As an enterprise phone system provider, we get a lot of questions about the top VoIP features, including IVR. Not only does this essential VoIP feature help you manage your employees' workflow, but it also helps increase customer service levels. But as with any new technology brought into a business, an important concern is cost. In this article, we'll answer "how much does IVR cost?"and dive into the advantages of this calling feature so you can start using it to improve your day-to-day operations.
What is IVR?
Before we talk about how much an IVR system costs, let's review the basics. (If you are already familiar with IVR, you can skip this introductory section.)
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a calling feature that automatically interacts with a caller through audio and dialogue prompts. Depending on which prompts are inputted (through voice response or a touch tone dial pad), IVR can complete a variety of tasks. This feature has the ability to transfer calls to a specific person or department, relay information to a caller, handle transactions, or provide a live agent with information about the caller.
Careful planning and configuration are crucial to an effective IVR system. You'll need to set up a branching set of menus, options, prompts and their answers. You'll then need to decide where callers who select specific prompts will be delivered. Because of how intricate this system can be, it's essential to work with a reliable provider that can help you set up your IVR successfully.
How much does IVR cost?
Between servers, networks and databases, a traditional, in-house IVR system can cost thousands of dollars in equipment, software and maintenance. Because of this, many businesses opt for a hosted system.
A hosted service normally charges a monthly fee for access to their IVR calling feature. Besides the obvious cost reduction, a lot of businesses choose a hosted service because your provider handles everything from customizing the system to regular equipment maintenance.
Hosted services are offered by most VoIP providers. Pricing varies based on which provider you choose.
Some providers charge per minute for an IVR system. You can find plans like this for around 11 cents a minute.
Others bundle all their features and sell them together as a cloud PBX. With this option, you’ll receive IVR and a number of other calling features, such as call recording and call forwarding, for the same price.
If you decide to purchase an IVR system separately and add it to your existing PBX features, the price averages at about $25 per month. Some providers automatically include IVR with their cloud PBX service. If you choose this route, you can purchase a phone number bundled with a cloud PBX and all of its features for around $22 per month.
Regardless of the line of business you're in, IVR is a helpful cost-saving and customer service tool. This feature will help increase support satisfaction and allow you and your employees to focus on the big picture. The hosted system option available from most providers allows businesses of all sizes to successfully benefit from this feature.