Interactive voice response (IVR) is a popular business phone system technology that collects information and directs a service call to the appropriate department or individual. Most people have used an IVR menu that starts with an automated greeting and uses voice recognition or keypad input to help direct a call.
Businesses considering implementing an IVR system can find it as a basic or advanced feature through many of the best business phone systems.
How Interactive Voice Response Systems Work
Today’s IVR systems are offered as a primary or advanced feature for companies to consider when choosing a business phone system. Modern IVRs utilize numbers and tones on a phone’s keypad, speech recognition, and natural language processing to identify keywords and terms for navigating the available options.
The ability to bypass the IVR menu to speak with a live agent is often available when a caller’s request is uncommon or difficult to understand. While call flow templates are available from many providers, most IVR menus and call flows are customizable and their quality is determined by the simplicity of the design.
Who Uses Interactive Voice Response Systems?
IVRs are great for companies wanting to manage their inbound call flows without having employees answer the phone. It’s common to come across an auto-attendant and IVR menu when contacting a large national bank or an ISP, but businesses of all sizes and nearly every industry can benefit from IVRs.
IVR systems are a must-have for companies that hold private or sensitive data, such financial institutions and healthcare organizations. These systems help protect customer data by enabling their customers to check their account balances or hear important medical test results without sharing personal information.
The Benefits of Interactive Voice Response Systems
IVR systems positively impact businesses and customers simultaneously and benefit both in a variety of ways.
- Lower labor costs by reducing the time agents spend gathering information and manually routing calls
- Gather pertinent customer data
- Deploy fewer live agents
- Provide a professional impression of your company
- Reduce data-entry errors
- Enable shorter hold times and fewer transfers
- Connect with a live agent who’s prepared to help on the first try
- Provide self-service options
- Extend hours to 24/7 availability
Interactive Voice Response Systems Best Practices
Having a thorough understanding of callers’ historical and future needs, in addition to the contact center team’s capabilities, is necessary to design and implement an efficient IVR system. Businesses should:
- Keep recorded messages brief and limit menu options to those that can be easily understood and remembered.
- Make agents easily accessible.
- Limit repetitive announcements to call transfer information and let callers that have been on hold prepare before connecting with an agent.
- Provide an additional or non-primary language option at the end of the menu to aid callers that don’t speak the primary language.
- Ensure the information collected through the automated system is provided to agents for a mutually beneficial experience.
Trust Proper Connections for Your Clients’ Phone System Needs
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