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Benefits of interactive voice response

What is an interactive voice response (IVR)?

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is an automatic telephony device that communicates with callers, collects information and forwards calls to most appropriate people. The IVR system can accept the combination of voice input as well as touch-tone keypad input and gives the appropriate responses via fax, voice email, callback, and other methods of contact.

IVR systems could comprise the telephony equipment, software programs as well as a database, and infrastructure for supporting it. A company can manage an IVRS on its own by buying the required software and hardware or opt to utilize IVR hosting services. IVR hosting service, which costs a monthly cost.

How does interactive voice response work?

A IVR application offers prerecorded vocal responses to situations that are appropriate and 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 human who will be able to view information associated with the caller on a monitor.

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

IVR software permits an organisation to record greetings and menu options that customers can access using the phone’s keypad. Advanced IVR systems can contain speech recognition software that will allow customers to talk using 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, a TCP/IP network a VoiceXML phone server along with a web server as well as databases that work in tandem to offer the highest quality customer service.

Interactive voice response: uses for interactive voice

There are a variety of uses to IVR systems. The most popular use is to automate outbound and inbound calls, and also to route calls.

An IVR solution in the second scenario eliminates the requirement to have a switching operator take calls. In this scenario, it usually presents the user with a list of choices and may even try to respond to frequently requested questions.

IVR systems usually have automated menu options as well as FAQ answers and contact numbers, but they also have the ability to forward the calls for live operators.

An example is when a patron contacts a cinema to inquire about times for the film. The IVR system utilizes an up-to-date database that provides the caller with the most current movie times and help to cut down on waiting times for calls and contributing to better satisfaction of customers.

Businesses can also make use of IVR devices in the following manners:

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

Systems for IVR can be utilized in more intricate methods to streamline procedures in other departments.

Sales. IVR systems let customers complete sales order forms 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 an item or service.

Medical records. Doctors are able to use an IVR system to record the notes of patients and records, and keep a copy of transcriptions delivered into the offices.

The benefits of interactive voice response

IVR technology is beneficial to both small and large companies through the following methods:

It saves time and money. IVR technology can be used in place of humans to respond to 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 cuts down on wait time by answering a caller promptly.
24/7 service. IVR technology operates without interruption and can inform callers at any time they require it.

Advantages of interactive voice responses

It is vital to recognize that there are drawbacks in the use of call automation. These systems are criticised as being unresponsive and for creating barriers between live agents and customers as well as for taking tasks off call centre employees. IVR systems are also restricted to the types of questions they answer, and they can cause confusion and frustration to callers when the menus for IVR are long.

As with any technologies, IVR continues to evolve and improve as time passes to tackle these limitations.

A lot of companies have enhanced or substituted IVR systems by incorporating automated speech recognition technology that allow callers to talk their demands instead of entering number into the phones. The voice recognition systems may cause frustration for callers if the system isn’t able to recognize a caller’s needs.

Advancements in voice recognition by using AI

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

NLP is a method of processing natural languages (NLP) is being utilized to enhance IVR systems due to the fact that it is able to better analyze spoken language. This, in conjunction with applications that generate natural language can enable IVR to provide a natural response to customers.

Additionally, IVR analytics software enables companies to study the issues they face in their systems for voice communication and then improve the quality of customer service.