Interactive voice response (IVR) is a phone technology system that enables the identification, segmentation, and routing of callers to the most appropriate workflows and/or agents to handle their issues.
IVR is a scalable and cost-effective system to answer incoming calls, gather voice messages and help inbound requests to the right agent or a self-service option. This is because it uses predetermined prompts and responses, and does not require hiring additional agents to scale.
However, interactive voice response is not a substitute for additional agents, as it can only handle the most common and basic requests. Many IVR conversations result in customers escalating the call to an agent.
Despite this, IVR is frequently used for businesses with a large customer base, and it can allow customer service agents to deal with more pressing or complex issues.
In recent years, chatbot systems have also become popular, the analogue of IVR for text-based conversations.
IVR System Customer Support Benefits/Drawbacks
The primary benefits of interactive voice response are its cost-effectiveness and scalability
The drawbacks, however, are that people do not like going through prerecorded workflows that can be time-consuming and severely constrain the inquiries that a customer can make. Frequently a menu of options will be presented, and the customer is asked to select from that menu. This is because IVR systems must run automatic speech recognition (ASR) in order to parse the customer's intent or desired option.
Interactive Voice Response Best Practices:
When implementing an IVR system, here are a few things to keep in mind: