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What is IVR?

Interactive voice response (IVR) is an automated telephony technology that allows users to interact with a computerized phone system through voice and keypad inputs. IVR systems enable callers to access information, perform transactions or navigate through menus using spoken commands or pressing keys on their phone’s keypad.

While an influx of incoming calls can overwhelm a contact center, having an IVR phone system helps to promote self-service options and can even delegate calls to the right agent. IVR’s call routing capability benefits call center agents and offers seamless customer service.

How Does IVR Work?

Incoming calls experience the IVR menu in two ways, either a dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) signaling or a directed dialogue system. DTMF signaling is a standard version of IVR in which customer calls can be directed based on the number they input on their dial pads. Direct dialogue systems use speech recognition to direct callers to further menu options. More advanced systems utilize natural language speech recognition and artificial intelligence technology to understand full sentences rather than a few preset identifiers.  

IVR Benefits

The following are the most useful IVR contact center benefits:

  • 24/7 accessibility
  • Efficiency
  • Consistency
  • Cost savings
  • Personalization
  • Scalability
  • Reduced wait times
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