What is IVR (Interactive Voice Response)?

Streamline your customers’ support journey with a multi-level Interactive Voice Response (IVR) menu. Create excellent customer experiences with the Call Flow Designer and ensure your clients can always reach the team or agent they need.

You will hear the CloudTalk ringtone when calling:

Ebook IVR benefit

What is IVR?

IVR (Interactive Voice Response) is an automated phone system with call-routing capabilities. The technology works with ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) and allows customers to interact with a computer before connecting to a representative.

Typically, the pre-recorded menu triggers as soon as a customer calls, letting them navigate it either verbally or manually (using the phone’s keypad). Afterward, the person is automatically connected to the agent or department best suited to help them.

The IVR’s fundamental goal is to keep everything running efficiently and boost your call center’s productivity.

What is an IVR Menu?

An IVR Menu, also known as Call Flow, is the visual representation of how calls will be routed based on certain variables, including location, IVR menu selection, and more.

Your routing, or IVR Menu Tree, can be edited via CloudTalk’s Call Flow Designer. To have a deeper overview of caller-based routing, read more here

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How to Set Up an IVR Menu Tree

#1 

From the Dashboard, click the lefthand tab labeled “Numbers”. Here, you should see a list of existing numbers supported through CloudTalk. You will also be given the option to + Buy a number or port an existing number.

#2 

Once you’ve decided which number you want to create a route for, click the blue pencil icon on the far right of the chosen number’s row. It opens the Call Flow Designer for that specific number. If no current call flow exists, the page may appear blank, with only the number showing in a small white box.

#3

Whenever we add a new step, we will do so by clicking the blue + icon at the end of the previous white box or branch tip. We can click the gray cog icon within the white box labeled the step in question to view or edit a step already made.

#4

Most action steps include a box labeled “Seconds to wait on this step”. To avoid recursive loops and other flow problems, make sure to enter an amount of time in seconds. These represent the buffer time in which a caller will wait on a step before the system repeats a prompt or pushes the call to the next stage.

Benefits of IVR

#1 

Collects caller data and routes calls according to the information provided

#2 

Tailors the conversation based on a variety of factors, including the caller’s phone number

#3

Allows businesses to offer a high level of 24/7 customer self-service options.

 #4 

Eliminates the need for a live agent to respond manually to incoming calls

#5

Reduces the burden on your staff and speeds up the entire support process

How Does IVR Work?

It seems you’re interested in IVR. If you’d like to hear how IVR works, please press “1”.

That’s something you might hear when you come across an IVR. IVRs are automated interactive voice response systems the caller can interact with via their device’s keyboards. They offer several predefined paths, which customers can use to access information ( account balance, order status, etc.), or contact specific teams and agents.

What Makes IVR Unique?

Enhances Customer Support Management

Letting customers access answers to the most common questions (e.g., business hours, address, contact details, etc.) without needing to speak to an agent saves admin time and allows your agents to focus on what they do best.

Improves Customer Conversion, Retention & Experience

Every second counts in customer support. IVRs reduce average call duration by 40%, letting customers access information and solve problems faster, preventing frustration and improving conversion and future retention.

Increases First-Contact Resolution

Thanks to IVRs, customers no longer need to waste time waiting to be transferred. By communicating their intent ahead of time, they can instantly contact the relevant team or agent and solve their problem on the first try.

Boosts Agent Performance & Team Efficiency

Dealing with basic questions takes time and company resources. With the IVR taking some of the load off your agents’ shoulders, they can focus on the difficult queries that really require their attention.

Common IVR Mistakes

Over-Complicated Call Flow

63% of customers agree that poor call flow design ruins the user experience. Make sure your menu options are clear, short, and straightforward, so customers can easily find what they’re looking for.

Long Hold Times

70% of people say they get “extremely frustrated” if they wait on hold for more than a minute. If you can’t fully prevent hold times with your IVR, implement callback or automatic routing to make the experience faster and more pleasant.

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Low-Quality Voice Prompts

Don’t use cheap text-to-speech or non-professional voice actors for your IVR voice prompts. If they’re difficult to understand, people won’t want to use your IVR, defeating its purpose entirely.

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Lack of Agents

Customers have various specific needs that require human attention. Don’t frustrate people by trying to swap out live agents for an IVR entirely, or you run the risk of hurting your business in the process.

Get a first-hand experience
with CloudTalk

We started using CloudTalk to have a flexible call center system that would let us encode all the logic that we wanted into our IVR system.“

Administrator in Customer Electronics
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FAQs

What does IVR stand for, and how much does it cost?

IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response. It is a unique feature of VoIP systems that allows you to guide the caller through different options and ensure they are always directed to the correct department or agent.

You can get started using IVR with CloudTalk for as little as $30 per month.

How does IVR work + How to set it up?

IVR automates the telephony system. With an IVR system, you can create pre-recorded greetings, which offer a set of menus with different options according to the caller’s needs. When a customer calls on your business phone number, the IVR system automatically greets the caller and sends them to the desired department. It is an automated approach to customer service.

IVRs are powerful automations for virtual phone systems, allowing you to create pre-recorded greetings, interactive self-help menus, and routing call flows. Setting it up is simple, and you can do it only in 5 steps:

1. Log in to your CloudTalk account
2. From the Dashboard, click the left-hand side Numbers tab
3. Select the number for which you want to edit your IVR by clicking the blue pen button on the far-ride side. Alternatively, you can also Purchase a Number on this screen
4. Add new steps to the IVR flow by clicking the blue “+” button next to the latest step, or edit pre-existing steps by clicking the grey “cog” button
5. Click the green “Save Plan” button to confirm your changes.

Here are a few IVR best practices to help you ensure that both your agents and customers get the most out of your call center automation:

– Keep pre-recorded call prompts and menus brief
– Ensure prompts are clear and easy to understand (hire a voice professional if needed)
– Provide an option to switch to a live agent at any point during the IVR interaction
– Frequently update call menus and IVR scripts to keep information current
– Integrate third-party CRM tools for instant, easy access to customer data
– Let customers schedule automated callbacks instead of waiting on hold
– Have several alternative routing options in place in case desired agent is unavailable
– Set/study automatic analytics/recordings to ensure effective menus/announcements

What are the benefits of an IVR system, and how to use it?

Any company can benefit from an IVR. Typical use cases include:

– Account identification
– Transactional information
– Product Assistance
– Sales call routing
– Appointment confirmations

By integrating an IVR into your everyday operations, you can expect to:

Increase customer service efficiency
– Increase professionalism
– Reduce costs
– Better customer experience

What is IVR in call centers and Customer Service?

Interactive Voice Response is commonly used in call centers. It answers incoming calls, gathers information from callers, and directs them to the right agent or self-serve option. IVR system is your company’s first point of contact with customers who pick up the phone and call your support team.

What are the key IVR features?

Interactive Voice Response systems have several key features, including:

Call Flow Designer
SMS/Text Messages
Smart dialer
Callback

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