Apr 5, 2021

What is IVR?

By [24]7.ai

What is IVR?

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is an automated phone system that allows customers to first interact with a computer prior to speaking with a representative. IVR technology has the ability to route calls to the appropriate department once it collects information from the caller.


Businesses use IVR since it expedites hold times and allows for a smaller headcount. In addition, advanced IVR systems can also offer a superior customer service experience.


How does IVR work?


IVR technology works at its most basic level by using Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency signaling (DTMF) and/or voice recognition technology. With DTMF, customers use their keypad to pick a menu option, no human operator necessary. Voice recognition technology allows for directed dialogue, meaning that a caller can give verbal answers instead of using their keypad. They are typically given a question and then a limited amount of possible responses to verbally respond to. Directed dialog has limitations as the caller isn’t able to give a response that hasn’t already been preprogrammed.


Comparing traditional vs. advanced IVR systems


Unlike the traditional IVR phone systems above, advanced IVR automated systems rely on more sophisticated, user-friendly forms of speech recognition such as Natural Language Understanding (NLU). NLU allows for unscripted interactions between the caller and the IVR.


{24]7.ai has improved IVR with its AI-powered {24]7 Voices™. {24]7 Voices uses NLU to intelligently predict customer intent and provide human-like customer interactions.


How to develop an IVR phone tree


The IVR tree, also known as the IVR menu, is a key part of customers successfully navigating the IVR experience. It’s the automated way callers use their keypad or voice to access a response system.


A well-designed IVR tree can answer a wide range of customer queries. Each subsequent response can direct them to a new set of responses or a live representative, all designed to help answer their questions or concerns.


How to set up an enterprise IVR solution


To set up an enterprise IVR solution, here are some IVR best practices to follow:


Move to the cloud


IVRs built on legacy systems are hindered in their ability to experiment, evolve, and A/B test. A cloud-based IVR has the capacity to be more nimble and improve over time.


Focus on the customer experience


Offer an easy customer journey. Keep your recorded menu simple and easy to follow, and make sure that the most requested customer topics are mentioned early in the menu. 


Give the option to speak with a live representative


Give your callers the option to speak with a live representative and make sure that ability to do so isn’t buried too deep in the menu. Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of frustrating your customers. You may want to also include the option for callers to go on a virtual hold, where they can pick a callback option and a representative will call them back once they’re available.


How to integrate IVR with your call center


It’s easy to upgrade to an IVR call center. And if you have an old IVR system, it’s in your business’s best interest to do so. Customers expect quick solutions to their problems. Long wait times or constantly being transferred from one department to another doesn’t build trust in your business.  


Fortunately, it’s simple to integrate with an IVR and improve your customer service. IVRs in the past required separate computers, databases, servers, and telephony cards to integrate system hardware. That isn’t even counting the in-house specialists whose role was to make sure all of the aforementioned components were running smoothly. Today, all of those separate pieces are now handled in the cloud and there are no designated IVR specialists required.


With our IVR technology, you can simply download and customize your IVR platform and call flow from your web browser.  


Advanced IVR technology for your enterprise


Integrating advanced IVR technology to your business model can give your customers a seamless customer experience. See how {24]7 Voices can elevate your offerings today.


Interactive Voice Response FAQs


What is IVR Payment?


IVR payment allows callers to make payments over the phone. You can integrate a third-party payment provider with your IVR system to provide this functionality. Just make sure that you have the appropriate compliance and security measures in place to keep your customers’ information safe.


What is IVR Call Flow?


IVR call flow refers to different steps that callers take prior to speaking with an agent. It looks like a flowchart and can be customized according to your business.


What are the advantages of Interactive Voice Response service?


IVR advantages include:


  • Decreased spam calls: IVRs can block spam calls and only let real callers proceed to agents.
  • Less human error: Instead of just relying on a receptionist to handle your entire call volume, IVRs can make your customer service experience less prone to errors.
  • Reduced handling time: Handling time refers to the amount of time your agents spend assisting callers. IVRs reduce the amount of time your agents will need to spend with each customer.
  • More customer service accessibility: Your customers will be able to have increased access to customer service capabilities.
  • Reduced headcount: You won’t need as many sale representatives since your IVR system will be able to handle a good deal of your customer volume.


What is an IVR Number?


An IVR number is the number that customers can call to interact with your IVR system.