What is an Interactive Voice Response System and What is it Used For?

In the contact center, getting the customer to the right resource and personalizing the experience are key aspects of providing a great customer journey. One of the most important pieces of technology that a contact center can implement is a powerful Interactive Voice Response system, or IVR. With modern IVR technology, including conversational IVRs that utilize natural language processing, customer satisfaction can increase by giving the customer self-help options and directing customers to the right resource.

What is an IVR?

An interactive voice response, or IVR, is an automated phone system technology that allows incoming callers to access information or get to an agent through a touch-tone keypad or voice input through the phone without the aid of a live agent. The voice response system has pre-recorded messages that play to the user and allows the user to select options based on the numbers that they enter into their dialpad.

With the development of AI and natural language processing, IVRs have become much more capable. Through natural language processing and speech recognition, customers are now able to utilize their natural speech to navigate the menus that the IVR system has implemented. This empowers the customer and gives them more self-service options, leading to better customer service and a more effortless customer journey. In the case of Bright Pattern’s conversational IVR, our platform utilizes artificial intelligence, natural language processing, natural language understanding, and speech-to-text technologies to ensure accurate understanding of the customer and to closely replicate the experience of talking to a real agent over the phone.

What are the Benefits of an IVR?

A conversational IVR has many benefits for contact centers for both the customer experience, the agent experience, and improving KPIs and metrics. For customers, a conversational IVR means easier navigation through your customer service options. An effective IVR provides customers choices to solve their particular issues quickly, including choices like account lookups, making payments, or reaching a specific agent. A conversational IVR also leads to faster first-contact resolution, since IVRs can be used to gather customer information to best route the issue or query to the appropriate agent. Finally, a conversational IVR can give customers access to customer service options anytime and anywhere, 24/7.

For the agents, an IVR can improve productivity by gathering basic information and routing the customers to the best and highest-skilled agent, allowing agents to handle the interactions that they’re best suited for. And finally, for the contact center administrator, a proper IVR can optimize company resources, allowing contact centers to save money on labor, lower customer queue times, improved call flow, automation of routine activities, and 24/7 customer service options.

An IVR has many benefits for contact centers, and it is worth investing in advanced IVR technology to ensure high quality customer service on every interaction.

Bright Pattern’s Conversational IVR

Bright Pattern’s conversational IVR is built into our cloud-based contact center platform. Bright Pattern’s conversational IVR utilizes speech-to-text, natural language processing and understanding, and artificial intelligence to ensure accurate customer speech recognition and to collect information from customers that can be used by agents to better assist them when they want to be transferred to a live agent. Bright Pattern’s IVR can also be utilized in conjunction with our CRM integrations, allowing IVRs to capture customer information and utilize that customer information in a CRM database for accurate customer information and quick customer service.

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