What is Interactice Voice Response (IVR)?
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) an automated advanced telephony system technology that reads out a pre-recorded messages to guide the customer through a menu during a phone call and gathers the required information by allowing the caller to choose the correct option by key pressing.
IVR enables a pre-recorded voice for human interaction through voice and DTMF tones input via the keypad. This technology reduces human effort (cost saving for the organization) and gives the caller a better experience (some cases faster than the human option) by routing him to the exact option.
The voice on another end is pre-recorded or system-generated audio and the system directly or route calls automatically without a live operator. The caller may use either the phone’s keyboard or voice telephone input to create a certain outcome.
Advantages of IVR
Better Customer Service
Smart IVR technology will make the client feel to be better attended. For any queries of the customer, there is a prompt response available that is quick and informative.
Customer Service experience is also increased with time-efficient & informative response that contributes to brand image.
Customer Service is the major factor why customer sticks to the brand so implementing the IVR solution will not only delight your customers but also improve the customer retention rate of the business.
IVR System can further improve the customer relationship by giving them personalized feel due to its customization ability. It can be configured to play personalized greeting messages for known customers and greet them with names.
Besides programming the customer information, IVR also has the multi-language capability which allows the delivery of the message to the client in their preferred language. This personalization advantage of IVR can help companies in the long run by strengthening customer relationships.
Improved Company Image
Advanced IVR features such as 24*7 operation, personalized experience and professional voice greeting will surely improve the companies image.
IVR offers Virtual Receptionist which can handle high volume calls easily and these system reduces customer wait time by responding to calls immediately which gives an illusion of a big company.
For smaller businesses, it is always recommended to have an automated IVR System for the customer service team. It helps to build the business image.
For MNCs and bigger companies, having the automated IVR system will enhance their brand’s professional image. Considering the high volume of calls they have, it will help them to shed off the workload and improve employee’s efficiency.
Routing the calls to the specific department and addressing customer’s needs quickly will increase work efficiency and improve agent productivity.
Call routing saves the time of transferring the call to the right colleague or department for solving the caller’s query. In case of IVR, this happens automatically through a computer system. The auto-attendant system saves a lot of time and the customer is also not frustrated due to long wait times.
Imagine a receptionist handling tons of calls in a day, and every time the receptionist receives a call, it has to transfer the call to the right department according to callers query. This a tedious process and more prone to errors which will add to customer’s frustration.
IVR is the perfect solution for error-free routing process as this intelligent technology will automatically route the call to the right department without error.
IVR can route the calls immediately & without errors which will make the process faster and improve the customer experience.
Types of IVR
IVR for Self Service
An intelligent IVR System also called as auto-attendant or automated voice system, allows businesses to automate their customer support process. This smart system helps them to serve more customers at lower cost & time.
IVR allows the system to interact with callers with automated responses and pre-built menus to gather the caller information and provide callers with the right information. IVR can provide support without manual intervention. Calls are transferred to live agents only when the caller is unable to find the right solution.
Hosted IVR solution is installed on a hosted software platform, this allows a business to access the IVR solution on the internet. Hosted IVR helps the companies to flaunt the feature of 24*7 support and it improves the brand image as well as increase customer support.
Agent- Assisted IVR
Agent-Assisted IVR is used to make sure the IVR experience is seamless and uninterrupted for customers. Whenever the application encounters a problem, the agent can take control over the call immediately without the knowledge of the caller.
Agent Assisted IVR helps to create a smart self-care environment that improves customer satisfaction rate, reduces cost and improves call completion rate.
Inbound and Outbound IVR
IVR can be easily implemented by businesses for handling inbound calls volume. As soon as call is received, call will get into the IVR flow, inbound IVR will gather the data and route the call to the right department.
Inbound IVR is the most popular IVR implemented to improve the customer satisfaction & deliver high-quality service to customers.
Outbound IVR is implemented by companies to distribute the communication activities to the customers via phone calls, messages, etc. without the involvement of a live agent.
This is mostly used by banks for credit card payment reminders, companies to sell new subscriptions and healthcare industries to confirm appointments.
Applications of IVR
IVR finds its applications in all industries. Not only call centers are embracing this advanced intelligent auto attendant system but all other industries like healthcare, banking, e-commerce & offices are also streamline their processes using IVR.
Call Center IVR
IVR makes your call centers smarter by speaking to your customers, understanding them, offering self-service by resolving their queries by pre-recorded messages and directing the caller to the right agent.
IVR technology will also reduce the call center operational cost, improve customer service and agent efficiency, increase first customer resolution, increase professionalism and customer satisfaction.
Advanced IVR System with intelligent phone tree provides options such as voicemail, call back request, schedule a callback and text to speech option.
These are four major ways in which the Interactive Voice Response System helps call centers to improve their overall customer satisfaction and improve agent efficiency.
Efficient Call Routing
The efficient Call routing feature of IVR optimizes the performance of each call by segregating the callers and then navigating the call to the right department.
The well-designed system will reduce the wait time of the caller and provide him with instant gratification and route the call to the right agent without error.
Automated Self Service
This advanced auto attendant technology saves agents time by allowing customers to solve their own problems without speaking with an agent.
Companies pre-record all the FAQs or customer queries in IVR System and the caller has the option to self-service by choosing the relevant option with IVR. This will trim long waiting times, and customers get immediate solutions to their problems.
Intelligent IVR allows companies to flaunt round the clock customer support without having a physical agent presence.
Advanced Speech Recognition
Advanced Speech Recognition (ASR) when added with an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System, the caller can use voice prompts to explain the issue instead of using touchpads and can receive the fast track response.
Embracing the latest technologies in business always helps in improving the process, reduce operational cost and increase customer satisfaction.
Speech recognition can further make customer service more efficient & informative by integrating IVR with CIS (Customer Information System).
Personalized Caller Information
IVR can be combined with Customer Information System or Customer Relationship Management Softwares, and once linked with a database having all customers information. It will pull out the information of existing customers using caller ID, so the IVR knows about the caller and can greet the caller with a personalized experience like his name, and other data.
The intelligent auto attendant system can further wider the personalized experience by pulling out the data like birthday and greet them with a personalized message which adds to the caller experience.
Future of IVR
Speech Recognition technology allows callers to respond to prompt messages in spoken language which eases the navigation through the menu.
However, this voice recognition feature is still in the developing phase but if implemented correctly, it can ease the process of finding the correct information.
The newest addition to IVR technology is combining the AI with IVR to better process the natural language. AI addition to the system will improve speech recognition and can help in routing the calls to the correct destination quickly.
AI addition will also help in recognizing the caller’s intent by pulling the caller’s history and records.
Machine Learning is helping IVR architects to build a conversational IVR that can easily understand the natural language and process the natural language to navigate the caller to the right menu option and provide the solution for the issues that customers are looking for self-service.
Machine Learning and AI combined with IVR allow the customers to choose a path they prefer rather than taking them through a static IVR menu offered by traditional IVR systems.
Implementing IVR can improve customer satisfaction and agent efficiency and can be helpful in strengthening the brand-customer relationship due to its advanced features and personalization options.
Get started with IVR today and set up customized IVR today for your business growth and improving company image. If you have more customization to be made, then contact our sales team.