What is IVR and what are its functions?
When we talk about IVR, it seems that it is something very innovative. However, many companies and customer service centers have been using it for almost three decades. To tell the truth, everyone who has called a bank or the call center of their telephone service has interacted with this automated mechanism.
At the time, having an IVR was a major technological and business breakthrough. At first, many companies did not believe that users could adapt to these self-service telephone systems. Today, not only are they very common, but they have been incorporated into almost every type of enterprise.
What is IVR?
The IVR is a recorded operator system with which people interact when making a call to a call center. For example, when a customer calls the bank and a recorded operator asks for his ID number, this application is doing its job.
The action of the IVR goes far beyond redirecting a call to a specific department. However, this system also interacts when the customer is in the options menu. Its characteristic task is to request information, process it and return an answer to the calling customer.
The more traditional IVRs operate by dialing the numeric keypad. With technological advances, it has been possible to incorporate mechanisms that recognize some voice commands. Active human-machine interaction defines this telephone manager.
The acronym stands for the name of this automated telephone manager. For those who wonder what IVR stands for, it is Interactive Voice Response. In Spanish it would be translated as interactive voice response. Today, this is a service that is part of the virtual IP PBX.
How does the IVR work?
The IVR has the role of welcoming customers who make incoming calls to a company. In addition, it allows the customer to be directed to the telephone options that allow them to reach the appropriate department or solution. To do this, the system is interacting through recorded voices.
In the middle of this, the IVR system can request some useful personal information from the customer. This could be the DNI, or some important information that is useful for the management of their case. From that moment on, the automated assistant is facilitating the attention.
The implementation of the IVR generates benefits for both customers and the company. The important thing is that the user provides the information properly and understands how to navigate through the menu of options. This interactive system is specially designed to communicate in a simple and effective way.
The functions and utilities fulfilled by the interactive voice response are numerous.
IVR helps to reduce the queue of waiting calls
One of the priority tasks of interactive voice response is to reduce call queues. It does this by keeping the customers executing incoming calls distracted. While the user interacts with the machine, it gives operators time to handle calls that came in earlier.
The IVR also reduces the flow of waiting calls by routing them correctly. After all, many times queues are generated by customers getting through to the wrong departments. Nowadays, people often find their way around the menu of options better thanks to the guidance offered by this automated system.
Although it seems that some customer service departments are often overcrowded, they would be much more inoperative if it were not for this system. For example, calling busy banks would be a much more difficult task today.
IVR speeds up talk times
The IVR system reduces the length of operator-customer conversations. It does this when the interactive voice obtains personal data from the user. Most of the time, this information is in the agent’s domain before the words are exchanged with the customer.
This is something that not everyone knows, but while the agent is greeting, he is already checking the system. This is possible because the IVR has given the operator the information he needs to advance the management. This is how conversation time is reduced without the users noticing it.
Some IVRs can even inform the operator about what the customer needs. In this way, the operator starts to generate solutions before the user tells his problem. The operator is always one step ahead of the user.
Generating customer peace of mind
The IVR is much more than a recorded voice that guides the customer through options. Since its welcome, this interactive system is dosing potentially annoying users. The mere fact of being able to listen to the operator gives the customer the feeling that the company is accessible and will soon find a solution to their problem.
That is why the creators of these systems are making more and more effort to use humanized and sensitive voices that are pleasant to the ear. In addition, as mentioned above, the interaction distracts the customer to shorten the conscious waiting time. At all times, the interactive system acts as a dosing factor.
This application is developed from psychological approaches to achieve positive effects on the mood of the clientele. In fact, users are often more annoyed when the IVR has a very short action that leads to long waiting times. This negative effect also occurs when the call center uses traditional call assistants.
Self-management: the user can solve his own problems
The IVR’s breakthrough came when it allowed customers to self-manage their problems. Today, these systems are so complete that they allow people to manage their problems without the help of operators. For example, this is the case with banks that have automated systems for changing a credit card password.
This novel approach simplified many tasks for customers. This meant moving from an automated IVR to automated self-service systems. Another outstanding example of this is the systems implemented by telephone agencies for changing plans.
IVR-based self-management also makes it possible to streamline the call center’s call flow. Companies that incorporate this type of solution reduce their queues of waiting calls. In fact, some customer service departments have lowered their costs as a result. The best part is that IVR can be used in even more cost-effective and creative ways.
IVR improves company image
By implementing telephone self-service systems, the IVR allows for 24-hour customer service. Since customers can solve some of their problems themselves, the service is extended without generating cost or effort. Companies that work in this way are better valued than those with limited opening hours.
Self-management is synonymous with accessibility, practicality, innovation and simplicity of processes. Every customer wants to be able to solve his or her problems no matter what time it is. In fact, the incorporation of an IVR system is giving users tools to overcome numerous inconveniences regardless of the time.
For example, a bank that allows you to process the unlocking of a card at three o’clock in the morning is well appreciated. Customers understand these automated systems as solutions in times of trouble. In other words, their implementation only results in increasing the company’s good image. Indeed, solving problems is the ultimate goal of any private initiative.
Customers also appreciate that companies are innovative and this is synonymous with quality. A high-performance IVR with innovative solutions allows you to stand out from the competition. To be precise, this type of automated system can weigh heavily when users choose which company to opt for. This is even more important for service companies.
Neotel has a high quality IVR system.
All of the above suggests that choosing an IVR is not something to be taken lightly. This system must be functional, fast, understandable, attractive and be flexible when it comes to configuring the options. Neotel’s application has all these qualities and our experts work to ensure a menu of options.
Neotel’s IVR voices are quite humanized and focused on guaranteeing a pleasant experience to the hater. The best part is that it requires no additional installations and costs for those who hire our virtual IP PBX. Companies that require this mechanism can contact us. Undoubtedly, one of the most effective and current telephone management solutions available.
The IVR is the face of presentation of companies and is even part of their identity. Neotel offers this and other useful modules such as the progressive dialer, the robot call, sending bulk SMS, telephone surveys, virtual fax and much more. All these tools are compatible and work together with our cost-effective virtual IP PBX service.