What Is IVR?

What Is IVR?

IVR, or interactive voice response, is a what allows phone systems to process touch tones or voice waves during a telephone call. IVR technology is responsible for the menus people hear and respond to when they call up a company or business and hear the words: “press 1 for sales, press 2 for marketing, press 0 to speak to the operator,” for example. IVR systems can be fully customized to playback dynamic audio, or pre-recorded menu options.

IVR is not necessarily related to VOIP, however, a VOIP IVR is. Most VOIP IVR systems or software support SIP based VOIP, but Skype IVR also support non-standard based Skype service.

Computer Telephony Component

IVR is an automated computer telephony integration CTI system which allows providers to create complex menus which the caller can navigate by using touch-tone key-presses or via spoken commands. IVR systems can be used as a PBX Voice Portal to access remote information such as bus scheduling where the caller can select the route for which they require information, or for billing or customer service systems which allow the caller to enter information such as their account number or credit card details without the need for operator assistance.

IVR and ACD Integration

IVR solutions are often integrated with an ACD, which routes incoming phone calls to agent work groups. This integration can be both a front end and back operation.

  • Most typically, an ACD system can route callers to an IVR program based upon DNIS or other parameters such as time of day or day of the week.
  • A smart IVR can transfer callers back to an ACD system to route the call to the next available agent within an agent hunt group.

One important task of an integrated IVR and ACD is to display Screen Pop information from the caller on the agent’s workstation so that the agent has caller information readily available without the need to prompt the caller again.

IVR and Voice Broadcasting

IVR applications are typically associated with inbound calling programs. However, IVR technology can be applied to outbound calling campaigns and are most commonly used with Voice Broadcasting and touchtone responses. Examples of the application of this technology include the option to speak with an operator, opt out of a calling campaign, or taking an outbound survey.