IVR or Interactive Voice Response software is a software that allows incoming callers to navigate a phone system before talking to a human operator.
IVR work with DTMF tones. Some IVR software have voice recognition or even artificial intelligence to respond to and route callers. The IVR software is used to help support lines so that call centers can handle more phone calls for every live customer.
The call can be intelligently routed to the specific department when incoming callers navigate a phone menu. It help reducing the frustration of customer as they do not have to through multiple levels of customer support for solving their issues. IVR also combined with text-to-speech for some caller so that the callers can find necessary information without speaking to an agent. An intelligent phone tree can route callers to the voicemail of specific department and promise a callback during work hours where the the staffs are not available 24/7.
A traditional IVR system consists of telephony equipment, software applications, a referential database, and any supporting infrastructure. However, a cloud-based IVR can also be created to intelligently route incoming callers. A custom IVR system does not require any specialized hardware.
Working of IVR:
A caller can interact with a back-end telephony system by pressing keys that emit DTMF tones by using an IVR software. It can also make interaction with the caller by saying words that are processed by a speech recognition system. After getting the voice and/or touch-tone keypad inputs from the caller, the IVR software collect the required information from the caller to route a call based on this input. A pre-recorded audio or dynamic text-to-speech functionality is also available in IVR feature to provide the required information to the caller.
- DTMF tones or the touch tones from a telephone, are the core technology in which IVR is built. In DTMF tones, a sound is created at a certain pitch by keying or touching a number on a phone which is the interactive part of IVR. In response to a prompt, a caller either enters a choice from the phone menu or keys in a number such as to select a language, or to enter a birthdate or account ID.
- Speech recognition with DTMF tones allows callers to simply talk in their native language in response to a prompt. Accurate speech recognition can help repeat callers find the right areas of information in their spoken language which minimize frustration. One of the better customer experience is to use natural language.
- With Artificial Intelligence (AI), IVR can route callers to their intended place or to their needed information, where callers can talk without being constrained by a menu. IVR & AI can more accurately determine caller intent by combining accurate speech recognition with advanced processing and call history or account status. AI can be used to help route callers to the proper destination quickly, skipping some or at time all of the traditional phone menu. This reduces the frustration of a customer that help build a positive customer experience. It also help to reduce the load on each staff which in turn enhance the specialization and performance of operators and sales agents.
Based on the information gathered by IVR, they enable intelligent, segmented call routing that eliminates the need for human attendants to answer calls. It is helpful for richer call context and faster call resolution. General and account-based information is provided to callers, which eliminate the need for call transfers and delays.