IVR can be expressed as interactive voice response, a telephony technology in which someone uses a touch-tone telephone to interact with a database to acquire information from or enter data into the database. IVR technology does not require human interaction over the telephone as the user’s interaction with the database is predetermined by what the IVR system will allow the user access to.

For example, banks and credit card companies use IVR systems so that their customers can receive up-to-date account information instantly and easily without having to speak directly to a person. IVR technology is also used to gather information, as in the case of telephone surveys in which the user is prompted to answer questions by pushing the numbers on a touch-tone telephone.

IVR (Interactive Voice Response) software introduces the ability for a business to automate a customer call without the need of human intervention. The functionality and the level of automation that IVR software can provide depends on several factors such as the IVR software and the technologies that are integrated with each other, understanding what your customers will ask and want, and the plan behind your IVR system infrastructure.

What Is IVR Software?

IVR software is a software system that is based on either touch tone or speech recognition driven menus that allows customers to get services without the need of human interaction. IVR software allows a business to automate customer service functions such as requesting a quote, routing calls, checking account balances, faxing, implementing surveys or polls, auto attendants, voicemail, or card activation.

These are only several of many services that may be provided by IVR software. IVR software is integrated with technologies like databases, touch tone, speech recognition, scripting applications, and phone systems just to name a few.

IVR Software Benefits:

Depending on business needs and the IVR software, you can hope to gain several benefits from utilizing IVR software in your environment. Some of the benefits may include are:

  • Reduce costs by relying less on live support representatives
  • Integration with existing environment
  • Provides customer self service
  • Customization of menus
  • Reduces total cost of ownership
  • Extensive reporting and customization of reports
  • Integration of other technologies to provide more features

These are just several benefits that you may achieve by implementing IVR software for your business. Since there are several IVR software packages available, it is always a good ideal to make sure you’ve determined your IVR requirements and implement a trial version before you choose your IVR software solution.

Interactive voice response or IVR is a computerized way of calling. It allows a person, typically a telephone caller, to select an option from a voice menu and otherwise interface with a computer system. Generally the system contains pre-recorded voice prompts and it plays it when a person presses a number on a telephone keypad to select the option chosen, or speaks simple answers such as “yes”, “no”, or numbers in answer to the voice prompts.

The latest systems can even recognize the natural language speech. It makes very easy to interpret the questions that the person wants answered.

Other feature of IVRis to transform text into speech. It is called TTS text-to-speech. It can transform text written on e-mail, news report or weather information into speech. The speech generated by the computer is different from the robotic voice TTS is computer generated synthesized speech and is no longer the robotic voice people associate with computers. Real voices are used to create the speech in tiny fragments that are glued together before being played to the caller.

IVR systems are found operating telephone banking services, voicemail systems are similar to IVR systems but offer limited functionality. IVR systems can be used to create services from telephone banking, order placement, caller identification and airline ticket booking.

ACD systems are often the first point of contact when calling many larger businesses. IVR systems are generally used at the front end of call centers to identify what service the caller wants and to extract numeric information such as account numbers as well as provide answers to simple questions such as account balances or allow pre-recorded information to be heard. In short, IVR and ACD should work in pair.

IVR systems are often criticized as being unhelpful and difficult to use due to poor design and lack of appreciation of the callers’ needs. A properly designed IVR system should connect callers to their desired service promptly and with a minimum of fuss.