What is IVR? Interactive Voice Response

If you look into Interactive Voice response (IVR), then u will see that, it’s a kind of telephony system which is automated and it interacts with callers. It also gathers the information required and then after gathering the information it directs the calls to the appropriate recipient according to the gathered information.

Now a-days modern and sophisticated IVR systems have arrived, in this modern technology you can use the voice recognition system to gather the input and responses using your voice and by speaking the words. Conversations we make are either pre-recorded or it is generated audio which then functions like assisting the calls, directing them, or route the calls automatically without the need of a live operator.

When we make these interactions, there are ways through which clients can make interactions they can do that by either using the touch-tone keypad selection or by using the voice telephone input. The response that is received and recorded takes the form of voice, call-back or any other media.

Do you know how does an IVR work?

With the help of your phone’s keypad, only the interactive systems can be the appropriate solution quickly and functions in a way that allows it to navigate the contact center. It will simply mean that the customers will themselves be able to route the calls to appropriate parties. So as a result it will result in fewer incoming calls, with lower operational costs, and then our team members productivity get high.

If we look from the technical level, then we will see that the IVR systems are usually consists of the following: equipment for telephony, the software applications, a database, and some infrastructure to support. In order to start, the computer used is usually connected to the company’s telephone line.

There are some requirements that are needed of the telephony like an IVR software is needed to be installed onto our computer along with telephony board which is the special piece of hardware, web or a telephony card is usually required.

When we make a call to some telephony company as a customer, then in that case the IVR system will respond you by giving you a greeting which is usually pre-recorded by the company already which will then give you some set of menu and will ask you to choose from it. Let us take an example, if you press the button”1” then the company will provide you some specific service.

Mentioned below are some of the details that illustrate the requirements:

1: TCP/IP network: in order to provide the internet and the intranet services this network is used.

2: VXML telephony server: this is the server which acts as some special server as an interface between your phone and the internet network used.

3: Database: it stores the real time information which then IVR system/ can access.

4: Web/application server: this server can be seen and considered as the home of the IVR systems software. But one thing that is to be remembered and must be kept in notice is that there is more than one application which are designed to perform to various functions.

The advantages of IVR:

When adopting the modern IVR capabilities we can see the below mentioned IVR advantages.1: Better services for the Customer.

1: Better services for the Customer.

By using the IVR systems, we can make the client feel like he is being better attended to. Always a quick response is available for the any question asked by the customer. The response that is pre-recorded is always informative and time efficient and the customer is only supposed to follow the set of instruction designed for them in order to be attended better.

The answering of the call on the first ring made by the customer, benefits both the company and the customer by reducing the waiting time and by cutting the call volume thus it saves time for both.

2: Unlimited Access to the Customer:

Customers can make perfect use of the IVR systems if they want at any time they want according to their convenience cause the company its task whole 24 hours a day and all 7 days in the week. But in case of the office hours and holidays and also during the break hours the availability of the employee decreases, but IVR systems are always at the customer disposal.

It then simply means that a customer can customer is able to receive all or in other cases most of the services needed and whenever they are needed. But even if the option and the choice of having a company’s representative live might get appealing sometimes but still with the help of IVR customers can now still have the unlimited access to the company whenever they want.

3: The Wider personalization:

IVR systems allow and also helps to create the better relationship between the company and the customer with its tremendous personalization. We can modify the IVR systems and can program them according to our need with personalized greetings for any unknown caller. And all this is possible due to the availability of the information of the client and the caller ID.

Apart from using the caller name and addressing them by their names, the system is also able to share any other additional information with the client specific to them. This means that we can wish any greeting to the caller like happy new year or the happy birthday or any other special occasion.

Apart from just programming the caller information, IVR systems have now have different language options too, which can be used by any specific caller or client too. Either the case will be, it will definitely make the caller make more comfortable in the long run. Also any personal greetings can also be recorded according to our own choice or if the customer wants to include any appropriate or the prompts of their choice in order to transfer to the corresponding department.

4: Creating a Better Image of the Company:

With the help of IVR the illusion of the company is created that the company is so huge. A single receptionist might not be able to manage the volume of the calls but with the help of IVR it is possible now. Also it is usually advisable for the small companies to make use of IVR in order to establish their image.

In case of Bigger companies, such IVR systems create a professional image of the company by maintaining their consistency in customer and also in case of volume of call.

5: Making more profit to the Company:

With the time the number of business deals and the transactions which take place over the phone have increased with huge proportion. But still some companies are lagging behind because they are still using the receptionist instead of IVR systems to deal with customers.

IVR provides you the receptionist which is virtual and it saves a lot of human labor. When it meets the clients IVR utilizes the resources of the employer in the better way. As the IVR works 24 hours and is able to handle the huge volume of calls too so as a result profit will definitely grow.

6: Increased Production of the Company:

Increased production is possible through the call routing. By routing the calls to their required or specified department or the staff member in order to address the needs of the customer will mean that the less time is being spent dealing with the colleagues and to answer their questions and even transferring the calls around if needed until the customer gets satisfied with the right answer. Also with the help of this company is able to make the priority list of the calls in order to deal with the customers better.

With the help of IVR systems, the company is always able to deal with the high volume of the calls of the customers without keeping them in the waiting for the long time and not stressing the customers. It will simply mean that the number of calls from the client can be increased.

7: Error Free Services:

By using the IVR systems the whole process of dealing with the customers become error free, as compared to when you rely on conventional receptionist. Cause when there will be a high volume of calls the receptionist will feel the burden.

Some applications for the IVR are as follows:

1: Forwarding to the call center

2: Routing of the office calls.

3: The transfer of the bank and the stock account balances.

4: The surveys and polls taken from the customers.

Now listed are the real time applications of the IVR which can benefit any business.

1: Improving the Customer Experience Through an Integrated IVR:

In order to maintain and increase the growth of our company, we need to consider the experience of the customer effectively. All this can be made happen majorly through automation, and that is why IVR technology is suggested to be considered and should be considered by you.

As a result, this will build a trust between the customer and the company and it will also put a smile on the face of the customer.

We can also use the IVR in a way as to make the system able to response the customer and make and facilitate the two-way dialogue. You can also make the Customize IVR applications for any specific purpose. It will help the customer to have the quick access to the right information at any time.

2: IVR Call Center:

With the help of services provided by the IVR, call centers are able to enjoy the increase in the first contact resolution of the issues and the resolutions of the customers. Customer will have the choice of having the either self-service or he/she can be dealt with the agent for their queries. This will make the experience of the customer improved as they will also be using the same interface with the cloud IVR.

For the kind of customers who are in some urgent and are not able to or willing to wait in the call queue, there can be a callback. Also with the help of scheduled call back service that is possible in the IVR phone which will then depend on the requested time of the customer.

Below mentioned are the ways through which the customer experience in the call center can be improved.

3: Efficient routing of the call:

The feature that is built in feature of the IVR technology first gather the information of the caller then proceed. This then route the call to the self-service steps already designed in the IVR which then address the issue accordingly. So, with the help of this the holding time of the customer is reduced.

4: Automated Self Service:

IVR is able to recognize more than a single word. Customer can use anything either the voice prompts or the button service in order to explain the issue the customer has. And in this way the customer is usually is dealt with fast and quickly. In combination of the directed speech and the button pressing the services given to the customer can be increased using an optimized manner.

5: Personalized Caller information:

A well programmed IVR system works best like some well-trained receptionist or in other cases even better than that. With the help of this customer can also know any special offers provided by the company with the help of IVR. Also it can address the needs of the client in well manner.

6: Optimizations made by the IVR and the Customer Service Managers:

The managers have benefits like bucket full which they gain from the Voice of the response systems.

These benefits include:

7: Lower Cost for the Customer services:

If the managers will provide their services to their customers with the options to meet their specific need then in that case the automation rates will increase substantially.

8: Streamlined Business Processes:

The services of providing the outbound notifications as reminders to the customer will increase the services provided. Such reminders are usually important as they help the customer to make the necessary transactions with the help of either voice response or any web application.

Do you know how to improve your IVR… ?

Here are the best tips and practices you can adopt to improve your interactive Voice Response (IVR) Twilio:

1: By researching your audience in order to find the optimizations for the IVR platform.

2: By using some survey techniques in order to improve the IVR experience of the Customer.

3: By using the NLP or the Natural language recognition system for your IVR system.

4: By keeping the display of a small IVR menu at front above all else to facilitate customer.

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