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What is interactive voice response (IVR)?

What is an interactive voice response (IVR)?

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is an automatic telephony system that communicates with callers, collects information and forwards calls to most appropriate people. An IVR system takes an array of input from voice and touch-tone keypads and offers the appropriate response with the help of fax, voice or callback, as well as other communication methods.

IVR systems could comprise the telephony equipment, software programs along with a database and infrastructure for supporting it. An enterprise can operate an IVRS on its own by buying the necessary software and hardware or opt to utilize the IVR hosting service, which is charged a monthly charge.

How do you use interactive voice response

A IVR application offers prerecorded vocal responses to situations that are appropriate Keypad signal logic, access to relevant information and possibly, the capability to store voice messages to be used later. Utilizing computer telephony integration (CTI), IVR systems can transfer calls to a person who can see information that pertains to the caller’s identity on a screen.

IVR systems also utilize Dual-tone Multi-Frequency (DTMF) signals to provide an avenue of communication between a telephone and computers. Computers use the telephony card or a telephony board to comprehend DTMF signals.

IVR software allows an organization to utilize prerecorded greetings, or menu options that customers can access via the keypad on a phone. Advanced IVR systems could incorporate speech recognition software to allow customers to talk via computers.

IVR systems are built in the programming language Voice Extensible Markup Language (VoiceXML). VoiceXML is comprised of multiple components that include a telephone network, TCP/IP networks, a VoiceXML telephone server along with a web server as well as databases that all work to offer the highest quality customer service.

Interactive voice response: uses for interactive voice

There are many applications to IVR systems. The most popular use is to automatize outbound and inbound calls, and also to route calls.

An IVR solution in this scenario eliminates the requirement of a switchboard agent respond to calls. The system typically presents the user with a list of options , and it can also try to respond to frequently requested questions.

IVR systems usually provide automated menu choices for FAQ answers, as well as information about contact numbers. However, they also can forward messages to real-time agents.

An example is when a client contacts a cinema to inquire about times for the film. The IVR system makes use of an up-to-date database that provides the caller with the most current movie times and help to cut down on the wait time for calls, leading to better satisfaction of customers.

Companies can also utilize IVR system in these ways:

Balances of stock and bank accounts and transfer balances;
Office call routing
forwarding calls from call centers;
simple transaction of order entry basic order entry transactions
selective information lookup.

Systems for IVR can be employed in more intricate methods to streamline processes in other departments.

Sales. IVR systems allow customers to fill out sales orders by using a telephone keypad. The system then forwards the form filled out to an agent for sales.

Marketing. Marketers can utilize IVR systems to distribute surveys to gauge interest for the product or service.

Medical records. Doctors are able to use IVR systems to IVR system to record the notes of patients and records, and keep copies of the transcripts for the records to be delivered into the offices.

Benefits of Interactive Voice Response

IVR technology can benefit small and large businesses through the following methods:

It saves time and money. IVR technology is able to replace human beings in answering frequently asked questions or give frequently requested informationfor example, directions and hours of operation etc. It does not require any critical thinking skills.
Greater customer satisfaction. IVR technology reduces waiting time by answering a caller promptly.
24/7 service. IVR technology operates without interruption and can give information to customers whenever they require it.

The disadvantages of interactive voice response

It is crucial to remember that there are drawbacks in the use of call automation. These systems are accused as being unresponsive and being an obstacle between the live agent and the customer as well as for taking tasks off call centre staff. IVR systems are also restricted to the kind of questions they are able to answer, and they can make customers frustrated and confused when the menus for IVR are long.

But, like every technologies, IVR continues to evolve and improve as time passes to overcome these issues.

Many businesses have upgraded or substituted IVR systems by incorporating automated speech recognition systems that allow callers to talk their demands instead of entering numbers in their phone. The voice recognition systems may cause frustration for callers if the system does not recognize the caller’s request.

Advancements in voice recognition via AI

Despite its drawbacks, IVR software use is predicted to grow in the coming years due advances in artificial intelligence for conversation (AI) and technologies for voice recognition.

NLP is a method of processing natural languages (NLP) is used to enhance IVR systems since it allows for better analysis of spoken language. This, in conjunction with applications that generate natural language allows IVR to provide a natural response to the caller.

Additionally, IVR analytics software enables companies to study problems that arise with their systems for voice communication and then improve their customer service.