Your Call Is Very Important To Us, Please Hold. // IVR Design

December 6, 2021 // Product

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems enable your customers to interact with your company in business-critical ways, and at all times of the day, using voice or the phone’s keypad. Companies of all sizes can benefit from IVRs, both internally by automating the flow of calls to their correct department, and externally by customizing your IVR to provide a personalized customer experience. Not all IVRs are created equal, but fortunately Voxology provides your team with the tools to build the most effective, intuitive, and scalable IVR possible.

From easily routing calls to the right destination to retrieving relevant information for your customer, well-designed IVRs increase customer satisfaction by making the caller experience frictionless and productive.

What’s Possible with an IVR

We should ask a question before we dive further into the IVR pool. Do people even use phones anymore? Quite simply, yes, they do. A lot. In fact, one study found that 60% of people chose to call a company after they searched for them on Google.

But, interestingly, while a vast majority of people expect to wait on hold for at least five minutes, 42% of young adults won’t wait on hold at all. They will immediately hang up. “Hi, thank you for calling Your Grandpa’s Airline, your call is very important to us. We are having abnormally long wait times, please hold.” <click>.

If you have ever called an airline hoping to change a flight, you undoubtedly have been placed in hold-purgatory. How does a one-hour wait sound? How about two? And the pandemic only made hold times worse. But, thanks to intelligent IVRs, the kind that you can build with Voxology, callers can accomplish nearly everything they want without having to endure long holds. If callers need a live agent, the IVR can give the caller the option of continuing to wait on hold or receive a call when the next agent is available. Why you would choose to wait on hold, who knows.

SMS services can be integrated into your IVR as well, doubling the power and convenience for both your customers and contact centers.

IVR Functionality

Next-generation IVRs are able to accomplish both simple and complex tasks. As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to advance towards world domination (kidding?), AI-powered virtual agents have become better able to collect information from callers thanks to advanced speech recognition capabilities, as well as respond in the callers’ native language (and even accent) with text to speech.

Here are a few high-level functions of IVRs:

  • Answer incoming phone calls
  • Greet callers
  • Determine caller’s preferred language
  • Communicate caller’s options to find what they are looking for
  • Collect caller’s digit presses or speech
  • Understand digits or speech
  • Communicate information back to caller
  • Route caller to another extension or agent

Business Benefits of IVRs

The real power of the IVR, beyond the complete overhaul of the customer experience, is found in its ability to change how a business can operate its call center and billing department. Imagine being able to handle more calls with less call center agents – IVRs make that possible.

As an example, the medical and dental industries are seeing great returns from the adoption of IVRs into their telecommunication infrastructure. One study found that integrating IVR technology can:

  • Successfully handle 30% of billing-related calls
  • Reduce staff needed for call centers
  • Decrease average hold times
  • Improve CSAT scores and caller experience by enabling people to pay bills by phone at any time of the day

Deploying an IVR to handle incoming calls frees up your call center agents to spend more time on calls that actually need help from a live person. In addition, they can spend more time interacting with customers through text-based assistance where they are able to effectively handle more than one customer at a time.

The Future of IVRs

In the not too distant future, aliens will run rampant through the streets. No, that’s not true. But, more germane to our topic, AI-enabled IVRs will know why a caller is calling based on their web or app activity prior to placing the call. This additional information will help to speed up calls and make the caller’s experience much more enjoyable.

“Hi there, thanks for calling Future Airline Inc., I see you have an upcoming flight and were recently looking into changing your seat, can I help you with that?”

IVRs power contact and billing centers to maximize resources, increase productivity, and can provide the caller with a far superior customer experience, if executed well.

Additional Benefits of Voxology

Voxology is the telecommunications backbone of industry leaders in a wide range of markets. In addition to providing your developers with an easy-to-use API that gives you the ability to build a next-gen IVR, we also provide the phone numbers, minutes, and call control functionality you need to modernize and maximize your entire communications infrastructure.

We supply the customized support, documentation, and getting started guides your team needs to build the features you and your customers are looking for, including:

  • Call Control // Provide seemingly endless optionality on your IVR via the Voice API. Build effective call flows to collect your caller’s digits and/or speech, and respond accordingly.

  • Speech To Text // Generate real-time responses to callers in their own language using popular speech to text engines, like IBM Watson.

  • Speech Recognition // Enable your IVR with speech recognition so callers could also say “sales” instead of having to press “1”.

  • AI-Enablement // Training an AI agent? Get real-time caller transcriptions via webhooks in order to understand your callers and respond accordingly.

  • Local Phone Number Coverage // Search and provision phone numbers from our massive inventory of local numbers based on prefix (NPA-NXX), city/region, LATA, Rate Center, or postal code.

  • Toll-Free and Vanity Phone Numbers // Provision dual-homed toll-free numbers that can easily be SMS and MMS enabled. You can even bring your own RespOrg (if you are one, or considering it).

  • Programmable SMS/MMS // Send and receive SMS and MMS on toll-free and local phone numbers via an API.

  • Logging // View message and call logs to see when automated interactions took place in the application.

  • Pro Services // As your company grows and your needs change, our team of developers can work hand-in-hand with you to build bespoke services that best fit your unique needs.

Conclusion

Interactive Voice Response systems are an easy-to-build feature, thanks to the Voxology API. They can deliver out-sized results across a wide range of your business operations. Customers will have a more favorable experience when calling, your billing center will be more effective with less overhead, and your contact center will resolve callers’ issues faster. The modern day IVR has already moved light years beyond “Please press 1 for English” — it’s time to catch up.

Learn more about building an IVR with the Voxology API

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