The Pro Buyer’s Guide to the Best IVR Platform

March 2, 2023

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Poor customer service is the reason 71% of consumers end a relationship with a company. Businesses have to find competitive ways to resolve customer issues quickly and securely, making an IVR platform essential for many.

Interactive voice response software is a technology that can simplify communications with clients and help a business reach productivity objectives. Learn more about what IVR can do.

Key Takeaways:

  • An IVR platform is an automated phone system technology that expedites customer interactions and data collection.
  • IVR software is more than an auto attendant and can offer features such as answering questions, routing calls, prioritizing callers, and integrating with productivity software.
  • All IVR platforms are not equal, and buyers need to work with a vendor capable of facilitating deployment and offering continuous support.

What Is an IVR Platform?

An IVR platform is an automated phone software that opens the door to customer self-service on calls. Customers benefit from speed and convenience as the system greets callers and provides a menu.

The caller inputs an answer with the phone touchpad or vocal response. The IVR system can route a call to the appropriate department, accept payments, provide information, or collect other information from the caller.

IVR software is more than an auto attendant. An auto attendant is simply a directory that routes callers to extensions and lacks the advanced features of IVR platforms. Contact centers can expedite routine processes that often occur over the phone with artificial intelligence instead of paying a person to handle the process.

Who Uses IVR Platforms?

Contact centers with high call volumes often need to rely on an IVR platform to welcome callers and distribute calls. The platform is an ideal virtual assistant that can work around the clock and rarely makes the same kinds of mistakes a human receptionist might. 

Both inbound and outbound contact centers can use the system. Medical organizations can share anonymous information and spare patients the discomfort of speaking with an individual about private information. Financial institutions employ IVR setups for secure telephone banking. 

Inbound IVR is the most common solution businesses use. However, outbound IVR can also be helpful. A platform that calls out can automate calls for sales, surveys, and payment collection. A company can also use outbound IVR for reminders. When call times are long, a company can keep a caller in a queue and call back at an ideal hour to complete service.

What Are the Top Advantages of an IVR Platform?

An IVR platform boosts a company’s customer service with the following benefits.

24/7 Service

A customer inquiry could happen at any time of day or night and be a significant issue for the client. The company’s response could affect someone’s perception of a company for a long time.

IVR is always available and can attend to customers or offer a reassuring response. For example, a person may need to pay a bill or call a technician for an emergency. Customers can do so on their own time schedule. If the person needs to wait until business hours for a human agent, the caller can select a convenient time for a callback. 

Improved Call Times

As a company grows, it needs to accommodate more customers for service and support issues. Call queue times can grow longer and longer, which is frustrating for callers sitting on hold.

IVR can prioritize calls and route them to skill-based agents. Humans can easily push the wrong button or mishear a customer and send them to the wrong department or agent. An IVR platform minimizes those mistakes with automation.

Data Collection and Sharing

IVR permits collecting customer information from voice calls as easily as an online form. The system can then share that information with other tools, including customer relationship management software and order processing.

Better Customer Service

Enhanced data collection and sharing can improve customer service and sales. By the time a caller reaches an agent, the employee has the necessary information, and the customer does not have to repeat themselves endlessly. 

With an IVR platform, agents also have better context for the call because AI can share analytics about customer mood and previous interactions. If necessary, agents can listen to the recorded responses to gauge a customer’s situation and attitude.

A company also looks more professional with the fluidity of the system. Eliminating long wait times projects an image of a well-run organization, and consistency builds credibility.

Better Productivity

Agents can focus on individual skill areas and not waste time redirecting calls or asking for help. Agents also eliminate answering routine questions or handling monotonous data entry. A company can also increase first-call resolution rates, and agents become better at their jobs and upskill more quickly.

How Does a Business Implement an IVR Platform?

An IVR platform with a full set of features requires working with a communications company that offers a contact center as a service platform. The vendor sets a company up with an omnichannel contact center for accepting calls and reaching out to customers. An IVR provider also helps a company set up rules for call routing and prioritizing, as well as greetings. 

When deciding on a provider to use for an IVR platform, a business needs to balance service quality with costs. Compatibility with other software is vital, as is the ease of integration. 

A buyer should investigate how well the provider assists with setup and configuration. The IVR software should be simple to deploy. Once the IVR features are up and running, a user needs to be able to change rules and menus as necessary in a user-friendly dashboard and help center.

Are You Ready To Benefit From an IVR Platform?

An IVR platform can boost a company’s customer service and productivity if it checks all the necessary boxes. Intermedia offers a solution that provides all of the benefits without the headaches. Reach out to our team to find out how easy setting up IVR software can be.

Mariel Santos

Mariel Santos is the Director of Marketing Communications at Intermedia

March 2, 2023

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