Interactive voice response or IVR is a technology with advanced capabilities, allowing a computer to interact with humans through voice or keypad tones. In telecommunications, IVR allows customers to interact with a company’s host system through a telephone keypad or by speech recognition, after which services can be inquired about through the IVR dialogue or voice menu. IVR systems can respond with pre-recorded audio to direct users. This technology has significant benefits. When deployed in the network it can handle large call volumes and is often used for outbound calling as it’s smarter than most predictive dialer systems.
The advantages of IVR
Organisations are using this technology more and more as they become increasingly aware of the advantages beyond reducing costs and efficient time management. Here our Zadarma’s top four favourite advantages of IVR:
1. Better Customer Service
With conversational IVR systems customers feel that they are being better attended too. Quick responses can be given and calls are picked up on the first ring. This reduces customer waiting time and improves working operations, maximising call volume opportunities.
2. Easy to use / Setup
IVR as a feature will often be included within the subscription plan of your chosen VoIP providers suite of core features. This helps to simplify any setup process. Zadarma’s Cloud PBX takes only 5 minutes to set up with no hardware costs. There are two simple ways to turn on the Zadarma voice menu:
- In the PBX Wizard (the voice menu launches once the PBX is created)
- In the «Incoming calls and IVR» section of the personal profile
3. Improved Customer Accessibility
Voice menus are always available to customers regardless of where you are located, the time of day or the timezone you are within. These types of IVR systems are always available even if a live customer service team member isn’t. Companies will often use voice menus when on holiday or during out of hours to ensure no customer call is missed.
4. Improved Professional Credibility
Voice menus can be personalised giving that employer brand stamp to any inbound call experience. This can create a strong impression on customers, with SMEs often coming across as larger and more established than they actually are with such systems in place. Large organisations often use IVR to sustain consistency in customer service and call volume. IVR systems most definitely assist in establishing a professional image for any company.
Interactive Voice Response is a great tool to have within your VoIP suite of features. However, like most tools, its use depends on how it is implemented and used and different applications of voice menu systems will render different outcomes.
In conclusion - it is clear IVR is not overrated. There are universal advantages for businesses small to large. IVR provides an easy to use service and improves your customers' experience. Your employees can use IVR to relieve workload so your team's happiness and customer service performance will potentially improve. In addition, customers are happier when their initial questions are answered allowing them to speak to a relevant representative about their specific issue without being redirected and put on hold continuously. The utilisation of this technology is increasingly popular and far from overrated. Significantly more companies begin to see the possibilities inherent in the IVR as a useful feature.