Home » Best Business Practices » What is IVR (Interactive Voice Response)?
What is IVR (Interactive Voice Response)?
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Laura Liang
Content Editor and Customer Support at Textr
Published Apr 8, 2022

A happy customer is a returning customer. As a business owner, everyone aspires to high levels of customer satisfaction. This is especially true because customer retention is more important than customer acquisition. 

Incorporating an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) into your customer service strategy is the most effective way to boost customer satisfaction. It is useful for avoiding hold time during high call volume periods. It also helps customers in finding answers to their questions.

In this article, we’ll go over what IVR is, its benefits, applications, and challenges, so you can improve customer satisfaction and ROI.

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What is Interactive Voice Response(IVR)?

To answer incoming calls and play a recorded message, contact centers and businesses use automated IVR systems. These provide the caller with a variety of options and information. Callers can then enter their responses using the phone keypad or by using voice commands. Interactive Voice Response System will then route the call to an agent or a self-service application.

The tone of voice and ease of use of an IVR system can influence a caller’s satisfaction level, since it’s the first point of contact with your company.

An effective IVR system should integrate with the CRM and other systems of a company.

Benefits of Using IVR

Let’s see the advantages after you learned the interactive voice response meaning. IVR has many benefits that it can bring to your company. Some of these include:

Greater Operational Efficiency

The goal of an IVR is to help your customers in receiving the help they require as quickly as possible. Modern IVRs can sort calls to reduce demand and connect customers to the person who can help.

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Enhance Customer Experience

No one enjoys being stuck in a phone queue with terrible hold music or poor-quality audio. Therefore, a modern IVR system allows callers to opt in to hold music, with some even allowing them to select the genre of music. They can also tell customers where they are in line and how long they will have to wait. This allows the caller to decide whether to wait any longer.

Availability 24/7

Because IVR does not rely on humans to function, it will operate automatically and will continue to do so unless otherwise configured.

Customers can call your company anytime, and an automated message will greet them. Hence, they don’t need to wait for a specific time to call your company. Then, depending on how you program the system, it can even process transactions.

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Reduces Manual Errors

Manual handling of incoming calls can lead to your agents being overwhelmed by high call volumes. Then, they may lead to erros in which they route calls to the incorrect department or agent. 

With an automated IVR system, all calls follow the same logical sequence with no margin for error. This reduces the need for humans to make judgment calls that lead to call handling errors.

Applications of Interactive Voice Response

Healthcare

Healthcare and hospitals use IVR systems in many fields. For example, they may use it for prescription refills, patient satisfaction surveys, patient account records, appointment scheduling, food services, and many other applications. For example, it frees up administrative personnel and physicians of routine customer interactions. Also, it helps healthcare institutions to increase their efficiency, productivity, and profitability.

Finance

Any financial services company that receives a high volume of incoming calls can benefit from IVR. It enables them to distribute calls and help callers with simple tasks without the help of an agent. Banking, foreign exchange, insurance, venture capital, and other finance services use IVR in their communication systems.

Customer Services

Many businesses are approaching IVR from a customer-centric standpoint. They see it as an important part of their overall customer-service offering. A modern and effective IVR system can boost customer satisfaction by providing prompt call resolution, personalization, and a consistent experience across channels.

Challenges of IVR 

If you are thinking about integrating an IVR system, prioritize the customer experience over cost-cutting. Here are some IVR challenges to keep an eye out for:

Complex IVR Menu Options

If your IVR is complex, callers will get confused and hang up. As a result, all IVR systems should strive to reduce the number of menu layers a caller must navigate before being transferred to an agent or being able to self-serve.

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Impersonal Communication

The recorded IVR voice should reflect the qualities you want associated with your brand’s voice. Instead of robotic voices and endless lists of options, today’s IVR systems make a warm and friendly first impression on behalf of your company.

Long Hold Time

No one enjoys being put on hold, only to find out the customer service representative has forgotten about them. IVR can assist you in avoiding this by efficiently directing customers to the agent.

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Use Textr to Set Up IVR and Connect with Your Customer Better

Textr is introducing an IVR feature that is tailored to your company’s specific requirements. It will allow you to build a personalized IVR flow, complete with scripts, greetings, call waiting music, and other features. Textr IVR services will also improve the alignment of your overall messaging with your brand voice, allowing you to engage customers and improve their experience.

Textr also allows you to send SMS messages from your website in order to connect and engage with your customers even more. Send an unlimited number of SMS messages, create personalized SMS campaigns, tag your customers, and much more.

Try Textr today and see why it is the perfect platform for you!

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