What is an IVR system and what is it for?

An interactive voice response (IVR) system is a tool used in contact centers to automate customer interactions through a pre-recorded voice that guides users through menu options. It allows the system to be the one that interacts in the first instance with the customer or potential customer, without the need for the intervention of an agent. Therefore, it is a fundamental tool to save time and work for the customer service team, as well as being key to increasing efficiency in operations.

The IVR system works this way: when a customer calls the contact center, a personalized voice recording guides their journey through the different menu options. Allowing in this way to route the query or doubt of the customer or potential customer until its solution.


Advantages of Interactive Voice Response Systems

  • Improves efficiency: The IVR system allows customers to interact with the contact center automatically and immediately without the need to speak to a human agent. This reduces waiting time and increases the efficiency of the process.
  • Reduces costs: The automation of processes through the IVR system reduces personnel costs. It also allows agents to focus on tasks that may be more complex or of greater value to the customer.
  • Allows self-service: This tool allows customers to solve their doubts or problems by themselves. Self-service improves customer satisfaction by being able to solve their own problems, while streamlining the process and reducing the number of calls to be answered by the agent.
  • Provides a consistent experience: The IVR system provides a consistent experience for customers, regardless of which agent answers the call. This makes it possible to unify the tone and discourse, giving a much more coherent and unified brand image.
  • Allows greater scalability: The IVR system allows you to handle a large volume of calls, without having to increase staff or infrastructure.
  • Provides greater flexibility: As an automatic system, it allows customers to interact with the contact center at any time and from anywhere, offering a 24/7 service, flexible and adapted to their convenience.
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IVR Types: Traditional and Conversational

There are two main types of IVR systems used in contact centers: traditional IVR and conversational IVR.

The traditional IVR works through the numeric keypad. The voice recording guides the customer’s journey through questions that are answered using the keyboard, pressing a number to select the option that best suits each query.

On the other hand, the conversational IVR uses speech recognition technology to allow customers to interact with it naturally and smoothly. Instead of selecting options through a menu, the customer can speak to the system in natural language thanks to Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology. This technology recognizes the content expressed by the customer and responds accordingly to provide the response you are looking for.


Why choose a Conversational IVR?

  • Natural interaction: Conversational IVR allows customers to interact with the system naturally and in their own language, without following pre-established options. This provides a much more pleasant and personalized user experience.
  • Greater precision: Voice recognition technology makes it possible to find out more precisely what the customer is expressing, and offer a response to match, being an essential factor in reducing frustration and increasing satisfaction in the operation.
  • Reduced Wait Time: This increased accuracy in operations is critical to reducing customer time spent on the phone and increasing customer service efficiency.
  • Better brand image: Having a fast, effective and immediate system is essential to improve the brand image and build greater loyalty among customers.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, consumers from other places who speak other languages will appear. Therefore, having a powerful conversational IVR solution is essential to offer unlimited customer service.

Which IVR to choose for my company?

When it comes to choosing the most suitable IVR for your company, it is important to consider what are the needs that customers have.

For companies that have a high frequency of calls, a traditional IVR could be a good option. This is because the traditional IVR can handle a large number of simultaneous calls and provide a fast and efficient user experience. Also, if your business has simple and clearly defined menu options, a traditional IVR can work very well.

On the other hand, if your company wants to provide a personalized user experience, the conversational IVR will undoubtedly be the best option. Conversational IVR allows for a much more natural interaction with the customer, which leads to increased customer satisfaction while reducing customer frustration. Also, if you offer somewhat more complex menu options or need to provide personalized responses to customer questions, then Conversational IVR is the best option.

Another factor to consider is the company’s budget. The traditional IVR generally has a lower initial cost than the conversational IVR, since the technology to integrate is much simpler. However, it is necessary to list the benefits that the conversational system brings us to end up deciding if what prevails most is the economic value, or, on the contrary, the quality of the service offered.


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