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What is IVR in a call center


IVR, or Interactive Voice Response, is a phone system software technology used in contact centers that enables staff members and clients to communicate via touch-tone or automatic voice dialing menus on a computer system.

Customers can self-serve for quicker first-call resolution procedures. IVR call center systems carry out a number of functions, including announcing menu selections to callers, playing a pre-recorded welcome, sending the call to the queue, and connecting the customer's call to the most qualified agent.

Additionally, it offers users self-service choices like sharing billing details or informing them of the operation hours and account balances.

However, callers can interact with this IVR system by speaking to the replies or by touching buttons on their mobile phones' keypad. The client experience, as well as the contact center's general service quality and efficiency, are all improved by this intelligent routing system.

As an illustration, once the call center IVR is connected to other systems, it automatically captures consumer data and information that is later used to help operators communicate with users by displaying "Screen-pops" to them.

A contact center's IVR may also manage hundreds of dialed numbers while providing menu options and individual greetings to each caller. Without the assistance of human agents, these IVR call center functions cannot operate as intended.

IVR contact centers are made in such a way that less time is spent on little chores by agents, allowing competent agents to concentrate on promptly addressing customer concerns. IVR capabilities include queue callback options, script design, targeted group calling, automatic voice recognition to recognise callers' words, and call routing to the best qualified call center representative.


How does IVR works?

IVR (Interactive Voice Response) works as follows:

  • Call Initiation: A customer calls a specific phone number associated with a company or service.
  • Connection to IVR System: The call is connected to the IVR system, which is a combination of hardware and software.
  • Greeting & Menu Playback: The caller is greeted with a pre-recorded message, which often includes a menu of options. For example: "Press 1 for Sales, Press 2 for Support..."
  • User Input: The caller responds by pressing buttons on their phone keypad or by speaking aloud. Modern IVR systems can recognize touch-tone inputs as well as voice commands.
  • Processing: The IVR system processes the input. This can involve:
  • Routing the call to the appropriate department or agent.
  • Accessing databases to retrieve account information, balance details, etc.
  • Conducting simple transactions like bill payments.
  • Feedback to Caller: Depending on the input, the IVR might play back relevant information, confirm a transaction, or connect the caller to a live agent.
  • End of Interaction: Once the desired action is completed, the IVR system might offer additional options or simply end the call.

Throughout this process, the IVR system can integrate with various back-end systems and databases to fetch and provide real-time information to the caller. The primary goal of an IVR system is to efficiently handle calls, reduce wait times, and provide a seamless experience for the caller.

Here, I need to state that there is a difference between IVR and call center definitionally, IVR is a technology or system while call center is a telephone service and support department of an organization that may use IVR technology.

Advantages of Interactive Voice Response in a call center

1. Provide greater customer support and a better experience

Without consumers, no business can survive, so it is crucial to offer superior customer support and service. According to a study, 48% of customers want better customer service as a result of the epidemic.

The IVR call center technology makes sure that there is always a prompt response accessible for the typical questions that customers ask.

Each customer's unique needs will be met if agents are utilizing an effective IVR system, which will eventually result in delighted customers.

An IVR system gives customers quick responses, directs them to the appropriate menu, and connects them to the appropriate department, which may attentively listen to your users.

As a result, the number of calls decreased, saving both clients and agents' time. You can choose from a variety of adjustable choices to tailor your interactions, including the languages used, linking callers' account numbers to their information, and successfully managing the client lifecycle.

You can lay the foundation for a better client experience and increase customer retention with a hassle-free, straightforward calling system.

2. Allows clients to use self-service

Even when your representatives are not available, IVR enables you to serve your customers. An IVR menu can provide some basic information to users who call after typical business hours.

A well-designed IVR menu can be used for all common customer inquiries and will aid users in solving their own issues, freeing up agents to handle more complicated requests.

By identifying consumers' data and information with their numbers and giving them the appropriate responses, a sophisticated IVR system with biometric capabilities lowers customer churn. It can wish the callers a happy birthday and set up a meeting or appointment with a client.

An IVR can verify a user's account balances, track orders and shipments, schedule a meeting with an agent, and do a variety of other functions.

3. Providing customers with tailored service

IVR call centers offer lots of room for customization to improve real-time customer service and foster better relationships with clients.

Every interactive voice response system is set up to greet consumers in a unique way. A CRM software integration that tracks the caller ID and their information makes it possible.

It not only addresses each caller by name but also provides a range of language choices to meet their individual needs. If you run a global firm, a personalized greeting and speaking the client's language are crucial.


4. Lessens the likelihood of mistakes

IVR is less likely to make mistakes because, when performing its duties, it sends the call to the call center department's most appropriate agent.

A contact center's inbound call center services receive a lot of calls each day, which can occasionally cause mental stress, protracted wait times, and user misrouting.

There is a considerable likelihood that calls will be assigned to the incorrect operators when calls are handled manually. IVR in call centers follows some logical steps that enable improved call handling judgements and automatically route calls to the appropriate agent.

Find more ways to lessen the likelihood of agents making mistakes here.

5. Strengthens techniques for first-call resolution

The customer wants a solution as soon as possible since they find it annoying when their calls are routed to several departments or agents.

Their calls can be directed to the proper agent using contact center IVR, which boosts your customer service's first call resolution rate. You can modify the IVR Software to meet customer needs in order to keep this FCR rate.

For instance, they can just dial the numbers while being guided by an IVR menu system if they have a query about an invoice, and they will immediately receive a response. Or, if you've introduced a new product, you can modify the system's inquiries in relation to it appropriately.


6. Improves agents' performance and morale

IVR was intended to make the working lives of agents more simpler, not to replace them. Normal questions are answered by an automated IVR, allowing you to effectively gauge the effectiveness of your call center.

Due to the high call numbers, agents may occasionally become frustrated and overworked, making it difficult for them to respond to consumers' problems right away.

Employees that are frustrated may become unproductive and despondent. As a result, the initial call handling of the operators is reduced by the interactive voice response system.

Find out here what other ways to improve your agents performance and morale.

7. Compiles useful client data

You must amass useful information from clients for future use if you want your business to be successful. Your IVR setup and updated business strategy would benefit from the data gathered by IVR call centers connected to consumer questions.

IVR call center technologies allow you to do market research, lower operational expenses, and avoid hiring more employees. When IVR software receives a call, it gathers all the caller's information or refers to previous information to address their needs.


8. Continually available

The ability to help consumers around-the-clock is a crucial component of any customer service, but personnel aren't always on call.

When no one is accessible in the contact center, an IVR phone system will handle every demand in this scenario.

Customers become more credible and trustworthy as a result, increasing the likelihood that they would patronize your company again.

An IVR will welcome them and handle all the straightforward transactions and functions to delight the clients even if they phone you in the middle of the night.


IVR (Interactive Voice Response)

  • IVR is a telephone system technology that allows a computer to interact with users through voice and keypad inputs.
  • It's commonly used for automated tasks such as account inquiries, payments, or delivering basic information.
  • It's also frequently used for call routing, determining the needs of the caller, and directing them to the appropriate department or service representative.

BPO (Business Process Outsourcing)

  • BPO involves a company outsourcing certain non-core business processes or operations to another specialized service provider and there are many types of the BPO .
  • The goal of doing so might be to reduce costs, increase efficiency, or access specific expertise.
  • Call center outsourcing is a common example of BPO, where a company might outsource its customer service, technical support, or other telephone interactions to a dedicated call center company.


Relationship between them

  • Within the BPO model, especially when it concerns call center services, IVR technology is often employed. This is because IVR can help increase efficiency, reduce the workload on service representatives, and provide instant services to callers.
  • A BPO company might provide and maintain an IVR system for its clients, catering to specific requirements such as customized voice prompts or specific self-service options.
  • As IVR can automatically handle a vast number of common queries and tasks, it provides a means for BPO companies to reduce operational costs.
  • In summary, IVR is a technology, while BPO is a business strategy or model. In the realm of customer service outsourcing, the two often work in tandem, with IVR technology offering BPO companies an effective tool to serve their clients more efficiently.


IVR is a shining example of innovation and customer-centricity in a world where consumer expectations are continuously changing. It's a game-changer, changing the call center industry and how we communicate with companies over the phone. Companies may open up a world of opportunities by embracing IVR, making every call a seamless, enjoyable, and satisfying experience.

Businesses can use IVR to streamline processes and cut wait times while enhancing customer service to new heights. The days of bumbling through a maze of choices are over because IVR gives callers the power to take charge of their journey with only a few uttered words. It's like having a reliable navigator at your disposal who can help you get where you're going.

So, let your company set out on a mission of improved customer service. Accept IVR, and watch as your call center transforms into a hotspot of effectiveness, customization, and client satisfaction. IVR is the foundation of the customer service of the future.

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