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Should I Use an IVR Solution?

IVR, or interactive voice response, is a technology included in today’s leading voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) solutions that greets and acts on information it collects from callers. If you’ve been in the position of having to “say or press one to speak English,” then you already know what IVR actually is. It makes use of the information it collects to forward calls, check the identity of the caller and provide information to callers or handle other tasks that don’t need a human agent, like altering their password or making payments.

What is an IVR and how does it work?

IVR is the very first thing customers encounter when calling a contact centre. The Interactive Voice Response will welcome the customer with a prerecorded greeting, and then present them with a variety of choices. For instance, callers are directed to press one or shout “Service” for a direct connection to the department for service and press two or say “Sales” to be directed to talk to someone in the sales department, etc.

IVR solutions have multilevel menus, which means you can get additional information prior to acting. For instance, if a user selects the service department the sub-menu will ask what product they’re calling to inquire about. In this is how the IVR can forward the call to the specific department that is specifically responsible for the product.

IVR is often utilized in conjunction with automated call distribution (ACD) solutions. ACDs make use of information gathered from the IVR along with metadata about calls to assign callers to an orderly queue and prioritize their calls prior to routing the caller the next agent available who is the best equipped to assist the customer as fast as is possible. When used together, they will cut down on wait times and also increase the number of calls that your agents are able to take in a day.

Important IVR Features

Historically, IVR served as a basic ACD. It would give callers choices, and then it would then route the call based on the input. In the present, IVR is being used for a wide range of purposes than just handling calls, from providing access to account details to conducting surveys and taking payments.


Most of the time customers contact call centers to obtain answers to questions that are simple. “Where is my package?” What’s the balance on my account? What time are you in business?” IVR enables businesses to answer these basic questions without the need for human intervention and allows agents in bustling call centers to concentrate on more complex issues that require human interaction.

The capabilities of IVR for self-service don’t just allow you to answer questions. IVR can be utilized to let customers take actions that have traditionally needed assistance from a human. For instance, IVR could be used to alter an account’s PIN, sign up an account , or accept requests from clients.


Making payments over the phone can be frustrating particularly when the information is lost in the translation. According to a study from Zendesk customers do not like repeating themselves. About 40% of customers said repeating themself was among the most annoying aspect of poor customer service. This is the third most requested answer.

IVR payment options eliminate this tedious job of giving the payment details to an agent who enters the information in the system for payment. Instead the IVR connects to the payment gateway and the customer inputs the payment details. This means that there is no necessity for customers to repeat themselves and also reduces the chances that data will be wrongly entered.

Should I use an IVR System?

Businesses and contact centers with high call volumes could benefit from an IVR the most. Actually, they would not function without it, especially in peak times of call. The bottom line is that IVR is a great option for any business looking to decrease waiting times, speed up service , and delegate tasks to the IVR to allow agents to concentrate on issues which require human intervention.

Call volume is having much less be concerned with whether you should use an interactive voice response system or not. According to a study by Zendesk 68 percent of customers are frustrated when they’re moved between departments. It also revealed that over 50% of respondents indicated that they would switch to another company after one negative experience. IVR sends calls to appropriate person first time which means that agents don’t need to switch calls several times, which can reduce the churn rate.

How to Set-Up an IVR

In the past, IVR was a very complex piece of technology to manage. You’d need to invest in additional IT infrastructure that could support the IVR as well as an IT expert who was highly compensated to handle the entire process. It is necessary to scale solutions as the company expands, as the more users need additional equipment, which requires more money and takes longer time to setup.

Today things are easier. Cloud phone systems don’t need any additional infrastructure, which means there is no need to spend money on more infrastructure or personnel to set up and manage it. They are also simpler to grow (up as well as down) because there is no need to install new equipment. All you need to do is purchase additional licenses and then set up the users accounts.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between the IVR and ACD?

IVR can be described as an automatic telephone system that welcomes customers and collects data about them through voice. ACD uses call metadata with the information from IVR and places the call into an inbox, gives it a priority, and then routes following a series of guidelines. While both of these methods are usually employed in conjunction with one the other, they are distinct distinct VoIP features.

Do I require VoIP to make use of IVR?

There is no need for an IVR to make use of a VoIP. IVR can be utilized using traditional landlines or VoIP. Be aware that IVR is generally offered along with VoIP options. Furthermore, VoIP providers–especially those hosted in the cloud–make it much easier to set up and manage IVR than with traditional landlines.

What’s the difference between outbound IVR and the outbound version?

It is also the most frequently used type of IVR. It is utilized to deal with calls that are coming in for example, the case of companies who need to be able to answer calls 24/7 using an auto attendant, place calls on hold or utilizes an automated method of routing calls. Outbound IVR is used for automated dialing, like surveys or notifications, as well as appointment reminder calls.

What are the features available in IVR Systems?

The most important characteristics of IVR systems are voicemail and voice response technology. touch-tone responses, messages that is based on the time of day, and access to accounts through authentication.