Long wait times, overwhelmed customer service representatives, and frustrated customers who can't find the information they need…these are the types of issues no international organization can afford to have.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems are tools organizations are utilizing to combat these problems by giving call center managers the power to manage call flows, distribute calls to the right agents, and analyze call data to improve business operations while reducing labor costs.
As you begin researching the right IVR, one of your top questions might be how much does an IVR cost? And the answer is– it depends! You have several areas to consider, including the category, features and plan that best fits your business needs.
Read below to learn everything you should know about IVR pricing and compare plan estimations for top competitors in the industry.
What’s the General Function of an IVR?
IVR is the automated phone system feature that interacts with callers, gathers data and provides menu options for customers to choose. Once a caller chooses an option via a telephone keypad or voice response, IVR can perform the accompanying action.
There are two functional categories of IVR available:
- Simple (Basic): Simple IVR is associated more closely with voice solutions. It routes callers and connects them with the desired information through dual tone multi-frequency (DTMF) tones (think of the tones you hear when you press different numbers on your keypad).
Callers can move through a pre-recorded options menu to help get answers to their questions, without ever speaking to a live call center agent. However, if necessary, their call can be routed to a department or live agent for urgent matters.
- Intelligent (Advanced): Intelligent IVR is associated more closely with mid-market and enterprise voice solutions, as well as contact centers. It’s a more advanced cloud-based IVR system that intelligently routes inbound calls to streamline communications, reduce redundancy, and improve customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores.
Intelligent IVR maximizes the amount of data collected and has greater analytical capabilities than basic IVR.
Before you can determine which of these options is best for your business, you have to take inventory of your business needs first. A few questions to ask include:
- Do I want the IVR to help with inbound and/or outbound calls?
- Do I need to know why my customers are calling?
- Do I want the IVR to have voice recognition?
- Do I want the IVR to integrate with my CRM or other technologies?
- Are self-service features a requirement for my customers?
- Is providing my customers a call-back option a priority?
- Does my IVR need to support omnichannel support (chatbots, SMS, online payment portals, etc.)?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, having a more advanced IVR will likely fit your business needs best.
How does IVR work?
Using VoIP technology, IVRs allow you to connect your phone system to the internet to create a call routing system. Your IVR software allows you to program automated menus that will direct customers to the right departments and agents upon their call.
When selecting the best IVR for your organization, it’s important to understand the four subcategories of IVRs available. These include:
- Inbound: Inbound IVRs route incoming calls to the department a caller selects using either DTMF tones or voice recognition.
- Outbound: Outbound IVRs notify customers of campaigns, payments, appointments, and other similar activities through multiple channels like email, SMS, and voice.
- Conversational: Conversational IVRs interpret simple voice commands from callers via Natural Language Processing (NLP) AI.
- Dynamic: Dynamic IVRs use a caller’s unique identifier– such as a PIN or phone number– to modify menu options. This is done in conjunction with a CRM to house the data required to make modifications.
IVRs work by converting speech into text and then interpreting the meaning of the text to determine the customer's intent. The process typically involves the following steps:
- Speech Recognition: The IVR system converts the customer's speech into text using a speech recognition algorithm. This step involves analyzing the customer's speech and comparing it to a pre-defined set of words and phrases.
- Natural Language Processing (NLP): Once the speech has been converted to text, the IVR system uses NLP algorithms to understand the meaning of the text and determine the customer's intent. This step involves analyzing the grammar, syntax, and context of the text to understand what the customer is trying to say.
- Database Integration: The IVR system then searches a database for the information that the customer has requested. This step involves matching the customer's request to the appropriate data in the database.
- Response Generation: The IVR system then generates a response to the customer's request. This step involves converting the information from the database into speech and playing it back to the customer.
- Analytics: IVR systems can also collect data and analytics on customer interactions, this allows the company to monitor customer service and identify areas for improvement.
IVR Phone System Features
When it comes to IVRs, you generally have included calling features and the option to add-on specific or special features. See below:
|General Features||Add-On Features|
|Virtual Attendant||Call Recording Storage|
|Call Routing||Extra Numbers|
|Personalized Greeting||Call Audio Quality|
|Call Forwarding||SIP Trunking|
|Hold Music||Queue Callback|
|Analytics||Dedicated Account Manager|
Like many other software services, the types of features you choose will determine your associated costs. Let’s review service provider costs by company size.
The larger your company, the greater the IVR service provider costs you’re likely to face. Here’s a breakdown of IVR costs by mid-market and enterprise company size.
A mid-market business typically employs anywhere from 21 to 50 agents in their call center. But of course, it depends on a company’s industry, offerings and more. See the chart below to get a glimpse of the typical IVR service provider costs for mid-market organizations.
|AVOXI†||Standard||Voice||Intelligent||Approximately $300 to $4,300.|
|JustCall||Premium at $48 per user||Voice + Contact Center||Intelligent||Approximately $800 to $9,600.|
|CallHippo||Professional at $38 per user||Voice||Simple||Approximately $500 to $22,800.|
|Aircall||Professional at $50 per user||Voice + Contact Center||Intelligent||Approximately $12,600 to $30,000.|
|Nextiva||Professional at $22.95 per user||Voice||Intelligent||Approximately $5,800 to $13,800.|
†Price estimates include admin fee and lowest ITFS price to highest; plan costs may change based on number type, country origination and termination.
Enterprise companies average anywhere from 51 to 99 agents in their call centers. See the chart below to get a glimpse of the typical IVR service provider costs for an enterprise.
|AVOXI†||Advanced||Voice||Intelligent||Approximately $500 to $7,100.|
|JustCall||Custom||Voice + Contact Center||Intelligent||Requires a custom quote.|
|CallHippo||Ultimate at $42 per user||Voice||Simple||Approximately $500 to $25,200.|
|Aircall||Custom||Voice + Contact Center||Intelligent||Requires a custom quote.|
|Nextiva||Enterprise at $32.95 per user||Voice||Intelligent||Approximately $20,100 to $40,000.|
†Price estimates include admin fee and lowest toll-free price to highest; plan costs may change based on number type, country origination and termination.
IVR Service Providers
Ensure you understand all the ins and outs of what you’ll be receiving from your IVR provider. Before sealing the deal, take time to review each one of your provider options.
We’ve provided a brief description of five IVR providers to get you started. The providers described below include AVOXI, JustCall, CallHippo, Aircall and Nextiva.
The AVOXI Platform is a leading Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) tool that helps international brands seamlessly transform their customer experience, team productivity and global connection without complexity.
Providing coverage in 150+ countries worldwide, we help make the unreachable, reachable. How do we do this? We use robust voice and customer experience features to master call flow routing as well as the conversation.
Our Noteworthy AVOXI Platform Features:
- Click to Call
- TrueLocal 2-Way Calling Numbers
- Document & Order Status Management
- Browser-Based Application
- Free Number Porting
- Number Analytics
- SIP Trunk ($19.99 per trunk)
- Call Recording ($6.99 per month)
- Call Insights ($10 per month for Basic)
- Contact Center License ($)
- Administrative ($4.99)
JustCall gives customer-facing teams the tools to create a better customer experience through communications. The platform offers custom-built integrations, automation and analytics to create a positive, productive experience for call agents, sales reps and managers alike.
JustCall allows agents to connect with customers in 70+ countries using an internet connection and the app installed on their phones.
- Bulk SMS Campaigns
- 80+ Integrations
- Post-Call Surveys
- Sales Dialer
- Call Sentiment Analysis
- JustCall for Mobile and Desktop
- Call Monitor, Whisper and Barge
- Call and Voicemail Transcriptions
- Group Texting
- AI-Powered Agent Coaching
- Not Stated
CallHippo helps businesses automate workflows, improve agent productivity, monitor performance, and lower customer communication costs with on-demand VoIP services.
Covering 50+ countries, CallHippo offers a setup process in 3 minutes or less with one main goal: Setting up a support center with ease.
- Free Call Recording
- Country Blocking
- Mobile App
- Lifetime Call History
- Contact Center Plans
- Not Stated
Aircall aims to empower call agents to have meaningful conversations with a positive customer experience so professionals can focus on what really matters— closing deals. They do this through a voice platform that integrates with their helpdesk and productivity tools.
Covering 100+ countries, Aircall makes phone support collaborative, transparent, and easier to manage.
- Unlimited Outbound Calling
- Queue Callback
- Call Recording
- Click to Dial
- Power Dialer
- 100+ Integrations
- Additional number per month ($6)
- Not Stated
Nextiva simplifies your business by managing all conversations, customers, and teams in one place. Nextiva reduces the number of apps required for productivity tools while providing a quality customer experience.
Nextiva allows organizations to establish multiple local numbers throughout the US to appear larger while gaining reach.
- Multi-Level Auto Attendants
- Busy Lamp Field
- Call Recording
- Meet-Me Conferencing
- Nextiva Anywhere
- Shared Line Appearance
- Remote Office
- Not Stated
Choose the Right IVR Service Provider for Your Global Business
Now that you’re equipped with data on the top IVR providers in the industry, you can feel confident that the IVR software you select will be right for your business needs.
Are you ready to save agents’ time, personalize the call experience and implement affordable international IVR coverage? AVOXI can help.
The AVOXI Platform allows you to manage your virtual IVR numbers in 150+ countries– all from one intuitive online interface. See how our cloud-based IVR software works today.
Start managing your calls within minutes when you buy your business phone numbers online. After your purchase, an AVOXI representative will contact you to confirm your account details and test your new phone number.