Table of contents
Some of most customers’ least favorite parts of doing business with a company include calling them and being put on hold for long periods of time, ultra-sensitive voice response prompts set off by the neighbor’s dog barking, and getting routed to the wrong department after an hour of being on hold.
Luckily, companies like LiveVox have taken advantage of the latest technology to ensure that customers who use their IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system experience a painless process. Since not all IVR phone systems are created equal, a breakdown of the benefits and pricing, along with a comparison between providers, can help business owners know what to look for when choosing an IVR provider for their contact center.
The basics of an IVR phone system
First, it’s important to cover the definition and essential features of an IVR phone system. At its core, an IVR functions as a menu that interacts with callers through voice recognition responses or touch-tone keypad selections. The menu is designed to route callers to the right department using a series of questions and answers.
IVR systems were designed to provide a smooth customer experience because they help cut down on time spent on the phone on hold or getting transferred.
Now, IVR technology has taken a giant leap from where it used to be before. It’s gone far beyond the basic route-driven menu options to self-service tools, digital alternatives, wait-time features such as scheduled callbacks, and better-voice recognition capabilities. Customers have come to expect a more personalized experience, and newer IVR technologies provide just that.
Top IVR phone system features
When looking for either a new IVR provider to replace your current one, or are simply looking to implement IVR into your contact center’s phone system for the first time, consider the features you’re presented with and see whether or not they align with company goals.
For example, if customers often complain of excessive hold times, you may want to look into an IVR platform that allows for scheduled callbacks or wait time announcements. If your company’s operational workflow is a bit nuanced, an IVR system with highly configurable and customizable setup modules would most likely improve call routing accuracy. Other highly useful IVR system features include:
Virtual agents provide customers with a customized, natural conversation through either phone, chat, or SMS. Virtual agents can help answer questions or provide customers the right resources they may need. If someone needs to talk to a live agent, a virtual agent could seamlessly transfer the customer through to a person without missing a beat.
When AI Virtual Agents and chatbots integrate into all products, a live agent who receives a transfer from an AI Virtual Agent or chatbot will also receive all of the customer’s required information.
As personalization has become an imperative part of the customer experience, the use of omnichannel resources has grown significantly in nearly all industries. IVR technology is no exception. For example, a visual IVR setup gives customers the option to reach out to companies through chatbots and phones. They are then presented with a menu of options that could either direct them to the right source of information such as a website page or present self-service options.
In an omnichannel setting, seamless integration between the CRM and IVR means the customer could also be patched through to a live agent through the phone or chat, complete with all their data pulled up. Giving customers the freedom to choose how to communicate with your company through an omnichannel IVR is a feature you do not want to skip over.
Self-service options through an IVR bring benefits not only to the customer using it but to the contact center’s agents too. When simple tasks such as scheduling, order tracking, and payment submissions can be completed by customers with an AI Virtual Agent over the phone, chat, or even SMS, call volume can be significantly reduced for those agents taking inbound calls. As a result, agents can spend more time focusing on helping customers who need it the most without worrying about having to quickly get off the phone for customers in the queue.
A comparison of IVR phone system prices
IVR phone system prices are impacted by several factors such as the number of lines you need, the features you add, and whether or not you decide on a hosted IVR or on-site IVR system. Small companies can expect to pay anywhere from $1500 per line for on-site systems. Larger companies can expect to pay well into the 6-figure range for on-site IVR. Companies also have the option to hire a developer to create their IVR system, and the price varies but can cost upwards of $1500 per line, plus monthly and usage fees.
Hosted IVR systems are far less expensive, running about $800 per line. Some companies offer a set number of lines for a flat rate to help clients save money. Contact center software programs also offer IVR, which costs anywhere from $20 to over $100 per user.
IVR service providers
LiveVox is one of the top IVR service providers in the contact center industry. Our cloud-based IVR Call Center Software includes:
- Over 40 highly customizable IVR modules
- AI Virtual Agents
- Expanded self-service options
- Omnichannel communication
- Advanced voice recognition
- Scheduled callbacks
- Seamless integrations with third-party systems
- Survey capabilities
Advanced IVR features ensure that customers have a positive interaction each time they reach out to a company. Each feature is designed to save time, money, and enhance both customer service quality and agent job satisfaction.
What to look for in an IVR service provider
As you look for the right IVR service provider for your company, keep in mind what areas your contact center may need improvement. Think about what it would look like for your company 10 years from now if the necessary steps for improvement in those areas started right away.
The IVR provider you select should support those changes so that your company can reach its future goals. Inquire about the company’s customer support and tech support and find out what that looks like. The overall experience with your IVR provider should leave you feeling confident in their ability to deliver service and support.
The benefits that a quality IVR system brings to the contact center are worth the investment because both the agent and customer will feel the positive effects it brings. The right IVR phone system will optimize your company’s workflow while meeting the digital demands of today’s average consumer.
An IVR in a call center environment is an automated voice-response system that can intake customer inquiries through phone, chat, and other channels of communication. It routes callers to the right agent, gathers data, and can also offer several self-service options. IVR in a call center environment also offers multiple features that are usually unique to a call center, such as scheduled callbacks, call parking, and queuing.
IVR full form describes a standard telephony menu that allows callers to answer a series of questions to get routed to the right person. An IVR for the call center is a software designed for call centers that offer IVR with more features specific to a call center such as scheduled callbacks and self-service options.