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What are interactive voice response (IVR) systems?

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems allows callers to interact with your communications system over the telephone. IVR is used to enable the caller to retrieve information from a database, enter information into a database, or both. IVR systems allow you to efficiently exchange information, reducing clerical processing.


How It Works?

An IVR system talks to callers following a recorded script. It prompts a response the caller to respond either verbally or by pressing a touchtone key, and supplies the caller with information based on responses made.


What are important features of IVR systems?

An IVR system talks to callers following a recorded script. It prompts a response the caller to respond either verbally or by pressing a touchtone key, and supplies the caller with information based on responses made.


    1. IVR system should store responses made by callers.
    2. Should be able to provide different responses to callers based on time of day called.
    3. Should be able to capture either touch-tone or voice responses by callers.

Common uses of IVR?

Call centers use IVR systems to indentify and segment callers. The ability to indentify customers allows the ability to tailor services according to the customer profile. It also allows the option of choosing automated services. Information can be fed to the caller allowing choices such as, wait in the queue, choose an automated service, or request a callback. (At a suitable time and telephone number) The use of CTI(Computer Telephone Integration) will allow the IVR system to look up the CLI (Calling Line ID) on a network database and indentify the caller. This is currently accurate for about 80% of inbound calls, but will increase as mobile phones become more popular. In the cases where CLI is witheld or unavailable, the caller can be asked to indentify themselves by other methods such as a pin number or password. The use of DNIS (Dialled number information services) will ensure that the correct application and language is executed by the IVR system.


Automated Attendant

A specialized form of an Interactive Voice Response system. An IVR connected to a PBX. When a call comes in, this device answers it, and says something like: "Thanks for calling the ABC company. If you know the extension number you'd like, push button that extension now and you'll be transferred. If you don't know it, push-button "0" (zero) and the live operator will come on. Or wait a few seconds and the call operator will come on anyway." Sometimes the automated attendant might give you other options -- like "dial 3" for a directory. Automated attendants are sometimes connected also to voice mail systems ("I'm not here. Leave a message for me."). Some people react well to automated attendants. Others don't.


Electronic Voice Mail

A system which stores messages spoken by a user usually over a telephone, which can be retrieved by the intended recipient when that person next calls into the system. Also called Voice Mail, it operates just like a touch-tone controlled answering machine.

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