An interactive voice response system, or IVR, is a type of interactive voice technology that allows you to control your phone calls by pressing buttons on the keypad. IVRs are especially popular with businesses because they allow customers to perform tasks before talking to a live person.
This article will discuss how interactive voice response systems work and how businesses can benefit from them.
Table of Contents
What is Interactive Voice Response?
IVR is a technology that allows you to interact with a computer program using your voice. IVR systems are most commonly used for phone calls, though they can also be used for other types of interactions such as online chat or customer service.
How Does an Interactive Voice Response System Work?
When you make a call to an interactive voice response system, your phone will ring just like it would if you were calling someone else. However, instead of ringing through to the person on the other end of the line, your call will be answered by a computer. This computer will then ask you to press one of the buttons on your keypad in order to choose what you want to do.
Basic IVR Systems
In basic IVR systems, the computer will ask you to press one of the buttons on your keypad in order to choose what you want to do. There are usually four or five options that you can choose from, such as “Press 1 for sales”, “Press 2 for customer service”, and so on.
Advanced Voice Recognition IVR Systems
In voice recognition IVR systems, the computer will ask you to speak your choice into the phone. This is usually used for interactive voice menus, where you are given a list of options, and you need to say the number of the option that you want to choose. For example, if you wanted to make a payment, you would say “1” on the phone to select the “Make a payment” option.
Advanced interactive voice response systems are great for consumer-facing businesses with a low transaction value because they allow customers to complete tasks without having to talk with a live person, which can be costly and time-consuming. Many business to consumer (B2C) companies have implemented voice recognition interactive voice response systems in order to speed up their customer service processes!
Why Are Interactive Voice Response Systems So Popular?
There are a few reasons why interactive voice response systems have become so popular in recent years. First, they are a great way to save time and money. By allowing customers to perform tasks before talking to a live person, businesses can reduce the time it takes to handle customer inquiries.
Second, interactive voice response systems are a great way to increase customer satisfaction. Customers appreciate the ability to take control of their own calls and complete tasks without waiting on hold or speaking with a representative. Last, interactive voice response systems are an efficient way to collect data. By asking customers questions and recording their responses, businesses can gain valuable insights into their customers’ wants and needs.
Interactive Voice Response Systems and Automated Phone Menu Systems
If you’re not sure how interactive voice response systems work, you may be wondering how it is different from automated phone menu systems.
Automated phone menus within an interactive voice response system allow customers to interact with a computer program using their keypads. IVR menus are popular because it allows the customer to choose options from a list.
What is the Purpose of IVR?
The primary purpose of IVR systems is to improve customer responsiveness, saving time and money. IVR also allows companies to manage inbound calls during peak periods.
How to Set Up Interactive Voice Response Systems
IVR systems such as Fastcall are fairly straightforward to set up. All you need is an internet connection and high-quality headsets for your users.
The Fastcall IVR system is managed entirely in Salesforce, so there’s no reason why your business cannot take advantage of this amazing technology!
What are Key Features of IVR?
There are a few key features that you should look for when choosing interactive voice response software:
- The ability to create interactive voice menus. This allows customers to select their choice into the phone.
- The software should allow you to inform customers of the estimated hold time and thier positon in the call queue.
- Make sure that the software is customizable so that it can be tailored to your specific needs!
Benefits of Interactive Voice Response System
There are several benefits of using IVR systems in your business:
- IVR systems allow businesses to handle more customer inquiries than they would be able to with a live person.
- Businesses can use IVR systems to upsell and cross-sell products and services.
- IVR systems improve customer satisfaction by allowing customers to get their questions answered quickly and efficiently.
- IVR systems can help businesses automate processes, saving time and money!
Interactive Voice Response Example
Here’s an example of how IVR might work in a business setting.
Let’s say that you’re calling a customer service line for a company and want to make a payment. You would press “0” on your phone to be connected to the IVR system. The system would then ask you which option you want to choose. You might choose “payment options,” “make a payment,” or “update account information.” Once you’ve chosen your option, the IVR system will give you specific instructions on how to complete your task.
For example, if you choose to make a payment, the IVR system might ask for your credit card number and billing address.
Interactive Voice Response Faqs
The following are commonly asked Interactive Voice Response questions:
Who uses an IVR?
Any company that offers IVR systems uses them.
How does interactive voice response work?
Interactive voice response systems use automated telephone menus to guide customers through their questions or tasks by using a series of recorded prompts and options. Customers can choose which option is best for them by pressing numbers on the keypad.
What can interactive voice response be used for?
Interactive voice response systems are most commonly used to improve customer service by allowing customers to answer their questions quickly and efficiently.
What interactive voice response software should I use?
Many IVR systems are available to businesses, but not all of them offer the same features and capabilities. Make sure that you choose IVR software that is right for your business by checking out their key features, such as the ability to create interactive voice menus, collect data from customers, and more.
With a tool like Fastcall, you can seamlessly integrate call center software with modern IVR technology. Fastcall allows you to do outbound & inbound calling as well as sms text messages all from the comfort of Salesforce, and you can get started for just $24 a month.
Does interactive voice response support mobile phones?
Yes! IVR systems can be accessed through a variety of different channels, including landline telephones, cell phones, smartphone apps, interactive websites, or even SMS text messages to your business.
How much does an IVR cost?
Most cloud-based IVR systems are priced per user. There is no set price for an IVR solution because it all depends on the number of agents you would like to include in your call center.
You should also take into account equipment costs such as headsets or IP phones that will need to be purchased if there are not enough already.
What is a smart IVR?
A smart IVR is an IVR that has been enhanced with artificial intelligence. This means that the system can learn and adapt to the customer’s needs over time. These of course are more expensive and more complicated to set up.
Smart IVRs could provide a more personalized experience for each caller, but some studies indicate that callers have decreased customer satisfaction rates. Over time, these artificial-inteligence based IVR systems should get better.
How Can I Implement an Interactive Voice Response System?
Many IVR systems are available as a cloud-based service, which means they can be used from anywhere with internet access. If your company does not have any internal IT infrastructure or experience in IVR design and implementation, it may be best to use a prebuilt, IVR system from a cloud-based service provider.
These IVR systems can be implemented in just minutes, so you don’t have to worry about building the infrastructure yourself or hiring an expensive internal IT team! You’ll also get access to expert IVR engineers who will be able to implement and customize your IVR solution for free.
There you have it: everything you need to know about IVR systems! If your business is looking for a way to improve customer responsiveness, then IVR is the solution for you. Thanks
Not all customers are the same. There are still those who prefer to speak with a representative and would gladly pick up the phone to do so. Even in cases like these, Interactive Voice Response has a purpose—implementing an IVR system can help them input their concerns and route them to the most appropriate agent.
When your clients have a good customer experience, all good things will follow for your business.
With Fastcall, you can seamlessly integrate call center software with modern IVR technology. A tool like Fastcall allows you to do outbound & inbound calling as well as sms text messages and you can get started with Fastcall for just $24 a month.
You can tailor your Fastcall IVR system to your specific needs, use multi-level menus for more in-depth customer choice, and even customize routing behavior and how calls are sent to various groups in your contact center.
If you want to learn more about how Fastcall can serve your business, book a consultation with us by clicking here. We’d love to show you how we can help you optimize your operations.