Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

Working with Interactive Voice Response Software

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Although telephone service providers are ready and willing to help your company with its communication needs, there are times when doing things yourself is more productive. If you are looking to improve your level of customer service, consider using interactive voice response software to give your existing telephone system a high-tech boost.

Keeping customers happy with IVR software

The quickest way to send a client to a competitor is by letting them sit on hold, especially when they only have a few basic questions that need to be answered. IVR software sits at the front end of the telephone system, determining where calls should go and retrieving information for clients after they speak a few voice commands and menu options. This reduces your call queue and gets callers what they need in a timely manner.

Interactive Voice Response Software Features

No two IVR software packages are exactly alike, but some of the basic features you should expect include:

Adding human resources to IVR applications

Interactive voice response software packages are fairly easy to use, especially for an employee who has learned and maintained other computer programs. IVR software typically contains a graphic interface, allowing a staff member to set up and change interactive voice menus after just a few hours of use.

Because the telephone system is a key part of any business, it's a good idea to have at least one or two dedicated human resources employees who will learn and maintain the software. These employees also will use the software to create IVR applications customized for your particular business (i.e., automated appointment reminder calls for medical offices and "faxback" capability for law practices).

Check the Hardware and Software Compatibility

When purchasing interactive voice response software, compatibility always is the first consideration. You will need at least one desktop computer that has a telephony board, which allows the software to communicate with the telephone system. IVR software also has specific requirements about available computer memory and processor speed, so make sure that the package you purchase will work with your existing computer hardware.

Benefits of an upgrade

If your basic phone or interactive voice response system isn't proving reliable or you're being let down then it may be time to consider an IVR upgrade.

When you need more than a call center: Your call center needs to be able to keep up with the fast-changing technology of today's world of smartphones and other mobile devices. An IVR system is a fully integrated center that can combine mobile, online, and landline communications. This type of system helps you manage and control both outbound and inbound calls, and includes services such as automated callbacks, email management, website orders, online real-time chat functions, voicemail, after-hours support, faxes, and more.

When your business is receiving more calls than you can handle: When you start feeling overwhelmed and too many calls and e-mails get backed up, an IVR upgrade can help ease the load and remove some of the stress.

When your customers aren't satisfied: Customer satisfaction is one of the most important factors in any small business's success, and an efficient IVR system will drastically improve customer service. When comparing options for upgrades, look for a system that offers service that is customized for each customer based on data the system collects.

Are you ready to get interactive voice response software for your business? Submit a quick and easy BuyerZone request for price quotes, and get matched with multiple IVR vendors in your area.

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