What Is IVR (Interactive Voice Response) & How Does It Work?

Communication is key to any customer support environment. Typically, customers feel safe, valued, and supported when call flows result in a personal touch. If you have a higher call rate, it might be challenging to offer the best services without a practical solution.

Thanks to technology advancement, an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system can help you adjust to the call volume demands. Thus, making it easier to satisfy the needs of your customer. Athos Technologies is one of the leading IVR Solutions providers.

What Is IVR

IVR is an automated phone technology system that allows call routing. Typically, the technology allows incoming callers/customers to access the information through a voice response system of pre-recorded messages without speaking to an agent. In other words, customers interact with computers before or instead of conversing with a customer representative.

The pre-recoded messages act as a menu to help the customer find the right solution. And customers can navigate using the phone keypad or verbally.

The IVR allows utilizing menu options through touch-tone keypads or speech recognition devices to route calls to the specific specialist. This technology works back to back with Automatic Call Distribution, a technology found in call centers.

While IVR aims to streamline communication, they are designed differently. A well-designed Interactive Voice Response software system can improve contact center operations as well as improve customer satisfaction. The software can be precious, especially when the call volumes are incredibly high. Here, the IVR can aid in minimizing the hold time by allowing customers to perform some tasks themselves and find answers.

When a customer wants to talk to a customer representative, the Interactive Voice Response software routes the call seamlessly to the right call center agent to address their needs. Simply put, it collects information regarding customer inquiries before transferring them to the correct department automatically. Beyond that, it can tailor a conversation based on the virtual phone number of the customer dialed. Any organization would love this kind of inbound calls management.

Phone IVR systems are becoming popular. Have you very communicated with a virtual assistant over the phone?

What are some of the things that an IVR can do?

The IVR was initially used to organize calls. However, with time the systems have developed immensely and can automate processes to offers self-service options to callers. The intent is to resolve simple customer queries and needs that ordinarily customer agents handle. Some of the things that an IVR can do are:

  • Account balance inquiry
  • Access to account information
  • Fill up surveys and lead forms
  • Fund transfers or making small payments
  • Changing password or setting a PIN

How Does IVR Work?

The fundamental reason for the creation of IVR is to trim hold times and to minimize the workforce. In the end, it saves money and time. However, it’s only the advanced systems that offer a better experience to the customers.

Basic IVR Systems

  • A simple IVR works alongside other features:
  • The IVR takes over after the ACD auto attendant receives the call. It presents the caller with an IVR menu.
  • The menu has a series of options that the caller interacts with. Most IVR systems utilize dual-tone multi-frequency tones. Cloud contact centers use voice response through speech recognition allowing callers to interact with the system using their voices.
  • A caller can resolve the purpose of the call by interacting with the self-service menu. If there isn’t a solution in the menu, the IVR system sorts the caller into a category, i.e., the qualification phase that triggers the skills-based routing feature. IVR lets the system identify the agents with the skills to handle the caller’s needs. The ACD routes the call to any available live agent.

The IVR has two principal components that help the computer to comprehend and process the caller’s request:

  • Voice recognition technology
  • Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency signaling (DTMF) – its signal is between the computer and the phone when the caller uses the phone keypad to select menu options. It allows intelligent call routing.

Advanced IVR systems offer more natural, enjoyable, and faster solutions. Typically, they use Natural Language Processing software, a form of conversational AI. The advanced voice recognition technology in IVR makes it possible for computers to answer open-ended questions.

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