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Home | Contact Center Metrics | What is IVR?
Home | Contact Center Metrics | What is IVR?

What is IVR?

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What is IVR

IVR stands for interactive voice response, and it is an automated telephone system in which callers can make choices via dial pad. This system makes the job of call center agents easy because agents can handle more complicated caller issues when IVR deals with more simple customer issues. Routing the calls to the most suitable agent, the identification of callers, and segmentation can be done with IVR.

Pre-recorded messages and text-to-speech technology are combined in IVR, and callers can reach necessary information without a live call center agent, thanks to the combination. Also, callers can deal with various simple tasks, like making payments and resetting signals, on their own by utilizing IVR.

With IVR, every customer issue cannot be solved, but this technology helps to understand customer issues in a good way. Then, customers can be directed to call center agents according to their problems and the appropriateness of agents. Briefly, IVR provides callers with the chance of solving basic issues without live agents, and this technology also directs callers to the relevant and suitable agents.

How does IVR work?

The working process of IVR generally starts with pre-recorded welcome messages for greeting callers. Then, this technology offers some options to callers for understanding their problems. At that point, callers should choose the option related to their problem. For example, a caller with a payment issue can choose the payment option, and then continue with the proper menu. In other words, after choosing the suitable option, callers are directed to the proper menu for solving their problems. In the proper menu, callers encounter additional options about their issues, and they can elaborate on their problems at this step. In addition to elaborating problems, callers can be directed to an appropriate call center agent who deals with the mentioned issue at this step. That is the basic working process of IVR, but this technology is encountered with its three different types, and these types affect the working process.

Touch-tone replacement

In this type of IVR, a touch-tone keypad is used for reaching necessary information. Pre-recorded messages are offered to callers, and then, callers press necessary numbers. For instance, the message can be ‘’Press nine for payment issues’’, and if the caller’s issue is about payment, s/he should respond with nine.

Directed dialogue

In this type of IVR, verbal things are offered to callers; some questions can be asked to callers for detecting caller issues. For example, ‘’Are you looking for payment issues or location information?’’ can be asked, and the caller should answer the question with the same words, like payment issues or location information. In other words, callers should give answers vocalically and simply to IVR’s basic questions to reach a call center agent or solve their problems on their own.

Natural language

Like in directed dialogue, vocal answers and responses are used in this type of IVR, but natural language is more complicated than directed dialogue. In other words, directed dialogue is using simple questions while natural language is using complex questions. For instance, ‘’What information are you looking for today?’’ can be asked, and the caller should answer the question with her/his issue, like ‘’I want to solve my payment problem.’’. This type of IVR generally is found in new cloud contact centers, such as Call Center Studio’s IVR.

Contact Center IVR Optimization

Use Cases of IVR

The most common uses of IVR are routing calls and automating inbound and outbound calls. In addition to these use cases, some complicated processes can become easier in different departments and sectors.


IVR can be used for sending pre-treatment questionnaires and patient satisfaction surveys to patients, so this technology is very important in the healthcare sector. Also, in this sector, lab and appointment scheduling, post-discharge follow-up, and lab results and patient monitoring can be done with the help of IVR.

Customer Service

Each industry has customer service because it helps people who want to buy a service or product of a company. With proper customer service, the revenue of companies increases, and customer satisfaction is developed. Due to the importance of customer service, companies prefer to use IVR; some companies get a high volume of inbound calls, and pre-recorded messages and automated menus deal with these callers for solving their problems.


With IVR, some banking and financial processes can be done in an effective way. For example, people can change their investment portfolios with IVR, and IVR can be used in bank and stock account balances and transfers.


Education is another sector in which IVR technology can be utilized. Educational institutions can use IVR for informing parents about their children’s academic progress and performance.

Benefits of IVR

IVR technology provides companies with various benefits, so companies can think about utilizing IVR to make their employees and customers happy.

 Reduced operational costs

IVR systems can answer the questions of callers and ask proper questions to them efficiently with their cost-effective property. With these systems, significant information can be accessible during both peak and off-peak hours. Furthermore, IVR saves time by shortening the possible long conversations between customers and agents, so this technology is beneficial in terms of money and time.

24/7 support

Customers always want reachable companies for solving their problems at any time, and IVR technology offers 24/7 support to customers. In other words, IVR provides callers with necessary information whenever they need without any interruptions

Increased customer satisfaction

With IVR, callers can reach an appropriate agent or do necessary things on their own. These two opportunities of IVR avoid wait times, so customer satisfaction increases with immediate responses. Also, 24/7 service and professionalism of IVR can increase customer satisfaction.

Information gathering about callers

Companies can access necessary information about their callers with their IVR systems, and then, the information can be used for different purposes, like satisfaction surveys. Moreover, information coming from IVR can be utilized for directing callers to the most suitable agent. For example, a caller talked with Agent A, and she loved the agent. When the second call from the caller came, she can again be directed to Agent A.

If you want to introduce a system in which talking with a live agent is not necessary to your customers, you can get help from Call Center Studio. Our IVR system provides you with lower costs, saving of time, and effective scaling.