Cloud IVR systems are automated voice response systems that answer incoming business calls and assist callers through predetermined menu options and business rules. IVR helps businesses:
- Handle high call volumes
- Improve customer service
- Lower call center costs
- Prioritize customers so urgent calls are handled quickly
- Cater to customers even after business hours
Using an IVR System for Call Management
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) — also known as cloud IVR, hosted IVR, or automated voice response system — is a telephony system that allows a computer greeting system to receive incoming calls and direct callers to the appropriate department or extension. The caller can interact with and navigate the menu through the telephone keypad. You can also include multiple IVR routing strategies such as time-based and location-based routing to provide users with more personalized support options.
How Does an IVR Work?
Customers call your telephone number and instantly navigate a menu of options to direct the call to their desired contact.
An example of IVR: A customer calling for technical support would call your phone number and be greeted by the computer’s voice: “Thank you for calling Max Marketing. Please press 1 to be connected to a sales representative, press 2 to be connected to a tech support specialist.”
The customer would then dial 2 which would trigger the IVR to forward the call to your respective tech support extension.
What Do You Get with an IVR System?
With an IVR, callers have a range of options to help them efficiently navigate to any department or desk as programmed into the system. And to make this happen, there are a few different elements required to set up your cloud IVR. In most cases, you’ll need the following:
- Audio file recordings: For welcome messages, voice navigation prompts, etc
- Call flows: Detailed idea of how calls will travel through your phone system (what destinations to include, what menu options to offer, etc)
- Departments and users you want to include.
Some key features of an IVR system include:
- Enabling callers to dial an extension number of a specific employee
- Call routing (press “1” to speak to a customer service representative)
- Accessing information such as account balance or status
With its customizable and flexible functionality, you can use your IVR to provide uninterrupted customer service. For example, while your staff or receptionist is in the office, you can bypass the automated response system and forward calls straight to their phone. On the other hand, during after hours, you can forward the call to the IVR to allow the customer to find the information they need or reach the right extension to leave a message.
This way, you can control the flow of calls and effectively manage high call volumes. When your business is going through a period of high demand and high call traffic, an IVR organizes each call and initiates a queue for each call to be answered as agents and employees become available. The feature also allows you to set up a private phone system that connects incoming calls to both internal and external phone extensions.
How to Get IVR?
United World Telecom offers Advanced IVR with an easy-to-use IVR Manager free with any of our virtual phone number plans. All you have to do is buy a phone number and start using our IVR Manager to design your IVR.
How to Set Up and Use IVR?
We have a variety of resources to help you navigate the setup process, however, you can always reach out to our tech support team for assistance. Here are the steps:
1. In your Control Panel, navigate to the Call Forwarding settings for your desired phone line.
2. Under IVR, click on Manage IVR Applications.
3. In the IVR Manager, you can add prompts, phones, and emails on the right side, and you can design the IVR on the left side.
Click for step-by-step instructions.
Benefits of Call Forwarding Advanced IVR Feature
The advanced IVR feature offers various benefits such as:
Reduces Cost of Doing Business
Eliminate the need to hire a full-time call receptionist by using this ‘e-receptionist’ instead. This virtual receptionist can forward calls to the appropriate extension. And this system can also efficiently handle high call volumes. This will in turn help businesses reduce costs and deliver excellent customer experience simultaneously.
Always Available and Reachable
The IVR allows callers to reach your business at any time, making your business conveniently reachable. For example, customers who need to check an account balance or status can use the automated response system by following the prompts and entering their account information on the keypad instead of waiting for an agent or employee.
A cloud IVR also saves you and your business a great deal of time. The system allows callers to quickly find the right representative they need to speak to. It can also answer customers’ frequently asked questions without even needing to talk to an employee. You can program the advanced IVR to provide office hours, phone directory, answers to common tech support questions, and directions.
Within a few prompts through the IVR, callers can quickly connect to any extensions you input into your phone system. This not only saves time for your employees, but the time of the caller too. For example, if the caller knows the extension of the employee they need to reach, they can dial it. Additionally, if the caller wants to connect to a specific department, such as sales, they can press the number that connects him to that department.