In the modern business world, technology moves at a rapid pace, and, if you’re a business owner, integrating new trends into your workflow becomes a necessity. With digital capabilities, mobile devices, and evolving software integration dictating both B2B communication and customer satisfaction, one of the most useful and (now) cost-efficient means of information integration is interactive voice recognition software. Here, we will look at this modernized technology and how it can positively affect every aspect of your business’ day-to-day demands and the ultimate call center solution.
What exactly is interactive voice recognition (IVR)?
Also known as interactive voice response (IVR) or computer-telephone integration (CTI), this is software linked into a phone system that functions as an automated call center. Many businesses will utilize the IVR software to record voicemail messages and route calls from potential customers or clients to the right people or department, while other uses can expand the system into a full IVR menu for billing, payments, or other inquiries.
While the technology behind the interactive voice recognition software‘s first step isn’t entirely new (it relies on the same touch-tone system of dialing phone numbers that have been used since the 1960s), the basic premise has remained the same: the modern usage allows a customer’s button selection upon the telephone keypad to trigger the signals of IVR software, sometimes even with artificial intelligence. From there, the IVR system utilizes text-to-speech to create automated messages and clients them to the proper department or live agent.
How is IVR used in business?
The first thing to remember is that creatively using IVR software can be one of the most important tips for entrepreneurs and CEOs launching their new startup. Today, IVR technology is used by successful businesses in a variety of different ways. Due to the projected call volume that any company may receive on a given day, this technology can save a lot of time and hard work in customer and client interaction. Customer service, payment processing, and even company info that’s not necessarily provided on a website can be provided for an enhanced customer experience.
For example, if you are starting your own wellness brand and are offering new products coupled with in-store events and workshops, your IVR automation can be updated to provide the dates and times of the events as well as product launches, allowing the call center software to also function as part of your market strategy. In addition, outbound calls can be pre-programmed for your company’s health coaches to return customer and client messages outside of normal business hours at their own convenience. Outside of the wellness industry, all service-based businesses can use the same IVR solutions as a great way to converse with potential clients, schedule appointments, collect customer data within their target market, and make an excellent first impression leading to more loyal customers.
What are the different elements of IVR?
If you’re considering integrating some form of speech recognition software into your own business workflow, you’ll have a few basic decisions to make about your company’s needs and the different features offered. The best way to select an IVR software for the first time is to test a few through a free trial period and see first-hand the strength of each feature. This is really the only way to know your business’ specific needs. You’ll want to consider the necessities of cloud-based IVR systems versus on-site, integrating built-in speech recognition, and text-to-talk abilities.
Although cloud-based systems have largely become the modern industry-standard, the important thing to remember is that, with the cloud, the overall server maintenance resides with the vendor, which can be an additional expense. On the other hand, on-site IVR systems utilize a business’ own telephone system, allowing full control (and maintenance) to the licensing party. In the long run, your brand will save money with on-site integration but will need to factor in employee training for mastering the IVR contact center template or consider offering an online course. With text-to-talk, the menu option includes audible prompts for callers to vocally provide some basic information, then state their inquiry and select the person or department needed.