IVR (Interactive Voice Response) refers to the automated phone system technology, which enables incoming callers to access information through voice response systems of a pre-recorded message without the need of talking to an agent or using menu options.
Well-designed IVR software systems may help to improve contact center operations and increase customer satisfaction. Especially in times of high call volume, effective IVR systems will enable you to avoid hold time by allowing customers to carry out simple tasks themselves and find answers.
Plus, in the case where a customer requests or needs to speak with an agent, IVR technology will help route calls seamlessly and faster to the right caller center agent to address all their inquiries.
How it Works
Previously, IVR technology used to be a real pain to install or set up. The requirements were not just expensive. Making them work together used to be complicated too. For them to work, they also required a database, infrastructure, and IVR software for them to work.
Of course, now this is all in the past. Today, most reliable providers, like Aircall, have IVR automatically integrated into the system. All the components you require to make it work, including servers, databases, and telephone, will all be handled by your provider in the cloud.
This means you will not find it necessary to have a separate software program, specialists, or in-house infrastructure to manage and maintain the IVR.
There are a lot of features that you can use in your IVR system so as to enhance the business’s performance and improve the experience of customers.
The most common use of Interactive Voice Response is to navigate callers to agents who may help with issues using a dial pad or voice recognition. But IVR system does more than that, including:
- Providing a callback
- Marketing requesting feedback
Applications of IVR
IVR solutions have been used across many industries, including healthcare and banking. When it comes to healthcare, IVR technology basically has several practical uses within the industry, including post-discharge follow-up, patient monitoring, appointment and lab scheduling, and patient satisfaction surveys.
On the other hand, you can leverage IVR technology for different tasks within finance and banking. It may enable changes to an investment portfolio and provide account details, such as loan application statuses and account balances.
Advantages of IVR
IVRs provide the core advantage of the automatic filtering process. Rather than reaching into the grab bag each time they pick the phone up, agents have an idea of what kind of problem they are dealing with before responding.
IVR can also enable you to serve customers even there are no agents available. Callers may access basic details when agents are busy dealing with other calls through an IVR menu. Apart from automatic filtering process and self-service option, other benefits of IVR include:
- Enhanced data analytics
- Better efficiency
- Minimized costs of operation
The reality is that not every customer is the same. Some prefer speaking with representatives and will gladly pick up their phones to do so. Even in this case, IVR still has a purpose, which is to route customers’ concerns to the right agent.