Quick Look at Interactive Voice Response
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
What is an IVR System?
Interactive Voice Response or Cloud IVR 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.
Understanding Advanced IVR
Customers call your telephone number and instantly navigate a menu of options to direct the call to their desired contact. For example, 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 dial 1 to be connected to a sales representative, dial 2 to be connected to a tech support specialist.”
The customer would then dial 2 and the call would forward to your respective tech support extension.
Setting up your Cloud IVR requires using pre-recorded custom greetings in audio files or dynamically generated Text to Speech (TTS) audio. Each menu prompt will provide a list of options for the caller to choose from. The caller responds by pressing a digit or a combination of digits.
With an IVR/PBX, callers have a range of options and can be efficiently directed to any department or desk as programmed into the system. All without the need of a receptionist. 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
The IVR can be enabled and disabled at any time. 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. Furthermore, after hours when the office is closed you may 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.
With this system, 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.
The advanced IVR feature can be used by businesses across industries regardless of their size. Even a small business with limited resources and budget can benefit from an IVR system as they will not have to hire a receptionist.
Benefits of Call Forwarding Advanced IVR Feature
The advanced IVR feature offers a plethora of benefits such as:
- Reduces Cost of Doing Business
An Interactive Voice Response system eliminates the need to hire a full-time call receptionist by using this ‘e-receptionist’ instead to forward calls to the appropriate extension. This system can also efficiently handle high call volumes, in turn helping 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.
- Saves Time
A Cloud IVR 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. The advanced IVR can be programmed to provide office hours, phone directory, answers to common tech support questions, and directions.
- Connect Quickly
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 that extension and be immediately connected. Additionally, if the caller would like to be connected to a specific department, such as sales, they can press the number that connects him to that department.