Call Center IVR News

By Brian Boguhn
Updated: August 17, 2011

Call Center IVR News

Even if you don’t know what Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is, you’ve used it in your daily life. If you’ve ever been on the phone with a company and been in an automated menu system that responded to your voice, you’ve used IVR.

The big news these days is the use of IVR in call centers. Large companies and service-oriented organizations can receive thousands of calls each day into their call centers. This is the lifeblood of their business. Using automation to handle these calls reduces a large staff investment, and helps to increase the company’s profit margin.

IVR technology has increased dramatically in the last few years. Back in the day, you needed to speak slowly and clearly in order for the system to understand you. If you were speaking your credit card number, it might have taken multiple entries in order for the system to recognize it correctly. Today, you can speak rapidly and the system will recognize what you’re saying to it.

This isn’t the only example of IVR improving, though. Today, IVRs have more natural speech patterns and far more capabilities. Once upon a time, callers only had specific choices they could choose from when working with an IVR, and the IVR only understood specific phrases. That’s not so any more. Today, callers can speak normally and converse with the IVR. The IVR can ask a customer what they need assistance with, the caller can respond with a normal answer, and the IVR will direct the call as needed.

Going beyond question and answer type scenarios, IVRs today can handle advanced functions as well. An example of this is bill payments. By operating in a natural and conversational manner, the IVR can handle the functions of a call agent for all but the most involved issues.

Call centers today can now reduce their staff to a handful of agents to take care of the most difficult calls. Everything else can be handled by IVRs. Customers can call directly through, not have to wait for an agent, and take care of most everything they need.

The best news for call centers configured with a good IVR? Customers actually prefer the IVR over working with a human agent.

The future has arrived. Is your call center onboard?
 

Featured Research
  • 2017 Contact Center Software Cost Guide

    Are you paying too much for your contact center software? Are you satisfied with its capabilities, or do you wish it did more? These are questions most businesses don’t take the time to think about, even though contact center software is one of the most important investments that you’ll make. With a little bit of planning, you can end up saving money and still end up with better functionality. more

  • 10 Contact Center Myths Busted

    For most forward-thinking companies, the use of contact center software is on the rise. That said, in spite of contact center software’s sudden rise in popularity, a number of myths have begun to take shape. more

  • How Workforce Optimization Reduces Agent Attrition

    The average turnover rate for contact centers is two times greater than it is across all industries. This leads many to consider high agent attrition normal, but the truth is that you can save a lot of money by working to reduce it. more

  • 7 Common Pain Points Contact Center Software Eliminates

    Owning and operating a business comes with its fair share of ups and downs. That said, the more disheartening moments almost always seem to negatively influence your company’s bottom line. Though by no means an all-inclusive culprit, much of the time, a downtrending bottom line can be accurately chalked up to poor customer service—the numbers back us up on this one. more

  • Contact Center Implementation 101

    Starting, maintaining and growing a successful business is largely dependent on great products and services. That said, there’s another important factor many eager entrepreneurs overlook…customer experience. more