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What Is the Difference between Inbound and Outbound IVR? And Which One Does Your Call Center Require?

  • January 27, 2023

IVR is one of the fundamental solutions made available by VoIP software development companies. Conventionally, businesses used to use a static or dynamic IVR solution to auto attend incoming calls and greet customers or callers. With time, new features and solutions are invented by providers. Still, the importance of an interactive voice response system has not faded away. This is the reason that even if there are the best call center software solutions made available by the top companies, IVR is added as one of the features of this software. In fact, IVR software providers offer innovative IVR solutions like an inbound and outbound IVR solution, smart IVR software, etc.

Depending on your business needs, you can select any of the IVR systems or use the call center IVR solution, which will have an integrated interactive voice response system. As the inbound and outbound IVR solutions are gaining high adaptability, it is worth understanding them and learning which one is better for you. 

What is an inbound IVR solution?

The traditional auto attendant system is an inbound solution. It is commonly used to attend incoming calls and greet clients. With advancements in technologies, added features are invented by the IVR software providers and made a dynamic IVR solution available for use. 

What is outbound IVR software?

Not many people know that this type of IVR is available for call centers. Instead of attending incoming calls, it makes outgoing calls. Here is how it works: 

  • It auto dials numbers and connects with customers in an outgoing call. 
  • It plays a prerecorded voice message to the customer

Depending on the features, it can receive a response from the customer. It is also referred to as a voice broadcasting solution.

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Inbound vs. outbound IVR solution 

Now you understand the fundamentals of both of these IVR solutions, let’s explore the difference between both of them: 

Inbound IVR Software 

Outbound IVR System 

It deals with incoming calls in a call center or business.  It manages outgoing calls and does not interfere with inbound calls. 
It cannot put customers into a call queue or append a call to one of the automatic call distribution solutions to connect the caller to the right agent.  It cannot interfere with call queues and it also does not make interaction with automatic call distribution solutions available in the contact center software. 
It does not make multiple retries if a system fails to attend to an incoming call.  This system can make more than one attempt to connect with the caller if, within the first attempt, it cannot be connected with the customer. The number of retries is dependent on the configurations made in the call center IVR solution. 
There are multiple use cases of an inbound IVR solution such as: 

  • It is used to deliver a better customer experience. 
  • It is used to let customers self serve themselves. 
  • It intends to log call details, so in case the call is dropped or abandoned, the call center can still reach out to the customer. 
There are multiple use cases of an outbound IVR system such as: 

  • It is used to convey a predefined message to a group of customers without involving manual resources. 
  • It can be used to run surveys and feedback campaigns. 
  • It can help in measuring the KPIs like CAST (Customer Satisfaction) rate. 


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Which one does your call center require?

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Usually, the best call center software solutions will offer both inbound and outbound IVR solutions. However, in the general package, you will not get a voice broadcasting solution, which is an added add-on. Thus, it is crucial to explore whether you need an inbound, outbound, or both types of voice response systems in your software.

Here are a few criteria that help you gauge which one you need:

  • Inbound IVRS: If your call center manages customer support, customer care, and similar campaigns, an inbound system is a must. It is useful for attending incoming leads and inquiries generated with digital marketing and similar channels. If you want to let your clients handle common actions and retrieve answers to FAQs on their own, then also it is a necessary system. 
  • Outbound IVR software: For call centers that invest in customer relationship nurturing by collecting their valuable feedback, sending occasional deals and discounts, and keeping customers notified about updates, this system is necessary. 


Both an inbound IVR system and an outbound IVR solution have their own advantages in the call center. In general, contact center software will only have an inbound auto respondent and an outbound one has to be added as an add-on. The top providers integrate smart IVR software, which supports inbound and outbound systems.

We have the best IVR systems along with an intelligent call center solution. We can help you choose the right software for your call center and provide you with the system as well.

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