What is Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Actually?

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IVR is something that offers a huge amount of benefits and yet, somehow, but many managers, entrepreneurs, and CEOs seem to overlook it. That is why, in this article, in order to help you understand what is interactive voice response, we have created a list that is going to explain to you everything that you need to know.

First Things First
Now, before we even get to the details and benefits of IVR, just in case you are not familiar with the term – let’s unpack it. Interactive Voice Response, so, IVR, is basically an automated telephony system technology. It is able to interact with the callers, gathers the required information, as well as to route the calls to the right employee. When it comes to automated response, conversations can either be pre-recorded or they can be generated audio that is able to assist the caller, direct, or route calls automatically without a live operator.

A great benefit of some more modern, sophisticated IVR systems is that you can gather the input and responses through spoken words with voice recognition.

How Does It Work?
It’s pretty simple actually, an IVR application is able to provide pre-recorded voice responses for appropriate situations. These situations are assessed by the IVR by what does the caller input into the phone, and by the access to relevant data. IVR systems can also hand off a call to a human being who can view data related to the caller on a display, and in that way, be more helpful when it is necessary. So, in a nutshell, when a potential customer makes a call to the company, the IVR software is going to respond by giving a pre-recorded greeting which is followed by an explanation of possible actions that a customer can choose from a preset menu.

What Are The Requirements?
Considering the fact that the IVR system does have some technical requirements, let’s talk about them for a moment. A regular IVR system consists of the telephony equipment, software applications, a database, as well as from the support infrastructure. That being said, the first requirement, to begin with, is that the computer is connected to the company’s telephone line. After that is done, the IVR software needs to be installed onto the computer, which is followed by an installation of a special piece of hardware which is called a telephony board.

Let’s Talk About The Advantages
Now that you understand all the technical details, as well as the basic idea behind the interactive voice response system – let’s talk about the benefits in which this technology can positively affect your business.

It Improves Your Customer Service
Now, this is probably the most obvious advantage of having an IVR system, for the reason of, quite simply put – greater efficiency that can’t be impacted by the factor of human mistake. Basically, the IVR system doesn’t need to run to the telephone and answer it, leaving the possibility that the customer hangs up, it’s never tired or grumpy, it never forgets to tell all the necessary information. So, overall – the IVR system is there to boost the efficiency of all the tasks regarding the initial stages of customer service.
Surely, there are some things that need a human touch, and in those cases – IVR is going to direct the customer to the employee.

It Helps With Productivity Quite a Lot

This is a direct cause of the benefit that we have talked about beforehand. Basically, considering the fact that all the mundane tasks regarding customer service are going to be done by the IVR system, naturally, your employees are going to be able to focus on other tasks and hence be a lot more productive. Eliminating all the unnecessary tasks from the everyday routine gives you a possibility to be able to focus on different things, for which you wouldn’t otherwise find time to do so.

You Will Profit More
A large portion of business deals and transactions take place over the phone, so, if the necessary information is provided accurately and in the right manner – this obviously means profit.

On the other hand, having an IVR system saves a lot of time, and this factor directly means that you, as a business owner, don’t need to pay people to do this job for a whole work-day. That being said – the IVR system will work 24 hours even under high volume calls, so, more profits.

In the end, it’s entirely up to you whether you are going to choose to incorporate interactive voice response to your business, but the key here is research. There are a lot of different business tools nowadays, and before you opt for anything, be sure to understand everything that there is to know about such a tool.

That being said, after reading this article, you are fully equipped with the necessary knowledge on interactive voice response, so, if you choose to opt for it – you are making a well-informed decision.

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Arnov Rahman

Arnov Rahman

Arnov is a Marketing Manager at SqueezeCMM, a B2B content marketing and analytics start up. He is fascinated by the intersection of technology, marketing, and people in the development of awesome products. He's into life-hacking, psychology, and data-science.
Arnov Rahman

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