What is interactive voice response?

What is interactive voice response?

IVR, also known as Interactive Voice Response also known as IVR is a computerized telephone system that integrates pre-recorded text messages or text-to speech technology with a dual tone multi-frequency (DTMF) interface that allows you to interact with customers, allowing them to offer and gain access to information without having a live person. In the event that an IVR system is not able to locate the information the user is seeking the menu options programmed will assist in routing users to the appropriate agent to get help. By integrating telephony and computer technology, IVR software can improve the flow of calls and decrease waiting times, resulting in higher general customer satisfaction.

Moviefone was among the most well-known and popular applications of IVR technology in the 1990s. Since the internet was not as readily accessible back then as it is now, moviegoers could call and enter their zip code in order to receive the list of cinemas in their area with their movies and time of showing. Although Moviefone was a service from in the past, it’s core technology is still being used mostly within call centers to offer customer support, and reduce the number of calls for customer service reps.

In the present, IVR software is also changing. The advancement of the technology for natural language processing increases the number of options that callers have to communicate with computers via the phone. Instead of using the touch tone system, more sophisticated IVR software lets callers express their requirements on the phone. Through speech recognition, the IVR software can comprehend and respond to queries in real-time.

IVR systems can enhance the customer experience by offering the customer with a self-service option to get the information they require, without the assistance of customer service. They also decrease the number of calls for contact centers, thus reducing waiting times and costs for companies.

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How do you use interactive voice response

Interactive voice response phone systems typically, it consists of these elements:

A network of TCP/IP to provide intranet and internet connectivity.
Databases that provide IVR applications with pertinent data
A web/application server on which you can host the IVR software applications can reside. The server is able to host multiple applications that are developed in VoiceXML. For instance, there might exist applications that deal with call centers. sales calls, as well as speech-to text transcription.

From this point there, the first of three kinds of IVR systems are typically designed.

Touch-tone replacement system: This feature will prompt callers to use the touch-tone keypad for accessing information. For instance, a recorded message might read, “Press one for store hours,” and the caller will respond by saying “one.”
Directed dialogue: This kind of IVR offers specific prompts verbally to customers based on their query. For instance the recording might inquire, “Are you looking for details about hours of operation or store locations?” The caller may reply by saying “store opening hours.”
Natural language: The sophisticated IVR system makes use of speech recognition in order to comprehend user’s requests. For instance, the system will prompt “what information do you want to look for this moment?” and the caller might respond by saying “I’m searching for store hour information” or similar phrases.

The benefits of interactive voice response

IVR technology provides companies with competitive advantages and enhances their automation processes. There are many benefits to IVR technology, including:

Effective call routing: After receiving pertinent information from a contact, IVR solutions route calls to the correct call-center representative decreasing wait times and increasing the resolution of first contact.
Lower operating costs: IVR systems are incredibly efficient in terms of cost. They can not only decrease the volume of calls to customer service reps however, they also allow access to information even during non-peak times of the day for example, weekends, evenings and on holidays.
Error Reduction: When implemented effectively, IVR systems will help reduce the number of errors that occur during the customer service process since it doesn’t rely on human representatives from customer service to make notes and direct the calls in a timely manner.
Security enhancement: Certain IVR systems use technology for voice recognition to confirm the identity of a person and add an extra level of protection. This is especially useful when dealing with sensitive personal information like phone and social security numbers, savings and checking account information, as well as laboratory results from doctors’ appointment.

The challenges of interactive voice response

While interactive voice response could provide business benefits but it is not without limitations that it has to solve and make better use of.

The overcomplicated IVR menu choices: Although IVR technology has the potential to simplify process of calling within the call center, it may cause frustration to callers if an automated messaging system is too complicated. The long recorded messages could force customers to wait for a long time to choose their preferred option and result in lower satisfaction with the service.
Long wait times: Despite advancements in technology, lengthy wait times are still a major issue for many IVR systems. Callback functions can reduce anxiety as callers are able to continue working on other things during the daytime until they are greeted by a customer support agent is able to take their call.
Unpersonal communication: If customers contact a customer support number, they could already be extremely frustrated with the issue of a service or product. Automated messaging systems can increase frustration because a recording isn’t able to relate to the current issue.

Unprofessionally implemented IVR systems can result in excessive call abandonment rates as well as negative customer perception. As low satisfaction with customer service can damage a brand’s reputation through negative reviews or social media complaints, companies must be cautious in the implementation of IVR solutions.

Interactive voice applications responses

IVR systems have been used across many industries such as healthcare, banking education, retail, and banking. In the next section, we’ll dive deeper into these applications:

Health: IVR technology has a many practical applications within healthcare, including questionnaires for pre-treatment, feedback surveys on satisfaction appointment scheduling, follow-up after discharge as well as lab results and monitoring of patients. The study (link is not available on ibm.com) is also a good example of how IVR technology can boost the overall satisfaction of patients by reminding patients of adhering to their prescription schedule.

Education Research (link is not part the domain of ibm.com) has proven that educational institutions can use IVR to aid parents in getting an update on their child’s attendance and performance at the school. Parents can sign up using the system and enter an account number and password for accessing important information on future calls.

Customer Service Call centers for customer service are a crossroads of different industries. They are built to handle high volumes of calls inbound by using automated menus, as well as pre-recorded messages to address customer inquiries and complaints.

Finance IVR is also utilized for various tasks in finance and banking. They are able to provide information about accounts including balances, account balances or loan applications status and also allow adjustments to investment portfolios.

IVR, also known as Interactive Voice Response also known as IVR is a computerized telephone system that integrates pre-recorded text messages or text-to speech technology with a dual tone multi-frequency (DTMF) interface that allows you to interact with customers, allowing them to offer and gain access to information without having a live person. In the…