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What is IVR and how does it benefit my call center?

What is IVR?

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Author: Spencer Peterson

Call centers live and breathe customer service and innovation. It is impossible to be successful without either of these things and often, these essential characteristics go hand in hand. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a perfect example of a marriage between the two. 

What is IVR?

IVR is an automated customer service solution that uses pre-recorded responses to meet caller needs. This system is often used for inbound call centers to provide a more customized, accessible, and streamlined customer service experience. When properly integrated, IVR can save your call center time and money, while providing a better experience for your consumers. 

What does IVR do?

When your call center receives an inbound call, instead of sending the caller directly to an agent and subsequently making them jump through hoops to different agents, your IVR solution provides prerecorded menu options to the caller to evaluate exactly where the caller needs to be directed and which agent is the best fit for the situation. The solution then proceeds to direct the caller to the best-suited department and agent. IVR systems can also help callers make secure payments over the phone by connecting them to a secure agentless payment system to ensure that no secure information reaches the wrong ears and your call center remains compliant with current regulations

How does IVR help my call center?

Compliance is not the only thing that IVR can help with. Call centers often find themselves plagued with congested phone lines and heavy traffic, especially during the holidays. This is because many call centers do not capitalize on the advanced call center software available, and instead use live agents to direct traffic manually. Having agents of any skill level in any department answering the incoming calls presents a latitude of problems. 

The first problem with having your customers directed to agents at random is that it reduces the chances of first contact resolution. If an inexperienced agent or agent from the wrong department answers the phone, there is a high probability that they will not have the answer to the consumer’s question or they will not be able to directly help with the problem — and so the redirection begins. With an IVR solution automatically directing calls based on preset menu options and clarifying questions, the chances for first contact resolution increase — consequently increasing overall customer satisfaction and improving your customer experience. 

The redirection of calls through IVR also cuts down on the number of agents needed to staff a call center. If inquiries can be resolved on first contact or before the call reaches an agent, fewer agents are needed to handle the stemmed flood of calls. With the reduction in agent numbers, also comes the decrease in staffing costs. 

IVR also provides businesses with the opportunity to show consumers that they are not only professional and current but that they care about the consumer. Consumers want to know that the businesses they deal with value them and their time — IVR shows this perfectly through personalized and professional messages and prompts during each contact.

TCN’s IVR Solution

While IVR generally saves call centers time, money and improves the customer experience, some IVR solutions are better than others. TCN offers a true cloud-based IVR solution that has many benefits compared to on-premise systems. With TCN, there are no limitations on the number of lines, no cost for unused dialer licenses, free call recording included, and escalation-based routing.

You also have access to real-time operational statistics and reporting that can help you make important decisions at the drop of a hat. These are just a few of TCN’s IVR advantages. To learn how to unlock the full benefits of TCN’s system, request a demo and prepare to save money, time, and more than a few headaches along the way.

About the Author: Spencer Peterson


Spencer Peterson is a Content Writer for TCN, a worldwide leading provider of cloud-based call center technology. He focuses on developing dynamic messaging for blogs and social media. In his spare time, Spencer loves to cook and enjoys quiet time at home with his family and the occasional dance party.