With more than 690million telephone users ( both land line and mobile), India is one of the fastest growing growing telecom market. Very quickly advertisers thought this an opportunity to market products and they started bombarding mobile phone users with various promotional messages which led to creation of Do Not Call Registry (NDNC Registry) by TRAI ( Telecom Regulatory Authority of India).
Though many opine that people are using NDNC Registry as database of mobile numbers which are active, still the growth of SMS ( Short Messaging Service) advertising as well as SMS as tool of alert is slowing down while bulk voice calling is growing more and more. SMS is still widely used in India for, but Bulk Voice SMS or outbound Voice calls are also catching up.
I have also been getting many questions/enquiries from our readers about outbound IVR to make bulk voice calls and such questions/enquiries are growing over the time. Here are few reasons why, I think, IVR bulk voice call is growing and is set to grow more:-
1. Voice can be of any language
While information and messages in SMS are written in English language or Roman script only, IVR Voice call does not have such limitation. Though India has fairly large number of English speaking population, but when they are greeted with their own mother tongue or vernacular language, it instantly attracts and connect with them. Also, there are millions of mobile users who do not simply read SMS or do not know how to read! How voices in different languages is important in India, one may be able to gauge by the fact that India has more that 22 official languages each spoken by at least 10million population. This is apart from more than 250 dialects.
2. Message Delivery and Delivery Report
Another problem with SMS have been it delivery and delivery reporting to advertisers. While it may be condonable in case of product promotion, but delivery report is a must for any utility service using SMS. IVR outbound calling maintains complete delivery report whether call was picked up by the called party or not, if the destination number was answering machine, FAX or voice mail. Also after picking up the phone, did the destination number hear whole voice message or not, all these information are available with bulk voice calling.
3. Land Line numbers do not have SMS facility
India also has large number of land line numbers and only voice message is the only option to alert them. With easy availability of bulk voice calling service now a days, many people have started reaching out to these land-line users too, either for promotional activities or telemarketing. Also, many have realised that land line numbers already has a proven address which is required for many services like credit card, online shopping etc.
4. Instant Feedback and Interactive
While using SMS also one can expect some interactivity as well as feedback, but using voice call by an outbound IVR is much easier and faster. It is more convenient for the called person who can respond to any call just by speaking a word or pressing a key. While in case of SMS, one needs to type few words and send SMS! More ever, while sending out SMS, user is charged for sending SMS and in case of voice message call, it is completely free. So this encourages people to respond to surveys conducted by voice call than SMS.
Recently, there have been many outbound bulk voice service providers in India with competitive pricing. So, if one has been using SMS for alert and promotional activities, it is time to use bulk voice message!