Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a technology that allows callers to interact with an automated voice service. Using either speech or the dial pad of their phone, callers make selections which take them through a prepared series of options.
IVR systems are typically used to:
- Help callers access information without assistance from a human agent
- Gather information from callers prior to connecting to a human agent
- Facilitate specific services, like making payments, scheduling appointments or placing orders
The benefits of IVR
IVR systems reliably reduce a contact center’s average call handling time and total call volume. This, in turn, reduces operational costs as fewer human agents are needed to handle incoming calls.
There are also several ways that IVR can benefit customer experience.
Callers can often resolve queries far more quickly, as they don’t need to ‘queue’ to speak to an agent. Similarly, IVR systems are available when human agents are not, including periods of high call volume or outside business hours.
IVR also helps to meet a growing expectation of self-service options in customer service. This is especially useful where IVR is integrated with other systems, such as SMS, which can connect customers to online resources.