What is an IVR and What Can It Do For Your Business

Businesses are always looking for ways to increase productivity while they save money. One area that businesses can increase their productivity in is customer service. Businesses want to deal with their customers quickly and efficiently in order to generate more sales. VoIP hosted PBX systems help businesses increase productivity in customer service through an IVR. An IVR is a tool that helps customers get to the right people within a business, and helps businesses to generate repeat sales from their customers.

What is IVR?

IVR stand for Interactive Voice Response, a technology that allows a computer to interact with humans through the use of voice and/or the keypad on their telephone.

In telecommunications, an IVR allows customers to interact with a company’s database via a telephone keypad or by speech recognition, after which they can service their own inquiries by following the IVR dialogue. IVR systems can respond with prerecorded or dynamically generated audio to further direct users on how to proceed. IVR applications can be used to control almost any function where the interface can be broken down into a series of simple interactions.

Call centers use Intelligence Voice Response (IVR) and Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) Queue’s together to get customers to the staff that they need to speak to when they call a particular business.

  1. First – the IVR records the information from the customer (either the caller presses a button or responds with a voice command)
  2. Then – the ACD Queue intelligently distributes all incoming calls to the specific agent terminals depending on the caller’s response. For example, if a caller presses 1 for sales, the ACD Queue will first send the caller to the call queue, then use a predetermined algorithim setup in the phone system to direct calls to agents to take them based on factors like: who was on the phone last, who has been on the phone the most, and who handles sales calls for a specific part specified by the caller via the IVR.

How IVR Helps Businesses

  • An IVR reduces downtime with sales people and other staff. The system forwards customers to them quickly for efficient customer service support, and saves your staff the time it takes to transfer the calls themselves.
  • An IVR can also generate more sales for your business, since they route the caller to the right sales agent quickly and easily in order to close the sale.
  • Finally, an IVR can reduce the wait time for your caller who will rave to their friends about your fast and efficient customer support.
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