Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

Learn about interactive voice response (IVR) technology and how to use it to delight customers with quick, self-service responses.

Pradeep Vasudev
December 14, 2021
2 min read

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Table of Contents

What is IVR?

Interactive voice response or IVR is an automated phone technology that enables users to access information and troubleshoot basic issues through a set of pre-recorded menu options — without having to interact with a live agent. A well-designed IVR system empowers customers to help themselves around the clock without waiting in hold queues. When an agent is required, businesses use IVR systems combined with automated call distribution (ACD) to route inbound calls to the appropriate agent or department in order to improve call flow, response time, and call center ROI.

How does IVR work?

A typical IVR system has some foundational elements — a telephony/VoIP system, IVR software, a database to retrieve and store user data, and an optional voice recognition system. Incoming calls directed through the IVR typically follow this path:

  1. User calls in and is redirected to the IVR.

  2. The IVR presents the user with menu options and requests for input via phone dial pad or voice.

  3. Depending on the input type, the IVR deciphers it by either touch tone or speech recognition software.

  4. The IVR collects authentication information from the caller (i.e., account number, username for accessing account balance) and then connects with an internal system to retrieve and provide the requested information.

  5. If the customer is not satisfied with the resolution or if they need additional assistance, the call is routed to the right agent/department for further resolution.

In addition, Interactive voice response (IVR) plays a very crucial role in enhancing customer interactions within contact center as a service (CCaaS) systems.

What are the benefits of IVR?

Businesses that leverage IVR can achieve significant benefits, including:

  • Faster support: IVR enables customers to perform basic tasks themselves without seeking agent intervention. This allows you to provide quicker resolutions to customers, improving their satisfaction and retention rates in the process.

  • Improved agent productivity: IVR eases your agents’ caseload and helps them handle more cases — without stretching their capacity or compromising on support quality — leading to happier, more satisfied agents.

  • Better case-agent mapping: IVRs with ACD and skill-based routing have an underlying advanced call flow logic that leverages a customer’s input to intelligently identify agents with the requisite skill set and capacity to solve the case — and automatically routes the case to them for first contact resolution.

  • Lower operational costs: IVR systems can handle inbound calls 24/7 without any added expenditure to you. IVR combined with advanced routing strategies will reduce agent handle time by collecting valuable information up front, ensuring that the right agent is engaged and customer information is available to them immediately. As agents spend less time routing cases to other touchpoints, your contact center overhead reduces substantially.

How to Resolve Issues Faster with the Right AI-Powered Routing Strategy

Resolve cases faster and improve your contact center ROI with Sprinklr’s IVR software solution

Traditional IVR systems are ill-equipped to streamline and process the huge volumes of calls that modern businesses receive every day from customers who expect resolution within 5 minutes of first contact. Sprinklr’s IVR software solution — powered by industry-leading AI — enables customers waiting on hold to seek self-service alternatives for more immediate resolution. Your business gets a unified, cost-effective care solution that invariably leads to happier customers and agents. By pairing AI-enhanced data with digital routing, our IVR solution can help:

  • Provide digital self-support to customers wherever and whenever they need assistance

  • Control your call flow and contact center cost by encouraging callers to opt for self-service

  • Create single-channel support journeys to minimize channel hopping and customer churn

  • Match customers to the right agents via skill-based call routing to eliminate manual routing errors

  • Deflect simpler cases to AI chatbots, freeing agents to solve high-severity cases

With Sprinklr’s unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform enhancing your existing IVR tech stack, you can offer customers a self-serve option that exceeds their expectations — without overwhelming your care agents.

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