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Why Is an IVR System Necessary to Use in a Call Center?

  • January 18, 2024

Call center technology is advancing rapidly. Certainly, you can expect new features to be added to your call center software every now and then. Undoubtedly, these inventions and innovations are going to make the call center industry blossom. However, does it mean to forget the value of traditional features incorporated into this software? Definitively, we are talking about an interactive voice response system. 

An IVR calling system has been an integral part of any solution used by a call center for decades. Certainly, we can say that this system has been in use since the call center solutions were invented and used. In fact, IVR solutions are so popular that they are also available as important solutions. As a result, companies other than call centers can also use this solution for their own business even if they don’t use a complete software solution.

On the other hand, in the call center industry, there are several powerful features that are setting new trends. For example, chatbots and voice assistants are now household names in the call center industry. These solutions are more appealing, feature rich, and personalized. As a result, several call centers are replacing their IVR system with these AI driven solutions. However, is it the right approach? Is it right to remove IVR completely from your call center?

Let’s discover answers to the above mentioned and several other questions. Moreover, let’s understand the role and importance of an IVR software solution and the advancements happening for the augmentation of this feature in this blog post.

Boost Call Center Efficiency with Our Customizable IVR Systems

1.  What is an IVRS?

An Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) is an automatic voice response system that is programmed to manage all incoming calls like an auto attendant. The beauty of this system is that it can manage calls 24 by 7.

In other words, it is a telephony menu system designed to streamline incoming calls. It takes user inputs via a voice command or keys pressed using a dial pad. This system is useful for several jobs. For example, the most common jobs performed by a majority of IVR solutions for small business are identification, segmentation, and routing.

Traditionally, using IVR menus, callers effortlessly navigate a menu to connect with the most suitable agent within the call center. Right now, a smart IVR solution is also available. It ensures prompt and personalized assistance tailored to the specific needs of the caller. Moreover, it facilitates interaction with menu options through either manual dialing or advanced speech recognition technology. As a result, callers are directed to relevant departments or self-serve themselves to access information relevant to their concerns.

Ideally, an IVR system presents a pre-recorded menu with voice prompts to the caller. Moreover, it guides callers to obtain answers and complete various simple tasks. For example, IVRS can manage jobs like payment processing, name change requests, and more.

2. How Does an IVR work?

IVR System

The functionality of an IVR calling system is straightforward.

  • Whenever a call center receives an incoming call, it automatically attends the call. Moreover, it greets the customer with a warm welcome message.
  • It involves presenting callers with pre-recorded voice prompts. Ideally, the goal of using this functionality is to empower callers to autonomously find answers to their queries. Moreover, they can also complete some simple jobs.
  • Ideally, users can choose the option depending on the IVR menu using their dial pad or with voice commands. On each answer, the IVR will play the next IVR menu.
  • Finally, if the customer fails to self-serve himself or herself due to any reason, then the IVRS will give an option to connect with a live agent. As a result, the agent can provide the required assistance to the customer to resolve the concern.

IVR solutions for small business can use the fundamental functionalities of this system. In addition to this primary functionality, this system can perform several jobs while integrated into the call center software. For example, ACD and IVR work together to build the most reliable functionality for auto attendant and automated call distribution. Moreover, call centers also have an option to use an outbound IVRS. The outbound IVR can automatically send calls to the targeted group of users and play a predefined message. In short, there are several functionalities of an IVR in call centers.

3.  Why is It Important to Use an IVR in a Call Center?

IVR System

The role of an interactive voice response system is noteworthy in the call center industry. Let’s discuss some of the important areas covered by IVR to augment the benefits of call centers.

3.1 Pacify Angry Customers

Generally, customers connect with the call center because something is not working as per their expectations. If they are connected to any random agent that asks what has gone wrong, then it might trigger the person and increase their frustration level. Unlike that, when a customer is connected to an auto attendant system, they get a window to take a breath. Firstly, they are connected to a system that greets them with a warm welcome. Interestingly, Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology is also integrated into IVRS. Therefore, customers feel more relaxed with this first interaction.

3.2 Manage Peak Hours and Spike in Call Volumes

In call centers, high call volume and peak season are common. Certainly, it is challenging to manage this increase in call volume while having the same number of agents on the team. Undoubtedly, this increases call queues and waiting hours. As a result, it increases customer frustration level. Furthermore, it can result in several repercussions. 

Unlike that, using an IVR system can address this issue effectively. These solutions attend to all incoming calls and greet them. Furthermore, they can engage customers while awaiting agent availability. For example, the IVR system excels in managing elevated call volumes by providing self-serving options. Moreover, they can help in managing call queues by seamlessly routing customers to the right agents.

Therefore, during peak hours, an IVR can serve as an asset.

3.3 Increase FCR (First Contact Resolution) Rate

FCR means when the customer receives a resolution to his or her query within the first interaction with the call centers. Unquestionably, this is the most ideal scenario and incident for both the customer and the call center. Definitely, it helps in improving customer satisfaction. Moreover, it reduces resources involved in managing the same client for the same query multiple times. Additionally, it builds a positive brand image. Therefore, receiving a high FCR rate is one of the major goals for call centers.

Using an IVR can considerably enhance first contact resolution. Fundamentally, an IVR attempts to resolve customer concerns with an interactive menu. However, if it does not help to resolve customer concern, then it puts customers into skill-based routing. As a result, the customer is proficiently connected to the most skilled agent. Certainly, this increases the likelihood of resolving customer concerns with the necessary expertise that an agent has.

3.4 Reduce Agent Workload

The modern IVR solutions offer several powerful features along with auto attendance of incoming calls and routing calls to customers. For example, it can provide self-serving features. Moreover, they can run an outbound voice calling campaign without the intervention of agents. In short, an IVRS offers a feature-rich solution to call centers that can manage calls efficiently.

Certainly, these features of an interactive voice response empower customers to independently perform usual everyday jobs and obtain answers to frequently asked questions without requiring direct agent intervention. As a result, customers can swiftly address their concerns or execute common actions without any need to wait for agent availability.

Certainly, this proactive approach augments customer experience with prompt services. Moreover, it effectively mitigates call volume. As a result, the workload of agents is significantly reduced. Consequently, agents can focus on more complex interactions. Furthermore, agent morale is boosted with this approach. In conclusion, the use of an IVR for managing customer concerns can reduce stress on agents and enhance their morale. Moreover, it adds to their job satisfaction level. As a result, your agents are more productive. Additionally, they will feel content working on a challenging job rather than managing an overwhelming call volume.

3.5 Personalize Customer Interactions

As discussed earlier, this is the era of innovations and enhancements. Undoubtedly, technology has augmented the functionality of all features available in the software that call centers use to manage customer calls. Definitely, IVR is not an exception here. A smart IVR solution is an invention available to modern providers. This system provides more features than simple self-serving or outbound IVR.

For example, the smart IVR will have an integrated CRM system. This helps in personalizing answers and adds dynamic value to customers. For example, it will greet clients with their names. Moreover, it can also use the past interactions of customers to give dynamic IVR menus instead of using the same static IVR menus.

Moreover, AI is also adding predictive analytics and similar features to this software. As a result, it is possible to personalize all customer interactions to make them feel valued. Certainly, it surely improves the experience of users who find it uninteresting or less worthy.

3.6 Lower Operational Expenses

A call center can reduce operational expenses using an interactive voice response system. Clearly, IVR replaces the need for a call attendant or a receptionist to attend the call and then put it into the right queue. Certainly, this system is more proficient in managing calls. Moreover, it does not degrade the warmth of voice as the number of calls increases. Additionally, it can manage overwhelming call volume in parallel. In short, it can perform 50 times better than a human receptionist put to make the first interaction with the callers. Furthermore, it saves expenses that need to be spent on keeping multiple human agents to manage calls that a machine can.

Read also:- What Is the Difference between Inbound and Outbound IVR?

Additionally, this system will keep agents free so that they can manage other calls. This will reduce the need to hire more agents. Furthermore, it will increase efficiency. As a result, you will reduce operational expenses.

4.  Best Practices to Implement IVR Software

IVR Software

You must have realized by now that an interactive voice response feature has several advantages in the call center industry. Therefore, it is a must to use an IVRS for your business. Let’s look at the best practices that you must follow to leverage the advantage of this feature at its best.

Use natural language Processing Technology

Instead of using mechanical voice prompts, you must invest in the best technology. For example, natural language processing can give better voice commands that sound like human interactions only. Therefore, it makes interaction with IVR more delightful and engaging to clients. 

Always Give the Option to Connect with a Live Agent

Certainly, you want to add automation in the call center to save resources. However, you need to understand that you cannot expect your IVR to resolve all customer concerns. Thus, it is necessary to give an option to let customers connect to live agents. You might not want clients to choose that option at the initial stage, but after a few menu interactions, this option must be given.

Monitor and Improve

You must monitor all interactions between IVRS and human agents. Moreover, you need to analyze how systems are performing. Based on the interactions, you can take action to fine-tune strategy and build a more profitable system.

5.  Concluding

In conclusion, it is evident that an IVR is a must use system in any call center. Even if you have integrated the most advanced features in your software, you must use an interactive voice response. Definitely, you must invest in advancing your IVR and use one of the best systems along with using one of the best call center solutions. Moreover, use the best practices shared in this blog post.

We can help you with the best interactive voice response system that has smart features and technologies incorporated into this software. To book a free trial, contact us.

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