What Is IVR?

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In a call center environment it is essential to be able to answer customer calls, prioritize needs and deliver solutions that achieve caller and business goals. In order to maximize efficiency and quality in a call center, implementing the right tools and technology puts a business on the path to success. Without these solutions in place, calls go unanswered, agents are unprepared or lack resources to help callers, and the business suffers. IVR, or Interactive Voice Response, is one of the leading call center services organizations can use to ensure quality and efficiency when interacting with their customers. Understanding the benefits of IVR and its uses allows companies to transform and improve the customer experience and build positive relationships with key stakeholders.

History of IVR

Interactive Voice Response allows a business to connect with consumers through the use of automation in their call centers. According to Technopedia, this is done using voice or a dual-tone multifrequency (DTMF) signaling keypad. Essentially, a caller is able to navigate an automated menu to find answers to their questions, without needing to wait on a lengthy hold in order to speak with a customer care representative.

IVR has its roots in the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle, when Bell System unveiled a telephone that was capable of dialing area codes using dual-tone modulation frequency. However, since the technology was very expensive and difficult to integrate, it was not quickly adopted. As the technology became more sophisticated, and more software companies entered the market, IVR systems have become essential for efficiency and quality in a call center.

Typical Uses for IVR

IVR is used by call centers as a way to intelligently route calls to the appropriate departments without the need for human operators. Companies use the systems to prioritize calls in the queue, and IVR can also obtain and capture important customer information, such as their account number, phone number, and reason for the call. In addition to being used in customer support operations, IVR also is also in place for companies looking to complete the following goals:

– Completing and processing mobile purchases and registrations over the phone

– Collecting banking information and account data from callers

– Accepting payments for bills

However, customers interact with an IVR system most often when calling for support. Not only does it assist the consumer, with ensuring calls are routed to the most appropriate personnel, it also helps businesses create a database to track call center performance and see areas for improvement.

Benefits of Using IVR in a Call Center

The biggest benefit that companies get from using IVR in a call center is an increase in productivity. In addition, these systems are able to handle large volumes of calls that need only simple interaction, freeing up the remainder of the staff to address those that require further attention. The result is a reduction in live agent call-handling time and cost. Organizations also save money by allowing employees and customers to interact with databases at the lowest possible price.

To learn more about the benefits of IVR, and see how it can be used to improve the quality and efficiency of your call center, contact a representative for a free initial consultation today, at (800) 295-7000.

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