What Is Interactive Voice Response?
Interactive voice response is an automated telephony system that interacts with callers. It gathers information, looks up information, and routes calls to the right recipient. Interactive voice response systems (IVR) let your customers get information or assistance quickly using only their voice or telephone keypad.
The History of IVR
Interactive voice response made its debut in the 1970s to automate tasks in call centers, but was very complex and expensive. By the 1980s, IVR technology started to increase with the arrival of improved speech recognition technology. However, it was not until the late 1990s that IVR became widespread and a vital part of every company’s telephony solution.
Common IVR Features
IVR technology enables calls to be routed to the correct person. Interactive voice response systems can accept and understand touch-tone keypad selection, and most can now also accept voice selection.Common IVR Features
- Call routing
- Touch-tone or speech inputs
- Show customer information and phone number
- Advanced speech recognition
- Text to speech conversion
Interactive Voice Response Applications
IVRs handle simple order transactions and bill payments.
Call centers, offices, and businesses of all sizes use interactive voice response systems. IVR systems let customers easily access selected information. This can include:
- movie schedules,
- office hours, and
- business locations.
Drugstores use IVR systems to accept prescription renewals. The IVR also notifies customers when prescriptions are ready.
Interactive voice response systems also support surveys and polls. Banks use IVR to let customers check account balances or transfer money between accounts.
Interactive Voice Response – Key Benefits
Interactive voice response is simple and inexpensive. It can help companies in any industry reduce telephone answering and telephone support costs.
Some of the key benefits provided by interactive voice response include:
- Better Customer Experience:
Interactive voice response lets customers quickly reach the right person or information. Customers with simple questions avoid multiple transfers.
- Saves Time:
An IVR system handles simple transactions without taking up agent time.
- Lower Costs:
Companies can reduce costs for basic telephone answering.
- Professional Appearance:
Interactive voice response lets companies appear larger than they are. For example, an IVR could offers customers the choice to transfer to sales or support. Both choices could lead to the same person.
AVOXI Smart Queue IVR/Auto Attendant
The AVOXI Smart Queue IVR/Auto Attendant provides all the capabilities for interactive voice response systems described above. AVOXI Smart Queue is used with Automated Call Distribution (ACD) systems. Together, you can:
- identify callers,
- play pre-programmed voice prompts, and
- show appropriate menu selections.
Customers can quickly reach different departments or the information they need.
AVOXI can combine interactive voice response with advanced speech recognition and text to speed conversion. AVOXI can build a customized solution streamlined to provide a good customer experience for each caller.
Interactive Voice Response Resources
- Wikipedia – Interactive Voice Response
- AVOXI Smart Queue IVR Auto Attendant
- Cloud IVR – How to Make It Effective