What are Key Features of IVR?

What are Key Features of IVR

In 2022, interactive voice response is an essential part of large businesses and plays a crucial role in ensuring a great customer experience.

IVR has endless benefits to your business, regarding both your credibility, customer service, and overall reputation as a company. However, many features and factors make up a truly successful IVR system…

Did you know that, according to a Finance Online study, if a customer can get an answer on the first call with your company, only 1% are likely to go to a competitor, whereas 15% will go to a competitor if the issue is not resolved on the first call? Therefore the features in your IVR system need to help customers effectively.

Nowadays, IVR systems go a lot further than simply diverting calls and holding customers in queues. In this post, we’re going to take a look at some of the key features of great IVR systems so you know everything you need to know to create an amazing IVR customer experience.

Right now, IVR features are numerous and we have a lot to get through, so let’s get down to it.

A Brief History Of IVR

Since its inception in the 1970s, Interactive Voice Response has come a long way.

The first interactive voice response systems that came about in this era were extremely complex to set up, very complicated, and needed a dedicated specialist to install and manage. They were clunky and horrible, but ultimately served their purpose and were an advanced piece of technology at the time.

 

Afterward, computer science developed to a point where it could understand human response as well as store digitized data. While the first IVR systems were clunky and reserved only for the largest companies, nowadays it has become essential for any company dealing with large call volumes.

Early systems provide services such as call routing, holding, and filtering to more sophisticated voice recognition, Artificial Intelligence as well as the ability to perform self-service transactions.

 

So here in 2022, what are some of the key features of IVR?

Key IVR Features

Information Provider

Upon calling a system, an IVR menu can be used to provide a caller with extremely useful information. This information can be a great way to provide helpful information and direct callers to the necessary department.

For example, this can include info related to COVID-19, business hours, and any basic information that doesn’t need to be answered by going deeper into the IVR menu or contacting a live agent.

Proving information in your IVR menu has to find a balance of giving a caller useful information without going overboard and telling them everything they MIGHT need to know when their issue could be complex and need an adviser right away.

Save the more detailed information for a separate area of the menu, for example, pack as much of this as you can into a frequently asked questions section. This way you’re only giving relevant information to the right people.

Call Filter

One of the earliest and most prominent features of an IVR system is call filtering. This filtering allows a company to handle large call volumes and organize what could be entirely overwhelming if a well-structured IVR menu wasn’t in place.

Call filtering can specifically help with:

  • Route callers to the relevant agent
  • Prioritizing urgent calls
  • Diverting non-essential calls away from a customer service agent
  • Reduce a call queue

This structured call filtering is essential for any business dealing with large amounts of inbound calls. Not only can this help alleviate overwhelming call volumes, but the number one way your company can provide better customer service.

It makes for a smoother experience and allows a customer to either find an answer quickly by accessing a live agent or accessing an urgent/emergency call department.

From a business perspective, finding out a reason for a call as quickly as possible reduces any customer friction and helps them get answers as soon as possible.

 

Identification

If your company deals with personal details, especially finance-related details, then an IVR system can be an invaluable tool in terms of identification. Being able to verify a customer’s identity through IVR is a huge time saver and although many companies have a dual-level of security (by asking a customer to confirm their identity both at the IVR stage as well as when speaking with an agent), It still helps to alleviate the pressure on agents.

This first-level security check filters out any non-legitimate calls and gives your customer a level of comfort upon calling you. This is not to mention the effect this sort of rigorous security check has on your company’s credibility.

A customer can provide these details when at an early stage of the IVR process, giving them confidence and knowledge they are dealing with a safe, reputable company.

Ozonetel packs all the tools you could ever need to improve service levels within an affordable, easy to integrate, quick to set up call center solution. Contact us to learn more.

Call Queuing & Callback Automation

While call queuing has long been an IVR feature helping to direct incoming calls to a particular department and help keep inbound calls organized, it remains a key feature even here in 2022.

Having callers sent through an IVR system that not only queues but directs them to a relevant department, keeps everything in line, and reduces long wait times. Another huge feature of call queuing is callback automation, which means if a customer doesn’t have time or the patience to wait in a queue, the IVR system automatically records their details and can schedule a callback.

Extremely useful in not only reducing call queues but giving the customer another option other than waiting in a queue for however long as well as reducing pressure on call center agents.

Voice Recognition

One of the major features that IVR systems now provide is voice recognition and specifically how advanced voice recognition has become.

Natural Language Processing is an aspect of computer silence that aids the relationship between computers and human language data. Its development is crucial to IVR and its development and will be the major factor in what allows or limits an IVR system to understand.

NLP (natural language processing) allows IVR systems to understand and recognize complete sentences, not just basic words and phrases. Essentially the more advanced NLP becomes, the more it will allow users to interact with computers (Or IVR systems) as if they were real humans.

The more advanced voice recognition systems in the world today are essentially AI chatbots that can help solve a variety of issues and answer hundreds and thousands of different questions. Think Siri or Alexa for example.

As this technology further develops and machine learning becomes a factor in voice recognition, IVR can become systems that are essentially as good as a human live agent. A very exciting, albeit frightening, feature of an IVR system.

Ozonetel packs all the tools you could ever need to improve service levels within an affordable, easy to integrate, quick to set up call center solution. Contact us to learn more.

 

Call Recordings

As a customer being asked if you mind if this call is recorded can be a little annoying every time you contact a live agent. From a company perspective,  recording calls is an invaluable feature of IVR for any business with a call center.

The insights these call recordings can provide valuable information on how your customers interact with your IVR system as well as how they speak with your live agents. This knowledge can help you improve and refine your IVR process and create a better system, time and time again.

This can be used to develop your system as well as in training for call center employees just starting out or for those needing to improve their customer service skills.

CRM/IVR System Integration

CRM or customer relationship management is software giving you insights into your customers. For example, their previous history with your company, their stage in the customer life cycle, and any previous issues you may have had with them.

Integrating this software with your IVR system makes this process automatic. The information gained from this software can allow you to serve your customers as best as possible and give them more personalized service.

Self Service Actions

Today, another very prominent interactive voice response systems feature is allowing customers to perform actions on their own. For example, a customer can call a number and access their account details and balances, update contact information and even top up balances and make payments.

Think of your mobile phone company as a basic example of this. Allowing customers to do this is extremely helpful both for you as a business and from a customer’s perspective.

If a customer can call up and get something done without too many steps and/or speaking to an agent it’s a great way to create a seamless IVR process and a great customer experience. In addition to this, it relieves any pressure on agents who would otherwise have to process these actions.

Summary

In 2022, a smooth and effective IVR system is essential for ANY business that deals with high call volumes. A great system can alleviate call center pressure, increase customer satisfaction, and essentially create better customer/company relationships. 

IVR is currently in a very exciting place in terms of its possible capabilities as technology develops. In the future, perhaps we’re going to see a complete IVR system that can serve customers as if dealing with a real human agent.

While this complete IVR solution is still a little futuristic, the features and benefits IVR currently provides are still incredible in terms of what it can do for your business and how it serves your customers.

To summarize, here are those main features again:

  • Information Provider
  • Call Filter
  • Identification
  • Voice Recognition
  • Self Service Actions

With these features, the importance of IVR and its features are clear.

Ozonetel packs all the tools you could ever need to improve service levels within an affordable, easy to integrate, quick to set up call center solution. Contact us to learn more.

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