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Interactive voice response (IVR) software allows your customers to clarify their needs through your phone system without the help of a live agent so they may receive personalized service for their specific issue. Working in tandem with skills based routing feature and automatic call distribution (ACD) systems, your organization’s call center can dispatch calls to the right agent with the right skill set every time to expedite first contact resolution and reduce cost per call.
Save cost on inbound call agents by routing simple, routine queries through an automated IVR platform. The skills-based routing feature then allows agents to handle more complex and high-value transactions. Spend less on process training and improve agent confidence by delivering resolutions within their expertise.
The term interactive voice response or IVR systems refers to the technology that lets callers navigate a pre-set multi-level voice-based phone menu of options so they could gather information and either resolve specific problems or meet certain conditions before they leave the call; be directed to appropriate recipients; or be sent to voicemail.
Modern IVR systems are usually based on VoiceXML (Voice Extensible Markup Language), which consists of different components working together to provide responsive voice-based phone menus that can be navigated by callers.
IVR solutions normally work with DTMF (dual-tone multi-frequency) tones or touch tones from telephone keypads, but there are also recent developments in voice response systems.
RingCentral omnichannel contact center software, in particular, has automated speech recognition (ASR), which allows callers to respond to IVR prompts by speaking. The voice recognition feature then interprets this and presents the next appropriate options to the callers. This optional feature works as a replacement for or in addition to pressing keys on the telephone keypad.
Most inbound contact center solutions have easy-to-navigate dashboards that allow you to customize your company’s phone system menu with appropriate prompts and what action will be taken for each option.
The key to an effective IVR solution, however, is a logical and customized call flow. Inbound callers should be presented with IVR prompts that progressively bring them to the resolution they need.
An effective IVR system helps both the callers and call center agents. It should be able to resolve most of the simplest queries and concerns by providing self-service solutions to callers without having to wait for an available human operator.
For call center agents effective IVR systems help them become more efficient at their jobs. Instead of taking on all calls, call center agents can prioritize calls covering the most serious customer concerns because the simple queries are resolved and filtered out by the IVR platform.
IVR is a very flexible technology that is usually used to automate inbound and outbound calls.
One of the most common uses of intelligent IVR is through incorporation into a business phone system’s auto-attendant. The auto-attendant automatically answers all incoming calls with a pre-recorded greeting. The IVR menu system then kicks in to provide customers different options. Based on the answers, it routes callers to the right department or extension.
Aside from routing calls, however, there are many more IVR applications to explore. Some of the simplest transactions or processes can be facilitated through IVR like:
Modern IVR systems have also evolved and are able to perform much more complex transactions that are traditionally reserved for live call center agents. For example:
The technology is still evolving and it wouldn’t be a surprise if, in the future, the main limitation to the use of intelligent IVR technology is the imagination and creativity of the organization that uses it.
If you are running a traditional on-premise business phone system, then adding an IVR software can cost you an additional $250 to $2000, depending on the provider and its capabilities.
Enterprise cloud call center software providers like RingCentral, however, have hosted IVR included in their plans and pricing. These cloud IVR features work perfectly with the skill-based routing and auto attendant functions of your cloud-based call center solutions.
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