Interactive voice response technology is quickly being adopted among call centers. With the ability to gather information and help customers solve their problems before even needing to speak with an agent in person, IVR calls are a great way to boost customer satisfaction as well as agent productivity. If you’re thinking of using an IVR call center, you may be curious about how the technology works and what it’s like for a customer to actually make an IVR call. Here’s what you need to know about making and fielding interactive voice response calls.
Touch tone input
The traditional approach to making IVR calls is through touch tone input. You’ve likely experienced this kind of IVR call before, being asked to dial a specific number from a menu of available options. This approach is a great way to help customers navigate to the solution on their own, and also can help your agents gather more information about a caller’s needs and personal information prior to answering a call. Touch tone input is also beneficial from an accessibility standpoint, as pressing various numbers to get information is a simple task to perform.
More advanced types of IVR have begun to field calls through voice input. Also known as a conversational approach, this kind of interactive voice response allows your customers to speak more naturally about their issues. After relaying their problem, the IVR system will analyze their speech for specific keywords that it uses to then direct them to a particular menu or agent. This approach is helpful in situations where you’d prefer to offer your callers the ability to speak about their problem immediately rather than waiting through a menu of options to know which number to press.
Advances in IVR are helping the process feel more natural
As more interactive voice response systems move towards voice input, there are a variety of technological advances helping to streamline the voice response process and help it feel more natural. Some software utilizes language processing tools and artificial intelligence to better parallel the actual act of speaking to a live human. These can be important features to include in your approach to handling calls, especially if you’ve recently made the switch to IVR, since they help ease returning customers into the new system more seamlessly. As more advances are made in technologies like speech-to-text and natural language understanding, IVR will continue to enable businesses to offer better, friendlier computerized support.
IVR improves customer and employee satisfaction
If you’ve been in the call center industry long, you may have heard the saying that “the best service is no service.” As a self-service technology, IVR is perhaps the next best thing to following this adage in a call center. Interactive voice response empowers customers to take their problems into their own hands and enables them to get answers quickly, sometimes without even speaking to a live agent. This helps your customers have a more positive experience, as they get their questions answered on time, on their own schedule, and accurately. This can also benefit your agents, by freeing up their time to focus on more complex questions, rather than answering simple requests that could be fielded by a knowledge base.
The call center industry is full of innovations, and one of the hottest technologies being implemented right now is interactive voice response. With the potential to improve both employee and customer satisfaction, making the switch to IVR is a win-win situation for most businesses. Plus, with advances in artificial intelligence and other aspects of the tech that fuels speech and language processing, the future remains bright for interactive voice response will continue to be implemented and used in call centers across the world.