What does an IVR stand for cvr

What does an IVR stand for?

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Defining IVR

IVR is an acronym used for Interactive Voice Response. It is a telephony system with an automated feature. An IVR operates by interacting with the callers and providing them a menu with options.

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This is how an IVR works:

What does an IVR stand for1
  • IVR starts working the moment a call is connected to the system. It presents the caller with a menu to choose any service. 
  • The caller selects an option as they interact with the IVR system
    • A caller has the choice of selecting the option through the touch-tone phone keypad or using their own voice.

You may have come across an IVR when you called a customer service department. A recorded voice must have given you a list of options and asked you to select one from them. 

  • The action performed by the IVR depends on the option that the caller selects. 

It can assist the caller by giving the caller their required information. Or, the IVR may route the caller to a skilled live agent, if the issue is more complex. 

    • For instance, say the caller selects the option of ‘provide order detail’, the IVR will fetch the details of the order and mention it directly to the caller. The date the order was placed, its current position, delivery date, etc. can be provided by the IVR itself.
    • If the caller has a more complex issue and selects the option of ‘Talk to customer service executive’, the IVR will transfer the call to a live agent. 

What is IVR used for in a Call Center?

What does an IVR stand for3
  • As mentioned, the IVR routes calls to an agent or provides the required information to the caller based on their choice. 
  • The IVR determines to which department the call should be transferred – billing, technical support- or if the caller simply wants to talk to a representative for a general issue. 
  • An IVR is beneficial for the company because it automates a lot of tasks and also provides self-service to the caller. The tasks that an agent would have to handle can all be done by an IVR. This contributes to agent productivity.
  • The agent can focus on interacting with callers and resolving significant issues. The agent does not have to spend time dealing with minor issues that an IVR can respond to.

How can you use IVR?

What does an IVR stand for2

There are several tasks that an IVR can perform to lighten the workload of the agents in a call center. These services are:

  • Call Routing: This is the basic feature of an IVR system; connecting customers to the right agent based on their issue.
  • Appointment: When a customer requests to schedule a callback or a face-to-face conversation, the IVR can arrange for that. It can also schedule a technician to give a visit to the caller if required.
  • Information: , IVR can supply information that has specific details like opening/closing time or order/delivery date when requested by the caller. Now, integrated with a computer, IVR can access these details and provide them to customers.
  • Payments: IVR can be integrated with a payment system. This can make it easier for the caller to make purchases, pay bills or set up a payment schedule. 
  • Update Details: Say a caller wants to update their PIN or any minor details in their account, an IVR can help the caller without the need of an agent.

How not to use an IVR?

  • IVR can make customer service cheap, simple, and fast for a call center company. However, callers still remain unsatisfied with an IVR. 
  • The reason behind the dissatisfaction is because many call centers use IVR as a barrier and not as an alternative or substitute to a live agent. 
  • Callers claim that 75%  of the IVR lists irrelevant options to the customers. 
    When a customer has to go through menus after menus to reach a live agent they become irritated. Sometimes, the call does not connect to the agent as well. This results in the customers getting irritated and the agents have to bear the brunt.

Things to keep in mind while using IVR

Call Centers using IVR must ensure that it is programmed with short menus and not long lists of confusing options. Moreover, if the IVR cannot connect the call to the right agent, it should provide the option of call back and schedule to the customer.

An IVR should therefore be used to provide customer service and assist them and not to stop them from interacting with the agents.

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