What Is Interactive Voice Response (IVR)? - Bright Pattern

Interactive voice response integrates computer and telephony technologies to create a seamless automated system for callers to access key information on their customer journey.

What is Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

IVR interactive voice response is a seamless and innovative automated telephony solution that combines pre-recorded messages or basic text-to-speech technology with a dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF signals) interface to assist callers

Engaging with callers provides them an opportunity to access critical information or answer specific questions without the need for a live agent

If, for whatever reason, the IVR platform cannot help the caller retrieve the necessary customer data, the programmed IVR menu options can use call routing to lead a caller to a qualified representative for assistance. 

With IVR, you can dramatically optimize IVR call flow, reduce wait times, and create greater customer satisfaction

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Moviefone was one of the most popular uses of IVR technology back in the 1990s. 

People would call in and provide their zip code and receive information regarding showtimes and movie locations in their area.

Today, IVR software is still incorporated in many businesses, especially call centers

IVR solutions have advanced to such a degree that in some cases live agents aren’t necessary to provide answers for a concerned customer. With IVR technology, it maximizes customer support and drastically reduces high call volumes for customer service agents. 

IVR solutions have advanced so that, in some cases, live agents aren’t necessary to provide answers for a concerned customer. With IVR technology, it maximizes customer support and drastically reduces high call volumes for customer service agents. 

In 2023, advanced IVR systems constantly evolve with new and emerging technologies.

The groundbreaking development of natural language processing (NLP) technology evolves the range of ways that callers and customers interact with computers on their phones through conversational AI

With the implementation of new IVR features, it enables callers to communicate their needs over the phone effortlessly. Then, using speech recognition software, IVR applications can understand, review, and respond to customer questions in real-time while providing genuine IVR solutions.

How Do IVR Systems Improve The Customer Experience?

IVR systems can streamline the customer experience by providing legitimate self-service options for customers to access information without the help of a live service agent.

Plus, it reduces call volume for call centers, lowers wait times, and dramatically reduces operational costs for any business.

Is IVR Self-Service?


IVR is a type of self-service option that allows customers to dictate where they want to go on their customer journey through dynamic menus, prompts, and questionnaires. 

If the IVR cannot assist a customer with their solution, it routes calls to a qualified agent. 

How IVR Works

The IVR phone system generally consists of the following:

  1. A TCP / IP network to provide Internet and intranet connectivity.
  2. Databases to supply IVR applications with relevant data.
  3. A web/application server where the IVR software applications will live. This server can host multiple applications, which are all written in VoiceXML.

After, either one of the three types of IVR systems will be implemented to set up an IVR:

  • Touch-Tone Replacement: this system prompts callers to use a touch-tone keypad selection to access information. 
  • Directed Dialogue: this system provides specific verbal prompts to callers depending on their questions/concerns. 
  • Natural Language: this advanced system incorporates voice recognition technology to understand customer requests. 

To set up IVR will transform the journey for any customer via phone. 

Traditional IVR vs. Conversational IVR

Bright Pattern offers two kinds of IVR software solutions: a traditional IVR and a conversational IVR. Traditional IVR prompts callers to select a number from a menu of options, and a conversational IVR allows callers to speak naturally, describing their needs in their own words in order to be routed to the appropriate resource. Conversational IVR uses speech recognition powered by cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Natural Language Processing (NLP), Natural Language Understanding (NLU), and speech-to-text. Using natural language technology for a smoother exchange, the Bright Pattern system isn’t a robotic voice. Your customers enjoy a more natural experience.

Conversational IVR is impressive, and it’ll solidify the customer service experience your organization provides as the gold standard.

The Importance of AI-Powered IVR

An AI-powered omnichannel IVR call center puts the most advanced technologies to work for you. From IVR automation to enhanced agent empowerment, from improved interaction quality to innovative agent training opportunities, artificial intelligence reduces friction for both customers and agents. Blend IVR solutions with virtual assistants and chatbots to fully leverage the Bright Pattern contact center solution.

This isn’t about replacing humans — quite the contrary. An AI-powered IVR call center uses AI to set humans up for ultimate success. It’s about letting humans focus on ensuring your customers experience seamless, quick, and intuitive communication with your organization.

Unified Agent Desktop

Our omnichannel contact center solution gives your organization the ability to seamlessly communicate with clients throughout their entire customer journey.

Omnichannel Quality Management

Ensure consistently excellent customer experiences and optimize call center performance with AI-powered OmniQM.

CRM Integration

Track the customer journey with your business on any channel. Integrations with all CRM providers or your own system of records.

Benefits of IVR Phone System

IVR technology automates the calling process for customers. It acts as a business phone system that interacts with customers and gathers critical information by giving them choices via IVR menusThere are plenty of key benefits of interactive voice response technology.

Effective Call Routing

After receiving important information from any given customer, IVR systems route calls to a knowledgeable call center agent, which reduces wait times and maximizes first contact resolutions.

Reduce Cost

Implementing IVR is extremely cost-efficient. IVR can gather information at off-peak business hours, so customers can call in at night or on the weekends and still get their questions answered.

Less Mistakes

With IVR, it can reduce mistakes during the customer service process as it doesn’t depend on a live service agent.

Increased Security

Advanced IVR systems can improve security with unique voice recognition software for a specific person, increasing security. With this extra security, it helps protect personal information such as phone numbers, account balances, and credit card numbers.

What Are The Challenges of An Interactive Voice Response System?

Although IVR is incredibly popular and effective, it still faces modern-day challenges that must be addressed before use. 


Details & Solutions

Complex IVR Menu Options

Even though IVR can streamline call flow in a call center, it can frustrate customers if the menu options are too complex. For example, a very long pre-recorded message may cause customers to become incredibly frustrated and drop their calls.

Extremely Long Waiting Time

Longer than average hold times are still a common problem with IVR. Callback functionality can reduce impatience among callers as they can participate on other tasks in their lives while their call is eventually returned.

Impersonal Communication Issues

Customers may call in already angry or upset. They may become more frustrated when communicating with an IVR menu that isn’t very communicable regarding their specific issue. 

Poorly implemented IVR solutions can directly correlate to higher call abandonment rates, negative customer reviews, and poor call flow among callers

Since sentiment reports and reviews by customers are so crucial to business needs and success in 2024, it is incredibly important to incorporate a powerful and effective IVR. 

Applications of IVR

What are some modern use cases and applications of IVR? 

Which industries most commonly implement IVR?

Job / Industry

Effects of IVR


Pre-treatment questionnaires, patient sentiment surveys, lab or appointment scheduling. IVR can even help patients by reminding them to take their medication.

Education / Academia

Helps parents retrieve information about their child’s progress in school. 


IVR can check account information, credit card information, and key banking details while simultaneously keeping this information safe. 

Applications of IVR In A Call Center or Contact Center

What are the modern-day applications of IVR used in an on-premise call center or cloud contact center?

A call center or contact center that focuses on customer support can be spread across multiple popular industries. 

These centers are specifically set up to handle high-volume inbound calls using automated menus and automatic call distribution (ACD). They are pre-recorded to deal with customer issues. 

With IVR deployed alongside call center software or contact center solutions, it creates a more effective customer journey allowing callers a more seamless experience during their call. 

Contact center technology is highly efficient when partnered with modern IVR. Calls handled, and unified communications are dramatically transformed. 

Now, incoming calls are welcomed instead of feared. 

Can IVR Integration Work With Bright Pattern?

Yes, of course.

Bright Pattern IVR integration gives customers various options through a touch-tone phone keypad or voice input.

Thus replacing the need for a real person. 

Suppose the questions or concerns of a customer cannot be answered. In that case, the IVR will route the call to a qualified and available agent. 

Bright Pattern IVR integration is the key to success for any business. 

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Additional Applications

An IVR self-service application helps direct inbound calls and outbound calls to the right destination in the best route possible. The goal of a voice response system is to help the caller reach their desired destination as quickly as possible, improving the customer experience.

Capture Customer Information

An IVR system can also be designed to extract information from callers that are used for other purposes. Information like phone numbers, account numbers, and credit card info can be collected through an IVR application. Businesses can set up surveys to obtain valuable data from their customers, after the call is done.

IVR data can help businesses and call centers anticipate events or times that typically trigger increased call rates, so that they can manage increased demand.

CRM Integration

Sales departments have also employed IVRs so that customers can place orders over the phone. For example, during political campaigns, an IVR can place robocalls with political information. Combining an IVR’s outgoing call capabilities with survey technology is a great way to reach out to voters or consumers to gather poll data.

In addition, IVRs can be used to produce transcriptions of audio content, which is then transferred to databases, to the cloud, or to individuals via email.

Powerful Integrations


Additional Bright Pattern Features

Why Clients Love Bright Pattern

“The ease of implementation for chat has enabled us to quickly build and turn chat on for our customer facing sites in less than a day.”

Derek G.

Director of Contact Center Operations

“It is an extremely robust, while easy to use software. It can handle massive telephony centers with ease while maintaining competitive telco charges.”


BPO Technology Lead

“Great product and a great team. The product has worked as designed and has been very reliable. The call quality has also been excellent. The scenario tool is very powerful. It is also well integrated into Zendesk.”

Sean Rivers

Director of Operations Technology

“We have switched over from Interactive Intelligence 3 years ago and have been really happy so far. We had 100% up-time and enjoy the cooperation with their software developers and management team.”

Othmar B.

VP Marketing

“I answer all my calls from clients on retail with softphone and I can work at home effectively too. It is a way for me to judge my productivity and see how many emails I am answering with the dashboard that is displayed. ”

Julie T.

Retail Support Representative

“The system was very easy to setup along with training and onboarding from the Bright Pattern team. We use Bright pattern for inbound transactions, such as incoming calls, emails and chat. The reporting tools are easy to use and propvide the SLA data required for our partners.”

Sal Y.

Head of Customer Support

Frequently Asked Questions


That’s the entire point of deploying IVR.

With IVR, it allows a customer to use the sound of their voice to dictate where they end up in their journey. 

With advanced cloud phone systems of IVR, this type of artificial intelligence can determine who you are or your goals based on the intricacies of your voice and speech. 

VoIP is voice over internet protocol.

It is a technology that allows you to make voice calls using an Internet connection instead of a regular generic phone line. 

A business voip phone is a type of telephone that uses IP technology to transmit calls.

Voip phones take your sound and convert it into small data packets. Then, it sends that data over the network and out across the entire Internet. At the end of the process, the phone on the other end decompresses the data and plays it back so the additional receiver can hear it. 

CRM is customer relationship management.

With this technology, it allows agents to track, monitor, and review the customer experience from beginning to end.

With digital records at their fingertips, agents now have access to key information about their customers, which will improve the entire journey and create a more personalized and seamless call experience. 

The first time a customer calls in, their most important details will be saved so when their call is transferred to the right agent or department, that information is readily available and already known by the agent, saving time and energy for both the customer and agent. 

CRM software is perfect for small business or enterprise-level organizations.

Omnichannel contact center software provides the ability to experience a seamless journey for your customers across any channel, standard or digital, and effortlessly switch between those channels instantly while keeping the context of your conversation in place. 

These popular channels may include email, phone, webchat, apps, social media, and chatbots.

Bright Pattern offers various plans and packages, so pricing can vary.

Based on your team size, you can request a demo and explore which package seems most appropriate for your goals. 

API is an application programming interface.

It acts as a software middleman that allows two applications to communicate with each other. 

APIs can spread and share data across entire organizations. 

Auto attendant is an automated attendant that allows callers to be automatically transferred to another extension without the need or help of a live service agent. 

Similar to IVR interactions, most auto attendants will provide a basic menu system.

A voicemail is a stored voice message that a caller leaves meant to be replied to at a later point.

IVR is primarily the first destination in a call routed scheme, so directed dialogue is immediately used to welcome and direct callers to different departments.

However, a call queue distributes calls to a group of live service agents or external numbers.

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