Customer Service Glossary
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    What Is Interactive Voice Response (IVR)?

    Interactive voice response, or IVR, is a type of automated contact center technology that enables customers to locate self-service resources using voice response software applications. After placing a call, customers can use speech recognition or the keypad on their mobile devices to ensure rapid routing to a trained support agent.

    Well-designed interactive voice response call flows can improve contact center efficiency while enhancing the customer experience. Interactive voice response systems work well for businesses that experience high call volumes. Rather than making customers wait to address a minor problem or concern over the phone or at their computer, interactive voice response software provides a faster resolution using an automated self-service menu and knowledge database. If a customer needs to speak to a person, the interactive voice response tool will quickly route their call, too.

    IVR phone technology functions by gathering customer information through speech recognition or keypad inputs. Customers then navigate through the recorded menu before the software provides them with an answer or connects them to a salesperson or customer service representative at a contact center.

    Types of Interactive Voice Response Systems

    Your business can choose from one of two types of IVR systems, as follows. 

    1. Basic IVR Systems

    Basic IVR technology uses dual-tone multi-frequency signaling (DTMF) and voice recognition to communicate with customers via telephone call. Voice recognition enables customers to verbally describe their question or concern using a keyword or phrase, while DTMF automatically routes the call without a live operator. 

    2. Advanced IVR Platforms

    Advanced IVR platforms use natural language processing (NLP) and pattern recognition to create a more conversational interaction with users. The AI-powered software prompts customers to answer open-ended queries, such as, “How can we help you today?” before routing the caller to the appropriate source, resulting in a more satisfying customer experience.

    Common Questions About Interactive Voice Response (IVR) in Customer Service Departments

    What are the benefits of an interactive voice response system?

    Interactive voice response systems streamline your business’s customer service operations in several ways. First, IVR technology enables customers to get rapid responses to questions or concerns. Secondly, it lowers operational costs by allowing agents to focus on high-priority support tickets. 

    Finally, interactive voice response systems support companies as they scale by accommodating a higher volume of calls without the need for more agents. 

    What is an interactive voice response call flow?

    IVR call flows describe the paths that customers take to answer their questions, address their concerns, or connect with a customer service agent. 

    Why are IVRs important in a call center environment?

    Interactive voice response systems help optimize call centers by reducing the workload on employees and improving customer satisfaction. Customers can use self-service technology to navigate an IVR menu and knowledge database to resolve their concerns or enjoy rapid connection to a human when necessary.

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