Obsessed with personalizing every step of your customer journey? Tailor each call by integrating data from your CRM and other systems with communications APIs as explained by Devang Sachdev, Head of Solutions for Twilio.
Customers come in all stripes. No pizza joint worth its cheese would offer everyone who comes through the door the same standard-issue pizza. What about the meat lovers, vegans, and people who just want pineapple on their pizza pie?
Every customer has different needs, preferences, and circumstances for calling you. So how come when it comes to an IVR, so many businesses still keep serving up one-size-fits all menu?
It used to be that businesses were constrained by the available technology. But now we know that with APIs, you can change your IVR as easily as you change your website.
IVR phone trees built using communication APIs allow you to:
Let’s take a look at what you can do with integration.
You just saw, your favorite pizza place, PieHard Inc’s ad in your facebook feed and now you’re craving for a slice. You call them up to order delivery and the IVR greets you by name and asks if you want to order a medium pizza margherita, your usual, or something new. "Just the usual," you say.
You’ve just moved, so when the IVR confirms your delivery address, you choose to change it. The IVR tells you to check your text messages. When you do, you see the text from PieHard asking you to reply with your new address and zip code. You type it in, and in moments, the IVR confirms your new address. It reminds you about the free drink coupon you got in the email yesterday, which you confirm you want to apply to this order. The IVR asks if you want to use your regular credit card (you do), emails you a receipt, and says the pizza is on its way to you in a few minutes.
Whew, dinner accomplished.
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Let’s Break Down What Just Happened:
It all starts with reaching PieHard Inc’s IVR built using Phone Numbers and Programmable Voice APIs. The IVR passes your caller ID to the PieHard communication application and waits for instructions on how to handle the call. Armed with the caller ID, the PieHard communication application queries the CRM for the customer record.
The PieHard communication application then uses the customer record to collect the caller’s recent browsing history from PieHard.com, its mobile app, or recent email interactions. It also queries the order system to see your previous orders and preferences.
This is how PieHard’s IVR can greet you by name and remember what you ordered last time.
PieHard knows the phone keypad is not ideal for entering alphanumeric information (like addresses). It used to have its IVR patch address changes through to its wait staff, who’d manually have to change it in the CRM.
Now that its IVR is built with a communications API, it can integrate not just with data sources, but also with text messaging. This allows PieHard to take your new address and automatically updates your customer profile in their CRM. This is how a seamless bridge is built between phone calls and messaging.
This fictional pizza place isn’t from the future. These types of experiences are possible right now. But PieHard doesn’t use a traditional legacy IVR hardware vendor because this level of integration and personalization would not be possible.
About Devang Sachdev:
Devang Sachdev leads solutions and customer marketing teams at Twilio.
Create and scale voice, VoIP and SMS text messaging applications with a cloud platform.
Published: Friday, May 26, 2017
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