What is Interactive Voice Response (IVR)?
IVR is an automated phone system that can route calls. It lets customers interact with a computer before they are connected to a person. These two technologies work together in a call center.
There are now so many IVR phone systems that you’ve probably talked to a virtual assistant over the phone more times than you can remember. This is because IVR phone systems have become so common.
By gathering information about the customer’s question, IVRs handle phone calls that come in. Then, the call is automatically sent to the right department. He or she can even change the conversation based on what virtual number he or she used to call you!
Most of the time, when customers call, they are given a prerecorded voice menu right away. After talking or typing on the phone, the customer is connected to an agent who can help.
How Does IVR Work?
When you use even the most basic IVR system, you save both time and money by cutting hold times and reducing the number of people who need to work. That said, more advanced systems give the customer even better service.
A simple IVR system
IVRs have two main parts that help the computer understand and process the caller’s requests. A voice recognition system and a signaling system that sends two tones and three frequencies are both examples, but they’re not the same thing (or DTMF).
There is a type of signaling that happens between the phone and computer when people use the keys on their phones to choose menu options. This touch-tone technology allows intelligent call routing to happen without the help of a person.
Voice-recognition IVR platforms can do what’s called “Directed Dialogue,” which means callers can speak instead of using the keypad to move through the menu. IVR menu: “To get billing, press three or say “billing.””
Advances IVR systems
As IVR technology grows, more advanced systems make the customer’s IVR interactions more natural, faster, and more fun. There have been a lot of changes in Natural Language Processing software, which is a type of conversational AI. This is one of the most customer-friendly developments.
As a result, the computer can understand and process full sentences instead of limiting the caller’s word choice by only recognizing certain commands. An IVR with built-in NLP can answer questions like “what can we do for you today?”
This conversational approach to customer service is a big hit with people who call, because it gives them more freedom. Because callers can get to the point right away, this is also a much faster way to get through the IVR.
Characteristics of IVR technology
IVR technology has a lot of good things about it that make it a good choice for businesses.
- It lets you make it your own. If you run a business, you can make personalized greetings that not only fit your company but also make it more appealing to customers who call in to talk.
- It allows you to collect data. Customers can be directed to the right department right away if they tell them what they need up front.
- It gives you help. A lot of people like to get answers to their questions on their own. With IVR, you can let callers change their own bank card PINs without having to wait for an agent.
- It can handle a lot of people. A receptionist may be able to handle two or three phone calls at the same time for a business. A company that has an IVR system can handle a lot of calls at the same time because it has a built-in wait system.
Benefits of IVR Systems
The most important thing about IVRs is that they can do a lot of the work for you. Agents don’t reach into a bag every time they answer the phone. They know what kind of problem they’re going to deal with before they answer the phone. These calls are based on what the caller chose from the menu.
The caller, on the other hand, gets to talk to an agent who’s ready to answer their questions. This means that you won’t have to wait for agents to manually move you from one department to another before you can talk to someone who can help you.
Putting the customer on hold more than once during the same call costs your business a lot of money, but they don’t have to. In other words, it’s the best of both worlds.
1 Increase Credibility
A business phone service with an auto attendant is the first thing you can do to improve your customer service. Over the next few hours, you will build more trust and credibility in your brand.
This is the next step. You can take your auto attendant to the next level by adding Interactive Voice Response.
IVRs are a great way to improve your brand’s image because they give each caller the same, welcoming, and on-brand greeting before they get through to a person on the other end.
2 Self-Service Customer Service
An IVR lets you serve your customers even when you don’t have any live people to help. Callers can get basic information from your phone number and an IVR menu when you’re not at work or when your agents are busy with other calls.
A perfect voicemail, with the added bonus of giving the customer more information about what they might be calling about, is like having the best of both worlds.
The things not to do
With an IVR, there are so many ways to use it. Instead of a list of best practices, it might be better to start with “bad practices” to avoid.
The better your IVR is, the more it will help your customers. On the other hand, a bad IVR can make the experience bad and make customers angry.
In this case, it’s all about making things easier for the customer, not making them want to throw their phone across the room!
Your IVR setup should be one of the good ones if you don’t do these things.
Recommendations for IVR
IVR systems aren’t always easy to choose when you start walking down the road. As a result, IVRs have been given a bad name for years because of how they were used in the past. In 2020, everything has changed.
IVRs have become one of the best ways for small businesses to cut costs, ease the burden on their staff, and improve customer service.
Recommendations for how to set up an IVR phone line
- Move your phone system to the cloud. Make it easy to get around both inside and outside. If you have an on-premises PBX, think about moving it to the cloud to get a lot more functionality, like an IVR.
- Make sure your experience is in line with the customer journey. Make sure your phone system is set up to serve both current and future customers so that they can get in touch with the right people on your team when they need to.
- Allow callers to get in touch with a real person. When someone gets stuck in a phone menu, it makes them angry. You can make your IVR better for customers by giving them a way to get in touch with a person who can help.
If you’re in charge of a business, you always look for ways to make things better. An IVR improves your brand image in every way possible, and it also gives everyone who interacts with your business a great customer service experience, which makes your business look good.
If you check off these things on your list, an IVR platform would be a big help to your business. It would help you reach your goals.