR which seems like an investment for creating an asset.
Saving of time and efforts
The time and energy required by IVR to make 100 calls as compared to time and energy required by a employee to do the save differs significantly and gives positive reasons for favoring the system instead.
A professional first impression
When rural areas and small towns are considered, receiving an automated call from brands (except telecommunication) is considered an indication to the size and growth of the company. This makes the first impression of the brand very pristine and professional. The customer actually feels special to receive such a call from the big shots.
Better Lead Management
Usage of IVR makes generating leads easier and following up on them faster, keeping track of the responses and cold calling is also structured in a more effective manner.