Working in our Client Relation's Department we often get asked what is the difference between a voice prompt and IVR (Interactive Voice Response). IVR is a telephony technology that can process a combination of touch tones and voice inputs. IVR uses voice prompts to provide callers’ with instructions and directions for accessing information via phone. Voice prompts are used within an IVR? Yes, that wasn't a typo, prompts are audio files that provide greetings or informational messages within a telephone voice processing system. They can be sentences, phrases or individual words. Unlike voice prompts an IVR system consists of a database, telephone equipment, a supporting infrastructure and software applications. Most IVR applications include:
- Customer account details
- Call forwarding
- Order entry transactions
- Polls and surveys
- Selective information lookup
IVR solutions, traditionally, have used pre-recorded voice prompts and menus to present options to callers. Modern solutions enable input and responses to be gathered through spoken words with voice recognition. In order to deliver and leverage an IVR solution successfully, your company should consider the following:
- IVR platforms that provide you with the ability to record and play prompts as well as gather touch-tone input.
- Customer or corporate data that you must integrate with the IVR system for accurate and personalized service.
- Telephone infrastructure including call switching equipment, Voice over Internet Protocol gateways, telephone lines and Automatic Call Distributors.
- A team of IVR experts including employees and consultants to manage the platform.
IVR is great for providing quick answer to customers. Typically IVR can be a great solution for any company in the financial industry. If customers are calling to get a quick answer about account balances or amount due. It's easiest to have callers enter the account number or social security number and have access to infomrtaion without having to wait for a representative. IVR systems can limit the amount of calls that need to be processed by a live agent. If there are more live agents available to take callers that will lessen hold times improving the customer journey.
Do not settle for an unimpressive call experience. Wow your callers by using IVR to give them quick answers and limit hold times. A well-designed call flow that is customized for your caller enhances processing and minimizes caller frustration. Phone greetings that are professionally recorded have an immediate impact on your callers, establish your company’s credibility and raise your business stature.