What Is IVR (Interactive Voice Response) and How Does it Work?

If your business relies on interacting with clients through phone calls or another form of telephony, chances are you’ve tried to optimize your employees’ time every once in a while.

One way to save your employees time is to integrate an IVR system that saves both the time of your call center staff and gives a return on that investment almost immediately.

What Is IVR?

So what is an IVR exactly?

IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response which allows clients to go through automated responses to reach the appropriate agent to resolve their queries.

Based on the answers provided, the IVR either gives the required information to the caller or redirects them to a human agent.

How Does IVR Work?

To be entirely fair with respect to the tech of IVR systems, they are more than just a set of pre-recorded prompts.

The most basic IVR works through a phone touch-tone, while the more advanced systems can use the caller’s voice as a response.

In essence, IVR allows businesses to cut costs of maintaining a full-fledged call center and optimize the workflow of their agents.

Applications of IVR

Many businesses use IVR systems to act as high-tech receptionists, allowing the system to greet callers before transferring them to the appropriate representative.

In addition, customers can easily access the assistance they need since IVR systems are typically simple to use.

Just a decade ago, you would need to hire additional operators to do all of that.

Now, it only requires a software suite and some fine tweaking to get a customer to the appropriate agent and enhance their experience with a particular brand or business.

How IVR Can Benefit Your Business

Properly integrating an IVR system goes well beyond setting a message playback such as “Press 4 for Sales”.

Today, a good IVR system can route, identify, and segment all callers to a suitable team member, which allows for doing more in a shorter time frame.

The best thing about IVR is that it allows clients to make simple inquiries without human interaction, which could be pretty handy since not all departments work 24/7.

On top of that, IVR enables businesses to collect valuable data like feedback on products and features and allows customers to rate agents’ performance right after the call.

Fuel Business Growth

Businesses that use IVR sound more professional when clients contact them via phone, but that’s just a fraction of what this system can do. Here is how IVR can help your business grow:

  • Enhances customer experience
  • Allows scaling your business with ease
  • You can integrate IVR with your CRM system
  • An adequately set IVR allows personalizing a customer’s call journey
  • IVR enables customers to resolve simple queries without an agent’s involvement
  • Prioritizes calls and navigates them enabling the processing of most calls automatically

As you can see, IVR helps you do more than just cut costs and save time.

For example, some more advanced interactive suites can recognize the caller’s voice and deliver them the information they are looking for even without an inquiry or input.

Modern IVRs are easy to set up, integrate, and use.

Additionally, companies that offer IVR services usually work hand-in-hand with their clients to ensure that your customers won’t experience any hiccups with the system.

Final Thoughts

Today, IVR systems don’t require dedicated hardware or specialists to maintain them, which makes them accessible not only to large enterprises but also to smaller businesses and startups.

Moreover, the costs of maintaining such a system are minuscule when compared to hiring additional employees since IVR works around the clock.

Ultimately, if you want to fine-tune and automate call management, opting for an IVR is the optimal solution.